Future-proofing top priority for Australian corporate leaders: report

| September 2, 2019

Senior leaders in Australia’s biggest organisations have identified future planning and trend forecasting and investing in people as some of the top challenges facing them into 2020 and beyond, according to a new report released by Lighthouse Group.

Lighthouse Group’s inaugural Organisation Development Leadership Survey: Building Tomorrow’s Leaders Today. 2020 and Beyond took the pulse of Australian CEOs and senior leaders to give an insight into the state of organisation development to embolden leaders to identify opportunities in their own leadership development pathways.

The report surveyed these leaders on a range of issues related to leadership within their organisations, with all respondents occupying C Suite positions with companies of 200+ employees.

As businesses increasingly operate in a climate where advances and technology and industry disrupters have shaken up the business landscape, change– and the ability to embrace and adapt to it – has become the “new normal”.

According to Lighthouse Group’s Peter Nankervis, this is affecting senior leaders across different industries.

“The research shows that CEOs face major challenges and don’t know where their businesses will be in five years and are concerned they aren’t far enough along the digital transformation pathway,” Mr Nankervis said.

“The report found that 23% of leaders are concerned with where their industry will be in five years and how they need to shape strategies to prepare for this.

“Within this context, it is really interesting to see what senior leaders see as the key enablers. It was no surprise that Ownership and Accountability continue to be the number 1 mindset and behavior sought after by Senior Leaders.

The report found that recruiting the right people for the right jobs and investing in future leadership in companies were seen as being equally as important to an organisation’s longevity and ongoing success.

Other key findings include:

  • Growing talent and leaders within an organisation is the outcome that most motivated 23% of respondents to achieve in their own leadership roles.
  • Building a high-performing culture is seen as the most important strategic enabler to ensure future success within an organisation for 30 per cent of respondents.
  • Communications, customer acumen and strategic skillsets were seen as the most important to build within an organisation, with each being nominated by 30% of respondents.

Mr Nankervis said the results of the survey show that while leaders recognise there are challenges posed by technology, they also realise their people are still their most important assets.

“The good news is that many of the concerns voiced by the leaders who participated in the survey can be addressed by developing leadership strength across all levels of their organisations,” Mr Nankervis said.

“Businesses can and will succeed and thrive in a rapidly changing world by investing in leadership, developing strong internal cultures and having the right structures in place to navigate change,” he said.

View the full report.