Walking Through the Emerging Role of CEOs in the Digitized World

The successful implementation of the role of CEOs is crucial for enterprise success

COVID-19 has created a massive humanitarian challenge: millions ill and hundreds of thousands of lives lost; soaring unemployment rates in the world’s most robust economies; food banks stretched beyond capacity; governments straining to deliver critical services. The pandemic is also a challenge for businesses and their CEOs unlike any they have ever faced, forcing an abrupt dislocation of how employees work, how customers behave, how supply chains function, and even what ultimately constitutes business performance.

Chief executive officers were coping with unprecedented demands and forced to make decisions about uncharted territory, from the relatively sudden shutdown of the global economy and employee layoffs to remote work policies and vaccine mandates. And on top of navigating health crises, civil unrest, supply chain volatility, and shifting economic policies, executive leaders must provide direction, encouragement, and reassurance to an understandably uncertain workforce.

In the previous generation, it was often easy and enough for CEOs to manage the company and the employees. If the business executed well, the CEO would be rewarded. But now things have changed. 

Today, businesses are accountable to an increasing number of stakeholders, and everyone from employees to board members is looking to CEOs for a clearer sense of not just where they’re going, but why. That means all the CEOs need to communicate their vision to stakeholders and convince them that they are on the right path. Just as importantly, they need to communicate their companies’ values and have to back them up with measurable and verifiable action.

The CEO is responsible for the overall success of a business entity or other organization and for making top-level managerial decisions. They may ask for input on major decisions, but they are the ultimate authority in making final decisions. 

The organizations CEOs oversee today are more complex and unwieldy. Businesses are operating in an environment of sustained uncertainty and intense competition, and face higher expectations from employees, shareholders, and other stakeholders. All of this has many wondering whether new models or approaches to CEO leadership are in order. 

Recognizing the limits of traditional management structures and styles to respond to complex challenges, some CEOs are embracing leadership models that spread responsibility and accountability for the business to a broader group of executives. What is seen emerging is a movement toward “shared leadership” management models, which is defined as organizations that place the CEO at the center of a circle rather than atop a pyramid.

Almost every company wants to transform in some way. Some companies call it digital transformation, others call it digital evolution, others call it, simply, change. But getting there requires a well-thought-out digital strategy and executive leadership alignment including CEOs and their boards. Ideally, CEOs are the lead evangelists in driving their companies’ transformations by effectively developing strategies as well as communicating the plan, vision and key priorities with data-driven insights.

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Analytics Insight

Analytics Insight is an influential platform dedicated to insights, trends, and opinions from the world of data-driven technologies. It monitors developments, recognition, and achievements made by Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Analytics companies across the globe.

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