For CEOs of various international firms participating in the summer 2021 Fortune/Deloitte CEO survey, what began as hope for what this year might have in store has turned into “bold plans for growth, innovation, digital transformation, and workforce and talent transformation”.
A heightened attention to the climate agenda was also noted, while continued progress on DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion), an elevated concern for cybersecurity, and “all things talent” were communicated by business leaders.
The survey included the contribution of 110 leading CEOs who represent more than 15 diverse industries. They shared their views on leaders’ agendas for ushering their business out of the current state of affairs brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
CEO of Deloitte US, Joe Ucuzoglu, shared that CEOs are optimistic about the year ahead, expecting strong growth fuelled by innovation and pent-up consumer demand.
“Key to achieving their growth goals will be an intense focus on sustaining the momentum of their digital transformations, as well as optimizing new workplace models to attract and retain a world-class workforce. All things tech and talent will dominate the CEO agenda throughout 2021 and beyond.”
Notable highlights from the survey include how 70 per cent of the participants expect their organisation’s growth to be strong over the next 12 months, and many are undergoing or preparing to implement widespread change – namely digital transformation, which was remarked by nearly three out of four CEOs.
Consistent with a large number of CEOs who plan to increase their company’s spending in sustainability, 46 per cent of participants said their company is undergoing or preparing for a strategy transformation that is focused on upholding their climate agenda.
As for the biggest challenge they face, the predominant one mentioned by one in every four respondents appears to revolve around talent “in nearly every form. Attracting, hiring, retaining, developing, growing, and engaging talent; succession planning; the war for talent; and more.”
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