Apr 5, 2011

What 1,200 CEO’s Plan For 2011. Growth? Jobs?

As many of you are a very busy professionals, managers or executives, while some others would like to become ones, you got to stay on top of trends in your business, industry both locally and globally.

I know it’s easy to say that. And I know what it means to get up at 7 a.m., go to work and come back home at 7 p.m. or later. That is when you are not traveling for business. You should probably spend some (quality?) time with your family, hopefully eat dinner, maybe even prepare it, but also relax or entertain yourself so that tomorrow you can keep delivering your best effort at work again.

With so much pressure on your time and so little margin for errors, you still need time to read, learn and think. Nobody (or at least I don’t ) like ‘’know-it- alls’’, but if you aspire to be a leader your people expect from you to be a little better informed on few points.

You should at least be informed about global trends, think about strategy or new products or services, new markets, or new talents you might need to add to your team, department or a company. This information could hopefully help make good decisions, choices (sometimes also called strategy) that will keep your business, or even better - grow your business.

There is a lot of materials out there and even on days when I am working 15 hours I still leave out pages and pages I planned to read or catch up on. And this is my job (as a management consultant) to read, research and know what will help you to know. Some days I am ‘’only’’ learning all day. Sometimes I am choosing what the others should learn.

Because my mission is to help you build, grow, improve your business/career I select and present information which have potential to be applied and helpful for fulfilling that mission.

Sometimes it is good to know what other business leaders think or do, or what the outlook seems to be, so if you haven’t seen 2011 CEO’s Survey (PWC Global Annual Survey) I will present key findings and links, where you can find out what CEOs plan for 2011.

The survey results were released at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, end of January this year.

Key Findings From 14th Annual PwC Global CEO Survey

CEOs' confidence is restored to pre-crisis levels as 88% CEOs are confident their companies will grow within next twelve months.

In the worldwide poll of 1,201 CEOs, 48% said they were “very confident" of growth in the next 12 months. That's a major shift from the 31% last year who were "very confident" last year and approaches the 50% reached in 2008 before the onslaught of the economic crisis.

In total, 88% of CEOs said they now have some level of confidence for prospects in the next 12 months, up from 81% last year. Longer term, 94% now are confident of growth three years from now, an increase of two percentage points.

Where is the Confidence Located?

Confidence levels are rising virtually across the board—whether broken down by location, sector, or size.

Renewed confidence was spread across all continents, with CEOs in India, Austria, Colombia, Peru, China, Thailand and Paraguay particularly upbeat about near term growth. Regionally, CEOs in Western Europe were the least confident. German CEOs were an exception, with nearly 80% of CEOs "very confident," up from about 20% last year.

CEOs said they considered China the most important country for future growth. China was named by 39% of CEOs, followed by the US, 21%; Brazil, 19%; and India, 18%. And China, the US and India were seen as the most important future sources for products and raw materials.

Are Companies Abandoning Developed Markets?

Absolutely not! The large, developed economies still have their attractions. The U.S. was the second-most popular choice (after China) for a growth market, with 21% of CEOs ranking it in their top three. Another 12% selected Germany. And, while China dominates the list of nations considered most important for future sourcing needs (largely due to cost), factors such as quality control, risk profile, innovativeness, logistics and existing relationships remain important factors to many CEOs—and these still tend to skew toward developed markets.

Where Are the Opportunities For Growth Coming From?

Strategically, the best opportunities for growth in the next 12 months will come from the development of new products and services and from increasing share in existing markets, both cited by 29% of CEOs, and by penetration of new markets, 17%. Mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures and alliances trailed as growth strategies.

How About Hiring Instead of Job Cuts?

The positive momentum in CEO confidence was reflected in hiring plans; more than half (51%) of CEOs worldwide said they expected to add jobs in the next 12 months, up from 39% in the last survey. CEOs in Central Europe, Asia Pacific and Africa were particularly bullish about hiring.

Significantly, just 16% of CEOs said they expected to cut their workforce in the coming year, down from 25% last year.

Strategy Changes

The impact of the recession on strategy was also evident in the survey results. Most CEOs – 84% – said they had changed their company's strategy in the past two years, and about a third said the change was fundamental.

Strategic changes were driven primarily by economic uncertainty, customer requirements, and the post-recession dynamics in their industry.

Most CEOs said they plan to change their strategies for managing talent (83%), risk (77%), investments (76%), and organisational structure (74%).

Threats to future business

Nearly three-fourths of CEOs cited uncertain or volatile economic growth as a potential threat to their business, up from 66% last year. And nearly a third of CEOs said they were “extremely concerned" about economic prospects. Other commonly mentioned threats included government response to fiscal deficits, 61%; and over-regulation, 60%; trailed by exchange rate volatility, 54%; unstable capital markets, 52%; and protectionism, 40%. The spectre of inflation was cited by less than a third of respondents.

Among business threats, 56% named the availability of key skills, followed by increasing taxes, 55%, and permanent shifts in consumer behaviours, 48%. A potential talent shortage was a particular concern in Asia Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Global risks cited by CEOs included political instability, 58%, scarcity of natural resources, 34%, climate change, 27% and natural disasters, 25%.

Survey Methodology

For PwC's 14th Annual Global CEO Survey, 1,201 interviews were conducted in 69 countries during the last quarter of 2010. By region, 420 interviews were conducted in Western Europe, 257 in Asia Pacific, 221 in Latin America, 148 in North America, 98 in Eastern Europe and 57 in the Middle East & Africa.

The full survey report with supporting graphics can be downloaded here .

You can also explore data in more details or get industry or region summary.

For Highlights on key findings go to http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/ceo-survey/ceo-survey-key-findings.jhtml

According to this Survey CEOs' three focal points to drive strategic change internationally are:

1. Innovation,

2. Talent and

3. A shared agenda with government.

Where and how do you plan to invest in products and services? What are your levels of confidence and what in your opinion remains biggest challenges to growth and hiring?

To get more articles, updates, free or special offers, and to download my e-book''Productive Executive/Manager - Manage Interruptions at Work'', join the mailing list if you haven't done so already.


  1. Thanks for this. I really like what you've posted here and wish you the best of luck with this blog and thanks for sharing.

    Online Survey Tools

  2. You are welcome and thanks for stopping by and posting a comment.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...