At any given point in time corporate executives are mired in the problems and opportunities of modern day business. For executives in Fortune 500 companies, the following list represents the top 10 problems they have to deal with:
The Top 10 Problems
- Global Economic Uncertainty: Dealing with economic fluctuations and political tensions on a global scale.
- World Bank: The impact of monetary and fiscal policy uncertainty on the global economy
- International Monetary Fund: Global Economic Uncertainty Remains Elevated, Weighing on Growth
- Digital Transformation: Strategically adopting new technology such as AI and cloud computing.
- ZDNET: 5 technologies that will transform enterprises, according to Gartner
- International Data Corporation: IDC FutureScape: The Digital Business Era Has Arrived, Augmented by GenAI
- Cybersecurity Threats: Continuing to ‘own’ what is ‘ours,’ both in terms of content and the underlying supporting systems.
- National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence: Data Security
- Federal Trade Commission: Data Security
- Homeland Security: Cybersecurity
- Varonis: 161 Cybersecurity Statistics and Trends [updated 2023]
- Talent Management: Attracting, hiring, training and retaining employees in increasingly competitive markets.
- Deloitte: Managing the extended and connected workforce: A framework for orchestrating workforce ecosystems
- Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM): Skills-Based Hiring Requires Commitment to Change
- Sustainability and Climate Change: Investigating and instituting sustainable practices while providing only positive impacts in service of climate change.
- Supply Chain Resilience: Ensuring supply chain stability despite what is happening elsewhere in the world.
- Supply Chain Management Review: The importance of supply chain resiliency in a post-pandemic world
- Gartner: Reinventing a future-forward supply chain
- LinkedIn: Supply Chain Resilience
- Regulatory Compliance: Keeping up with demanding, complex regulations, particularly in the areas of finance and data security.
- [Customer | Patient | Consumer] Experience: Satisfaction amid ever-changing expectations.
- Qualtrics: What’s the difference between CX and UX?
- NIH National Center for Biotechnology Information: Understanding the customer experience in human-computer interaction: a systematic literature review
- Harvard Business Review: 3 Core Principles of Digital Customer Experience
- McKinsey Digital: Service industries can fuel growth by making digital customer experiences a priority
- Zendesk: What is digital engagement? + Customer engagement strategies
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Promoting and integrating DEI initiatives in corporate culture and practices.
- McKinsey & Company: Diversity matters even more: The case for holistic impact
- Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM): The Role of DE&I in a Strong Company Culture
- Triple Pundit: Want a Better Company Culture? Make More Space for DEI
- Healthcare and Employee Wellbeing: Addressing healthcare costs and promoting employee wellbeing.
- World Health Organization: Health and Well-Being
- McKinsey Health Institute: Employee Health and Well-being
- Centers For Disease Control and Prevention: Workplace Health Model
- Deloitte Insights: Employee health contributes to organizational health
- Johns Hopkins School of Public Health: More than Health Benefits and a Fitness Room
Addressing the Problems
What kind of support is needed to address these problems? Think in terms of inside support versus outside support. Smaller organizations may not have the resources to develop, for example, an internal global think tank, a highly diverse technology division, or subject matter experts on climate impacts.
- Organizations in highly competitive markets require up-to-date, reliable information as the competition shifts and the geopolitical landscape evolves. → Suppliers provide geopolitical updates and market updates.
- Technological prowess gives organizations the ability to be proactive in understanding and adopting newer technologies and a greater capacity for addressing every other problem listed above. → Suppliers provide technological trend reports, capabilities, installations and support.
- Effective cybersecurity practices require up-to-date knowledge of threats and solutions for mitigation. → Suppliers provide alerts, mitigation protocols and even specialized hosting, depending upon the needs of the organization.
- …and so forth
Regardless of the size of an organization, certain functions and responsibilities cannot be offloaded to outside suppliers. For example,
- Employee retention is the responsibility of every individual who works for the organization and not merely business line managers and the higher-ups. Note that this is only possible in organizations where the culture includes a sense of overall purpose and where psychological safety is “built into” the culture.
What Do These Problems Have in Common?
They are all much more readily understood and acted upon by agile teams in organizations that are on an agile journey. Agile organizations recognize the benefits of living the agile ways of working, such as…
- Incremental solutions are the norm (small experiments beget masterful solutions)
- Improved flexibility
- Shorter term visible benefits with longer term market share
- Higher overall performance in teams
- Delighted customers
- Greater transparency
- Sustainable collaboration
Despite the source of an organization’s supports, be they inside or outside, much greater value is gained by continuing the agile journey on the inside AND by insisting that all outside support providers also employ agile ways of working, up and down the value chain.