Inbox: Open, Connected CEOs

Organisational openness and the importance of of cultivating connections are among number of key themes to emerge from IBM’s recently released fifth biennial global CEO study.
The study is the largest of its kind in the world drawing on face-to-face interviews with over 1700 chief executives across 60 countries, including 81 CEOs from Australia and New Zealand. Ross Pearce, senior managing consultant, IBM NZ Global Business Services, says the latest study shows that CEOs, particularly in Australasia, see need to rebalance operational control with organisational openness.
“CEOs are changing the nature of work and leadership by adding powerful dose of openness, transparency and employee empowerment to the command and control ethos that has dominated the modern enterprise for more than century,” says Pearce.
The IBM study shows that companies that outperform their peers place 30 percent greater emphasis on openness – characterised by an increasing use of social media as key enabler of collaboration and innovation as it breaks down traditional organisational walls. The study shows that while only 16 percent of CEOs are currently using social media platforms, this is predicted to rise to over 50 percent within three to five years.
Across the board, chief executives plan to forge closer connections with customers, partners and employees, with 64 percent of Australasian CEOs planning dramatic improvements in internal and external collaboration compared to 53 percent globally.
Pearce says while CEOs in New Zealand and Australia are generally aligned with their global counterparts, there are also notable areas of differentiation. CEOs globally cite collaboration (75 percent) and communication (67 percent) as the top two key personal characteristics for success, while Australasian CEOs rank flexibility (86 percent) as most important.
For the first time since the CEO study series began in 2004, technology topped the list of external forces impacting organisations over the next three to five years at 71 percent globally, ranking even higher than economic/market factors. However in Australia and New Zealand technology is overshadowed by people skills, which comes out top, reflecting the tight local labour and skills market.
For more information on the survey contact [email protected] M

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