On board: Do you have the right people in your C-Suite?


While the CEO acts as the figurehead and leader of the company, they rely on a team of intelligent and business savvy professionals to oversee each part of the organisation.

For professionals looking to make their way to the board in 2016, it pays to look into the expectations of the CEO, the market and the overall external environment.

What are the key areas for the C-Suite to focus on?

A recent report from IBM Global Business Services highlighted the key challenges that many members of the C-Suite are currently facing.

Many big firms could be disrupted by smaller companies

Overall, the most common trend that members named was industry convergence. The capabilities of a company are rapidly expanding while the barriers to entry to markets are decreasing or becoming easier to overcome. As a result, many big firms could be disrupted by smaller companies, so it is important for bigger businesses to remain vigilant.

Another major area of focus was the growing use of mobile workforces, particularly for CIOs. In this group, over 50 per cent of professionals were interested in seeing how this factor will play out in the next wave of trends.

Stepping up in the HR department

Over the course of the last few years, the expectations of HR staff have increased significantly and CEOs now look to the top level of management for support in achieving corporate-wide outcomes.

According to a report from the University of Reading, CEOs expect their HR leaders to perform their day-to-day tasks autonomously while still acting as a “corporate director”, dealing with bigger issues such as ROI and sustainability.

Utilising software such as workflow automation tools can be an effective way to ensure the HR department has the time to contribute to long-term planning and reporting to the CEO.

HR leaders will have a more strategic role to play.

CIOs have a changing role

In a January 21 CIO Perspectives presentation, Partner at executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles Kay Fuhrman explained that the profile and expectations of a CIO are rapidly changing.

“[The profile of a CIO is] certainly a technical leader, but one who has great context across the business and may have had a mix of experiences in consulting, in operations and really has taken an active role to build relationships with the business and create business partnerships,” she said.

These professionals will need to collaborate more closely with the leaders of other departments. This cross-communication between departments will be vital in collectively solving the future challenges facing a company.

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