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Are Boards Ready for the Next Crisis?

By Mark Athitakis for Associations Now

These are high times for high anxiety among leaders. Last week, many of them convened in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum (WEF), and the new PwC Global CEO Survey released there revealed a lot of pessimism in the C-suite.

For instance, nearly three-fourths of the CEOs surveyed anticipated a decline in growth in the coming year, and 39 percent were concerned that their businesses won’t be viable in a decade. Throw in some lingering supply-chain concerns and global conflicts, and it’s understandable why leaders feel unsteady.

Another new survey puts some numbers around the feeling: According to a new report from the Conference Board, fewer than half of global CEOs surveyed say they’re prepared to handle crises around a pandemic or cybersecurity, or for a stretch of financial instability.

Naturally, the reports have a few prescriptions for how organizations should respond to this state of affairs. WEF, for instance, uses the PwC report to recommend that leaders should rethink their company’s value proposition, developing “a willingness to answer the most elemental questions about a company, such as: ‘What unique value do we contribute in today’s world—and tomorrow’s?’” Both PwC and the Conference Board also stress the importance of retaining and developing talent, a sensible idea as the workforce remains unsettled.

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Image by kzd from Pixabay

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