CEO’s nightmares

CEO’s nightmares

It is said that to be a CEO you need to have a different mindset. Some psychologists even say you need to have a lower empathy ability than the rest to be a CEO because you need to be able to fire someone without blinking an eye if you know that it is good for the company, even though you know it would destroy a family.

However, even CEOs have nightmares. They fear certain things. The best of them can create opportunities even from those things they are afraid of. A.T. Kearney’s recent survey gave me insight into what those things are. 

Global executives expect economic and financial volatility to be higher over the next 12 months than it was in the past year, according to the 2017 report “Views from the C-Suite” published by A.T. Kearney’s Global Business Policy Council. Volatility is perceived as yielding both positive and negative prospects. One-third of global C-suite executives surveyed identify a stronger macroeconomic environment as a top external opportunity this year.

Global executives express concerns about a variety of political risks. The unstable geopolitical environment is the top challenge executives expect to face in the external environment this year. Some 36 percent of global executives indicate that unstable geopolitical dynamics are a central challenge, including refugee/migration crises, armed conflict, terrorism, piracy and crime. 

For the second consecutive year, the C-suite survey maintained a focus on the role of technology. Executives see technology as their biggest operational focus over the next 12 months. The top operational challenge for the global C-suite is rising cybersecurity risk, with 43 percent of executives pointing to this as a key concern. Some 85 percent of global executives believe that cyber-attacks will become more frequent and costly over the next year. And while 33 percent of those surveyed view technology adoption as a top challenge, 38 percent see it as a top opportunity. In addition, 78 percent of executives believe technological advancements will lead to increased global productivity growth in the next year. 

 “The degree to which technology and political risk dominate this year’s results is striking. Technology continues to represent both opportunities and challenges,” says Erik Peterson, managing director of the Global Business Policy Council and co-author of the study. “At the same time, global executives are paying more attention to government actions and identifying risks stemming from geopolitical tensions and domestic regulatory and tax policy changes.”

Some 69 percent of global C-suite executives reported that government policies have a greater influence on their companies’ overall decision making than they did in the past few years.

So technological issues and governance are what give CEOs their nightmares about the future. It also means that the countries that can solve technological advancements issues, that can provide a more secure ITC environment with a stable political atmosphere will rank better when these CEOs will decide whether to invest in a country or not. These are good points to think about for our policy makers, as foreign direct investment to Turkey is at its lowest since a decade.