What do CEO’s care most about in 2011?

We recently conducted a survey among our own readers, experienced executive leaders, to learn more about their top business issues this year and how they intend to handle them. Read on for the results.

Historically, the number one goal of CEO’s is growth. In the most recent past of economic challenges, businesses have been successful at growing profit 10% while revenues have declined 6%. Some of that is a reflection of sustainable productivity improvements. Much of it is the result of short term agressive cost cutting that is not sustainable. In our survey we saw more balance as 47% of respondents cited growth as the number one issue for them THIS YEAR, while 40% said profit.

The majority of leaders (80%) feel comfortable addressing this issue within their own organization. It is no slam dunk but they think they know how to get it done. That being said, they intend to hire someone if they feel they have no internal expertise or if they fail in their attempt. Considering that only 1 of 4 growth initiatives generates ROI on average, unfortunately most do fail, without an experienced advisor with an objective mind frame.

When growth is the objective, survey respondents intend to develop a strategic plan. They also use strategic plans to generate clear accountabilities and get everyone on the same page–which leads to growth. This implies that 47% of you will be doing strategic plans this year. Most companies tend to do them in the fall as part of the budgeting process but those hoping to realize results THIS YEAR are likely getting started yesterday!!

So how do you go about choosing a trusted advisor to assist you with a high performance plan? The number one consideration is results–have they had successful outcomes with others, followed closely by experience–do they know what they are doing. When you hire also consider chemistry and tailored processes–the solution must be a fit to your needs. Interestingly, price was at the end of the list. A quality effort generates a significant impact on your business and a small range in pricing options becomes relatively irrelevant when you consider the ROI potential.

We would love for you to check out our experience and results. Margaret Reynolds is a Growth Catalyst. Happy Growth!

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