A survey of CEO priorities and strategies in 2013 shows that CEOs globally are focusing internally, on factors within their control, rather than on the external business environment as they deal with a slow-growth world economy.
Globally, CEOs are preoccupied with optimizing performance, with human capital ranking as the top challenge overall. In Canada and the U.S., human capital ranks as the third and fifth challenge, respectively. For Canadian CEOs, the top two priorities are operations and customers, while their U.S. counterparts list operations and regulations.
Strategies to address the challenges differ among economies, except for those relating to human capital, where the focus is on employees rather than managers. For Canadian CEOs, priority strategies emphasize efficiency, productivity, and innovation. Interestingly, these CEOs are planning to spend more individual time with key stakeholders—customers, employees, and regulators—and appear to be adopting a “small business owner” approach to management.