What are the key strategies shaping business success in the post-pandemic economy? The IBM 2021 Global CEO survey provides an answer. That’s after taking the insights of top executives into account.
To gain a deeper understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on the global marketplace, the IBM Institute of Business Value surveyed 3,000 CEOs.
The results highlighted five business strategies adopted by companies that outperformed competitors in 2020 and beyond.
1. Leadership comes first
Data-driven leadership, focussed on a defined set of priorities, is critical to business performance. That’s the word from more than 80 percent of the best-performing CEOs.
As expected, customer-related items were prioritised. More telling, though, was an emphasis on heightened employee engagement, with a sense of purpose and mission at its core.
Successful organisations recognise employees as their greatest assets. They invest in employee experience (EX), as well as in customer experience (CX).
According to an earlier IBM study, The Employee Experience Index, “Employee experience is positively associated with increased motivation and discretionary effort, and decreased turnover intentions.”
How is work turned into an engaging experience? By businesses responding to employees’ emotional, intellectual, physical and aspirational wants and needs – and that requires visionary leadership.
2. Technology is more than a tool
Successful businesses focus on a forward-looking and integrated approach to technology. They identify the development of tech infrastructure as a top priority and a building block capable of easily accommodating emerging technologies.
Individual industries have what’s called a “technology fingerprint”, a unique mix of technologies that deliver maximised performance in that particular industry.
The challenge is to understand how tech fits into the workflow – now and in the future – and to invest in a variety of solutions that, when paired together, deliver a differentiated business performance.
Which technologies are expected to drive results in the next few years? More than 70 percent of the best performing CEOs cited Artificial Intelligence (AI) as vital to growth, coupled with cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT).
3. Empowering employees is a must
The emergence of a hybrid workforce, consisting of both dispersed and in-situ employees, has accelerated due to the pandemic. Now, business leaders are actively planning for the challenges of the “anywhere workplace”. They’re setting up management structures to support and enable workers – wherever they are.
In addition to the challenge of a remote or distributed workforce, business leaders are prioritising the health and well-being of employees. The concept of “people over profit” is ubiquitous, with 97% of successful CEOs supporting a caring work environment.
The way organisations recruit, grow and retain critical skills is paramount for growth. It has been reshaped by current conditions.
The skills themselves are fundamental to success. Executives have cited industry-specific skills, technology skills, plus flexibility, agility and adaptability, as leading the charge in the pandemic economy.
4. Partnerships fuel open innovation
Companies weathering the COVID storm have aggressively pursued flexible partner networks. The number of partnerships is immaterial. It’s the value the partnerships bring to the enterprise that’s key.
In the words of one CEO, “Through partners and by building a relevant ecosystem, we can focus on the areas where we bring the best value and thus are able to accelerate outcomes.”
In essence, successful business partnerships are ones that “tap into ecosystems that amplify effectiveness”. It’s not about replicating what others do. It’s about being collaborative and enabling.
5. Cybersecurity provides a foundation
The top-performing companies rate cybersecurity as the highest-order priority. They recognise the role of AI in identifying and mitigating cyber threats.
The pursuit of digital security not only protects businesses from financial losses and reputational damage, it maintains trust.
The future of work is changing. It’s essential to adopt effective business strategies for success. At The Workspace, we offer affordable, fully serviced offices and coworking. It’s an environment that’s collaborative and enabling.