As rapid technological advancements and an uncertain economy shape the business landscape, top US executives continue to have confidence in their organization’s ability to compete. However, this group also reports doubts on how to transform their businesses effectively for future success. The Deloitte Business Confidence Report 2016: The bold organization—innovate, lead, attract identified three core areas at the crossroads of transformation and confidence:
– Innovation and its relationship with technology
– The need for bold leadership
– The increasing pressure to find, develop, and keep the right talent
Innovation: The C-suite’s narrow approach
Business leaders continue to prioritize innovation. However, the survey revealed that businesses are not investing in solutions to overcome the top issues constraining innovation.
America’s top leaders—CXOs and CXOs-in-waiting (CXOWs)—agree on the top three innovation-focused barriers to growth:
1) The rapid pace at which technology changes
2) The need for new and different skills
3) The lack of investments in products or processes
Research from the report also found that, while executives are able to identify their top business challenges, they are less adept at prioritizing solutions to meet these challenges.
Talent “brain drain” looming
New technologies and new ways of working are creating a skills gap. Almost half of executives admit that the skills gap is a problem that isn’t being addressed at their companies and they are challenged to invest properly due to the speed at which technology and markets change.
A large majority of leaders (63% of CXOs and 80% of CXOWs) also feel that at least one third of their best managers will leave before joining the company’s top leadership. Companies must solve the issues driving “superstar” managers away by meeting their needs before they leave, specifically the desire to work for companies with advanced technology and innovation.
The bold leadership requirement
Nearly all executives agreed that bold leadership is required to transform challenges into opportunities for growth. However, in today’s business environment, most executives concede that their leaders do not consistently demonstrate all of the attributes of bold leadership.
Many executives also shared that their companies are not investing in cultivating and promoting bold leaders who exhibit these traits. Most companies do not emphasize bold leadership as they recruit, train, reward or compensate employees. However, bold leadership can be developed: Companies that regularly innovate and take risks are also working hard to develop tomorrow’s bold leaders.
The bottom line
Business confidence and bold action are requirements in today’s environment. This year’s survey stresses that risk taking and bold leadership, along with a more robust and comprehensive approach to innovation, can go a long way toward addressing talent gaps and achieving business priorities.
Read more about Deloitte’s perspective on workplace innovation here.
This article was produced by Deloitte and not by the Quartz editorial staff.