CEO on demand ,competitive analysis ,lean startup ,modern ceo ,strategic consulting ,

Troubles at the Top: Challenges Facing the Modern CEO

We dug, spoke, polled, and researched CEO concerns, and we unearthed a few nuggets on the biggest challenges facing CEOs of companies. CEOs have had a particularly tough year in 2017.  More CEOs were laid off, resigned, or fired last year than in any other year in over a decade.

According to the Wall Street Journal and Liberum’s research, 919 chief executives resigned, retired or got fired at publicly traded North American companies, the highest number in at least a decade.  What specifically keeps them up at night? What are some of the biggest strategic problems they face?
  • War for Top Talent:  If your company isn’t Google or Facebook, how do you attract the best and brightest talent? Oftentimes, the juiciest projects are actually handled by the C-suite at mid-level firms (unlike the Fortune 100 companies). It is even more mission critical to lure away or fight for the same talent that multi-billion dollar companies are eyeing.  When you have money and resources, it’s more feasible to offer competitive signing bonuses and stellar benefits.  What if you don’t? Then how do you attract the best talent?


  • Keeping Up with Technology: CEOs cited that evolving with the ever-increasing speed of technology has been a constant challenge. Big Data Analytics and Machine Learning were cited as two of the most sought-after technologies by clients of both enterprise and mid-sized companies.


  • Promoting a Strong Brand:  For many mid-sized companies and some enterprise level companies, the awareness and strength of a positive brand image is a key challenge for CEOs.  This also goes hand-in-hand with warring for top talent. The creme de la creme typically spend most of their careers with high profile companies before assuming C-suite positions in smaller companies


  • Competition from Lean Startups:  Established companies are accustomed to having a target on their backs, as the concept of competition is as old as time.  What has changed in the Millenium, however, is the advancing technology.  The pervasive nature, accessibility, and hyper-evolution of technology have been the ultimate game changers in enabling companies to go from zero to multimillions in a matter of 1 or 2 years.  Gone or the days where it almost always takes a decade to build an empire. The threat of a lean startup stealing market share faster than ever before is very real.

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