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Top 10 Problems Facing C-Level Executives

Top 10 Problems Faced by Executives

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

  1. Global Economic Uncertainty: Dealing with economic fluctuations and political tensions on a global scale.
  2. Digital Transformation: Strategically adopting new technology such as AI and cloud computing.
  3. Cybersecurity Threats: Continuing to ‘own’ what is ‘ours,’ both in terms of content and the underlying supporting systems.
  4. Talent Management: Attracting, hiring, training and retaining employees in increasingly competitive markets.
  5. Sustainability and Climate Change: Investigating and instituting sustainable practices while providing only positive impacts in service of climate change.
  6. Supply Chain Resilience: Ensuring supply chain stability despite what is happening elsewhere in the world.
  7. Regulatory Compliance: Keeping up with demanding, complex regulations, particularly in the areas of finance and data security.
  8. [Customer | Patient | Consumer] Experience: Satisfaction amid ever-changing expectations.
  9. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Promoting and integrating DEI initiatives in corporate culture and practices.
  10. Healthcare and Employee Wellbeing: Addressing healthcare costs and promoting employee wellbeing.

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.

Outside Support

  • 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

Inside Support

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

So What?

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.

About Jeff Hayes

Jeff is an agile consultant, coach and trainer with a career spanning 30 years. He specializes in co-creating learning environments to help humans learn how to learn, become more curious and productive, and to build resilience.

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