There is a gap between business growth and the ability to drive a significant long-term shift in areas such as transforming customer and employee experience and on critical matters such as talent acquisition and technology deployment, Verizon Business commissioned a survey of 600 global C-suite executives.
The survey shows that many businesses are now facing a sense of strategic uncertainty. 66% of respondents said the pandemic exposed flaws in strategy, while 60% said that they struggle to act decisively in response to new market opportunities.
Data also revealed that post-pandemic, 72% of business leaders feel better equipped to make quick decisions, 72% think strategically about long-term objectives, 75% adopt new technologies, and develop more understanding and trustful relationships with customers (71%) and employees (69%).
The growing gap between intent and execution
More than half of the leaders surveyed underlined the increasing role played by leadership teams in technology adoption over the past 12 months, with cyber security services (78%), data analytics software and tools (75%), and cloud enablement (74%) among the top technology focus.
However, the report specifies a disconnect between intent and execution. For example, enhancing customer experience is the top strategic priority (74%). However, only a third (38%) say they have accelerated data analytics to improve customer experience, with even fewer harnessing automation to serve customers better. In tandem, the report also stresses a lack of digital skills (33%) as the most common gap facing companies.
Accelerating into the future
Companies face a potent cocktail of challenges, from changing customer behaviors to technology-driven market disruption and the imperative for sustainability; the study goes on to suggest how business leaders can steer their business into the future:
- Navigate a clear path through a deeply uncertain business environment
- Understand the importance of building resilience and giving change through partnerships
- Unite the workforce with a clear objective
- Drive innovation through experiment and fear-free risk-taking
- Unlock the possibility of the whole workforce through inclusive cultures.
Sampath Sowmyanarayan, Chief Executive Officer for Verizon Business Group, said, “The big lesson we’ve learned over the last few years is that there’s not a single right way to lead, build a culture or execute a strategy. This is why we also see many organizations attempting to adopt a ‘bias to yes’ as a guiding principle. They are increasingly giving employees the freedom to challenge the status quo and openly ask questions such as why a deployment may take so long, or why can’t their business deliver on their customer needs.”