Uncertain economic growth (73 per cent), availability of key talent/skills (72 per cent), technological change (44 per cent), changes in consumer behaviour (39 per cent), and increased regulation (39 per cent) are the top threats to organisational health over the next 12-18 months, according to the H1 2023 Global Leadership Monitor by global leadership advisory firm Russell Reynolds Associates (RRA).
While a majority of leaders (55 per cent) believe their organisation is prepared to deal with these top five priorities, readiness to address external threats is mixed, with a significant proportion of leaders expressing concerns about their organisation's resilience.
"Organisational resilience - the ability to weather unpredictable challenges and emerge stronger from them - is needed now more than ever. Organisations no longer face one concern at a time. They must instead deal with multiple complex and intertwined issues. And just like the turn of a Rubik's cube, progress in one area can quickly undermine progress in another,” says RRA chief executive officer Constantine Alexandrakis.
The research found how future-forward leadership can significantly boost organisational resilience.
Overall, organisations that are most prepared for external business threats are twice as likely to be led by senior executives who possess three key traits.
- Enabling change and innovation: Visionary leaders who commit to inspirational goals, and create a culture of curiosity that allows the organisation to innovate and transform.
- Navigating uncertainty: Leaders who are agile and who can confidently navigate ambiguity, and make decisions without complete information.
- Creating value through others: Leaders who are able to motivate and empower others, and build coalitions of stakeholders across (and beyond) their organisation to tackle complex challenges.
"Our research makes clear the powerful link between future-forward leadership and organisational resilience. Great leadership is what will allow organisations to continue riding high in a volatile and uncertain world, so CEOs must not only reflect on their own capabilities, but also on those of the leadership team surrounding them,” said Alexandrakis.
The Global Leadership Monitor surveyed 452 CEOs and board leaders, as well as 452 C-suite leaders and 563 next-generation leaders (senior talent who sit one or two levels below the C-suite) across countries in the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific.