Posts

The Future is Now: Training is Critical to Navigate the Gen AI World

CEOs Must Get Trained to Chart Their Company’s Gen AI Path

At the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos earlier this month, several major consulting firms highlighted the promise of Generative AI. The key takeaway: Embrace Gen AI now or risk obsolescence! Selected findings:

  • 99% of companies plan to increase investments in Gen AI. – Accenture
  • 97% believe that Gen AI will transform their business over the next 3 to 5 years. – Accenture
  • 49% of CEOs say Gen AI will create new revenue streams in the next 3 years. – PwC
  • 44% of working hours are ripe for AI-augmentation or automation. – Accenture
  • Executives launching Gen AI in 12 to 18 months expect 15.7% cost savings and 24.7% productivity improvements. – Gartner
  • Headcount reductions from Gen AI implementation are projected to be 3.8% in 2024, 6.1% in 2025 and 8.2% in 2026. – Gartner

The message is clear: Gen AI adoption is accelerating. However, most employees feel unprepared:

  • 61% of workers will need retraining by 2027. – World Economic Forum
  • 60% of white-collar workers fear jobs loss from Gen AI. – Oliver Wyman
  • 57% report insufficient Gen Ai training from their employer. – Oliver Wyman
  • 57% are overwhelmed about integrating AI into their roles. – edX

So what’s a forward-thinking CEO to do? Get trained on Gen AI yourself first. Discover firsthand how it augments productivity, strategy and creativity. See how it enhances decision-making and saves time. Then, get your top team trained on real-world AI applications.

With you and your top team AI-enabled, have informed discussions about your Gen AI ambition. Where’s the potential? What possibilities exist? How can AI augment strategies and create better futures? What work is off-limits to Gen AI? What new skills are needed? How will you reskill your people?

The Executive AI Bootcamp starting February 1 is an excellent first step for CEOs. Check it out. If you are a CEO, and desire to lean into an AI-powered future, join us.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dO9x8yyyMeE

The Winds of Change are Blowing

Develop Your Gen AI Strategy Now or Risk Falling Behind

Generative AI is the most important technological development in our lifetime. This is the year when businesses must harness the power of Gen AI or risk obsolescence.

The writing is on the wall. The recent EY CEO Outlook finds 62% of CEOs see an urgent need to leverage Gen AI to remain competitive, yet 61% find initiating this shift challenging. Meanwhile, McKinsey identifies Gen AI adoption as the #1 priority for CEOs in 2024. The time for action is now.

Gen AI is more than a passing fad. 97% of executives in a recent Accenture survey believe it will essentially reshape their business within three to five years. Early adopters are already realizing tremendous value, with expectations of 15.7% cost savings and 24.7% productivity gains in the first 12-18 months.

Yet, most CEOs I talk to don’t have a Gen AI ambition or vision. Most companies are still woefully unprepared. A Gartner survey found only 9% of CIOs have an AI strategy in place, with over one-third lacking any plans to formulate one. This lack of strategic vision leaves the door wide open for savvier competitors.

The future of your business depends on getting smart on Gen AI’s potential quickly. You must set the ambition and the vision of how your business can be optimized, accelerate performance and transform, augmented by Gen AI, and equip your top team with the knowledge and capabilities to use Gen AI in their personal workflows and identify company-wide high-impact use cases.

I coach and train CEOs and their top teams, to assist them in becoming more productive, creative and strategic, using Gen AI as their co-pilot. This Thursday, I am kicking off Executive AI Bootcamp: 30 Days to Reinvent Your Leadership, for a select group of 25 CEOs who are committed to embracing Gen AI now and in the future. I have three open spots for CEOs who are energized and committed to discovering Gen AI’s possibilities. Message me if you are interested and, if selected, the benefit you seek to receive from this free training.

Don’t get left out in cold as the winds of change blow past you. It’s time to move to future proof your leadership. Optimize your business for the age of AI. The time to start is now.

Here’s Why Smart CEOs are Embracing Gen AI

Twelve months after the launch of generative AI large language model ChatGPT, one thing is certain. Gen AI has been widely accepted and adopted, being the on-ramp for tens of millions who seek an intelligent partner who can generate and synthesize text, code, audio, video and images. Think of it as a smart teammate who can brainstorm ideas, interact with customers and complete tasks.

As 2023 has been the year when gen AI went mainstream with individuals, 2024 will be the year when business follows. Over the next year, smart CEOs who have not yet discovered the powers of gen AI will adopt and implement AI solutions to boost productivity and increase profitability. Getting trained and incorporating gen AI into individual and company-wide workflows will move from novelty to necessity.

If you have not discovered the superpowers of gen AI, it is imperative to move quickly. This is no time for taking a “wait and see” attitude or to sit on the fence. If you need more facts and projections about the torrential growth and enormous opportunity of AI, consider the following:

Unprecedented global growth. AI is projected to contribute over $15 trillion to the global economy by 2030. Source: PWC Global 2023 Artificial Intelligence Study

Capture a competitive advantage. The AI investment forecast will approach $200 billion globally by 2025. Source: Goldman Sachs

Opportunities for early movers. 82% say AI may provide new attack strategies for adversaries. Source: KPMG 2023 CEO Outlook

Enormous productivity potential. $4.4 trillion is the potential productivity gain from AI. Source: McKinsey

Top investment priority. 70% of CEOs report generative AI is their top investment priority.  Source: KPMG 2023 CEO Outlook

Boards desire AI acceleration. 66% of board members want to accelerate the adoption of AI. Source: IBM

Quantity and quality of knowledge worker productivity rises substantially. AI increases knowledge worker productivity by 66% and work quality by 40% on certain tasks. Source: HBS and BCG.

 Leaders fear being unprepared for AI. 81% of executives say learning AI is mandatory. 79% fear being unprepared without it. Source: 2023 edX AI Survey

 Learning and applying AI tools will soon be mandatory. 77%s of executives say AI skills will become more important over the next two years. Source: 2023 edX AI Survey

Saves time. In IT, a 55% increase in productivity when generating code. In marketing and sales, an 80% reduction in time to marketing copy drafts. In customer service, a 75% potential reduction in volume of human-serviced contacts. Source: McKinsey

It’s getting better. The gen AI models are far from perfect, but they are improving rapidly. AI is either “good” or “excellent at 70% of managerial skills. Smart managers will use AI to make better decisions and improve their performance. Source: Indeed.

Widespread workforce retraining is required. 61% of workers will require retraining by 2027. Source: WEF Future of Jobs report

Everyone needs a smart teammate. AI is a smart, tireless teammate. 91% of executives would like AI to support them. 81% are excited to learn AI skills and apply them to their job. 75% hope many aspects of their jobs can be augmented by AI. Source: 2023 edX AI Survey

Still skeptical? The 2023 edX AI survey, taken by over thirteen hundred CEOs and C-suite leaders, found that 47% of the respondents believed “most” or “all” of the CEO role should be completely automated or replaced by AI – and 49% of the CEOs agreed!

The advent of gen AI marks a pivotal moment in technological evolution, and there’s no turning back. For CEOs, achieving proficiency in gen AI is not just beneficial, it’s imperative. This new era demands a transformation of the CEO’s role, leveraging AI to future-proof their leadership and pave the way for others.

Understanding and utilizing gen AI to enhance decision-making is the first step. Once mastered, it opens doors to vast improvements in business operations, and the development of innovative AI-augmented to products and services. The potential of gen AI extends to elevating your productivity, creativity and strategic thinking. To stay in the game and thrive, it’s time to get going on your AI journey.

 

GenAI and Medtech CEOs: What I’ve Learned

To Thrive in An AI-World, Leaders Must Master New Skills to Be More Productive, Creative and Strategic 

It’s been one year today since ChatGPT launched and brought generative AI into the mainstream. In just five days, over one million people tried ChatGPT – it took Twitter two years to hit that milestone. And in 2023, terms like “artificial intelligence,” “generative AI,” and “AI” are ubiquitous in business publications.

ChatGPT and other large language models (LLMs) allow us to write a prompt and see GenAI’s superpowers at work within seconds. It excels at generating and synthetizing text, video, audio, images and code. It’s also exceptional at brainstorming and generating ideas, completing tasks and interacting. However, it’s not perfect. It’s quirky and sometimes provides wrong answers.

Is this GenAI hype or the real deal? The jury is still out, but the quality of the LLMs is improving rapidly.  CEOs are jumping on board – mentions of AI on S&P 500 earnings calls have tripled compared to last year according to Bloomberg. And CEOs are putting their money where their mouths are. The investments and projections are staggering:

  • AI investments could approach $200 billion globally by 2025 (Goldman Sachs).
  • AI could contribute over $15 trillion to the global economy by 2030 (PwC).
  • AI productivity gains could reach $4.4 trillion (McKinsey).

In the medtech and healthtech sectors, moving to the “AI class” is vital.  2023 has been challenging – EY projects anemic 0.4% revenue growth versus the modest 3.5% growth last year. Slow growth and shrinking margins make productivity gains imperative. Meanwhile, AI in healthcare is projected to have an 85% CAGR through 2027 – faster than any other industry – and becoming a $22 billion market (BCG).

While medtech has been slow to adopt AI, firms that embrace it can optimize productivity, accelerate revenue and transform their businesses with new innovative AI-augmented products and services.

Productivity starts at home. An HBS/BCG study showed AI boosts knowledge worker productivity 66% on certain tasks. The productivity gains apply to executives, too. Yet, in my discussions with CEOs and senior leaders, most executives admit they don’t use AI in their daily work. They know “AI” as a term but haven’t realized its potential. That is a risky position. While AI may not take your job, someone who knows and uses AI soon will. When I ask these leaders if they would like to learn how ChatGPT, Claude and other AI-based tools can save them time, make them more creative and improve decisions, I get an overwhelming “Yes!”

Yesterday, I gave a CEO client a ninety-minute abbreviated version of the AI for Executive Productivity workshop. First, we identified the work he does that requires both brain and brawn. His list of “use cases” included:

  • Preparing the board deck and prepping for the board meeting.
  • Preparing for important meetings with key customers and investors. Gaining updated news about their companies, thinking of ideas to build rapport, questions to ask, questions to anticipate.
  • Writing the monthly letter to all employees
  • Preparing, writing and sending emails
  • Analyzing the monthly financial reports
  • Analyzing and summarizing industry financial reports such as proxy statements, annual reports, S-1s and 10Ks.
  • Reading and summarizing analyst and industry specific reports.
  • Preparing for sales calls.
  • Preparing for and rehearsing difficult conversations.
  • Writing performance reviews.

One-by-one, we took each of his use cases and he discovered first-hand how gen AI can help with a first draft or complete each of these tasks as an assistant, a strategist or a creator.  In ninety minutes, we just skimmed the surface, but he was amazed and sees the potential. Hours and hours of drudge work will be saved each month. Imagine if you and your team was AI-fluent and applied it daily. What would that be worth?

The takeaway is clear: AI is here to stay and rapidly improving. Leaders who don’t skill up on AI’s potential will struggle to remain competitive and become obsolete.  Medtech firms that fail to adopt it will be left behind. Make this your personal strategic imperative. Make AI your teammate to augment your daily work routine. The time to start is now – because an AI-powered future is closer than it appears!

Executive Teams Continue to Flounder Post-Pandemic: Here’s What CEOs Need to Do

Four actions every CEO must take to shape their top team into a cohesive, high-performing unit.

Good CEOs create top leadership teams by selecting the best executives they can find. Great CEOs differentiate themselves by shaping a high performing top team that operates cohesively. But cohesive teamwork is on the decline the past three years.

According to DDI’s CEO Leadership Report 2023, CEOs don’t believe their top team is on the same page. Since the pandemic, more than two-thirds of CEOs say their executive team is ineffective at driving strategy. This problem is seen by other senior and mid-level leaders and creates a lack of confidence in the CEO and top team. Top teams may have high performing individuals, but still not work cohesively if CEOs don’t shape positive team dynamics and create consensus on the company’s top priorities.

The DDI findings are consistent with the results reported earlier this year from the Leadership Confidence Index, which showed the confidence CEOs have in their top teams has dropped precipitously since mid-2021, falling 7.1%.

Three key messages from these findings:

  1. CEOs are concerned about their top team members abilities to drive strategy, transform and reinvent the business.
  2. Top team members are concerned how they work collectively as a team, how they lead change, and how they role model a positive culture.
  3. The next-generation leaders (those who report into top team members) have the lowest levels of confidence about top teams, creating potential retention and succession risks.

It doesn’t have to be this way.  Great CEOs are obsessed with the psychology and performance of their top teams. They care about the dynamics of the team and how the team works together. They know a high performing top team can be a huge value creation lever.

The four actions smart CEOs can take to build a value creating top team are:

  1. Focus on the roles, then the team.
  2. Create clarity.
  3. Shape the team’s dynamics.
  4. Build a team to perform and transform.

Fail to focus on developing your team and you will experience mediocrity. Excellent performing top teams don’t get there by accident. Get these four actions right and you will shape a group of talented senior executives into a cohesive, capable and committed top team that creates great value.

Three Costly Mistakes CEOs Make with Their Top Teams

The confidence level CEOs have in their top executive teams dropped 7.1% the past eighteen months, as reported by the Leadership Confidence Index. This news is alarming, given the prediction of declining growth in 2023 by CEOs surveyed. In this challenging economic environment, CEOs, top teams and their companies must embrace a laser-like focus on creating and sustaining a competitive advantage.

One of the most important tasks for the CEO is to build a top team that can be relied on. Yet, few CEOs believe their top leadership team is performing as it must. The top team should be the CEO’s biggest lever for value creation. However, many CEOs make three costly mistakes that diminish team performance.  Remedy these three mistakes and you will be on your way to shaping and leading a top team that delivers.

Mistake #1 – Failure to Create Clarity

The old expression, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there”, holds true in business. If you aren’t crystal clear about where you are headed, and if your team isn’t aligned and focused on that destination, the execution of your goals simply won’t happen. Reaching your desired future state is impossible without clarity.

The Harvard Business Review article, No One Knows Your Strategy – Not Even Your Top Leaders, reported that in an analysis of 124 companies, only 28% of executives responsible for executing strategy could list three of their company’s key objectives. A study by Bain showed that 60% of employees don’t have any idea what the goals of their company are. They are wandering around, investing effort in ways that don’t contribute to the company’s focus.

How about your team? Have you and your top team defined your company’s place in the world and its purpose? Is everyone clear about your company’s purpose, vision, and key objectives? It’s doubtful.

A recipe for creating clarity is constructing a value creation blueprint with your top team. The value creation blueprint is a working document that identifies your vital growth initiatives and the “who, what, where, when, and how” the company will achieve full potential in a two to three-year timeframe. Grounded in the company’s purpose, mission, vision and values, the value creation blueprint becomes the living document, broadly shared and updated frequently, to create an aligned, mobilized and results-oriented mindset across your business.

Mistake #2 – Failure to Shape Positive Team Dynamics

Team dynamics is how your team works together. Many chief executives underestimate the criticality of positive team dynamics and overestimate the current state of their team’s dynamics. The Leadership Confidence Index findings reported that both top team members and their CEOs are concerned about how they work collectively, how they lead change and how they role model a positive culture.  Confidence in leadership team behavior declined 8% in one year.

Great CEOs are obsessed with the psychology and performance of their top teams. They know the dynamics of a top team can make or break a company. Investors understand this, too, as they believe the quality of the top team is the single most important non-financial factor in evaluating a new IPO. When a top team works together with a shared vision and supportive behaviors, the company is twice as likely to have above median financial performance.

How about your team? On a scale of 1 to 10, how is your team performing today and how should it be performing?

The best CEOs invest time, energy and money in building the capability and shaping the dynamics of their teams. That means getting to know one another and learning personal histories. Understanding what makes others tick. Strengthening connections. Discovering how to seek, give and receive feedback continuously, in a supportive way. Encouraging candor and rich debates of differing views before making enterprise-wide decisions. Appreciating that diversity in terms of backgrounds, ethnicity, sex, and ways of thinking leads to better solutions. Take these actions and build a top team that moves faster, innovates more readily and collaborates more effectively to get things done. You will likely need outside assistance to optimize the dynamics of your top team.

Mistake #3: Failure to Perform and Transform

It’s not good enough for the team to focus only on today’s business performance.  The team also needs to be focused on transforming the business for tomorrow. You must win today’s race while running tomorrow’s race, too.

The clear message for CEOs and their teams is they must reimagine and reinvent their businesses. To reinvent their business while navigating current operating challenges, CEOs need the help of their C-suite leaders, middle managers and other team members alike. They need to reimagine a company with a bolder value proposition that achieves a more ambitious purpose in the future.

But how can leaders transform the business, reinvent their company, when they haven’t yet reinvented how they lead?  To reinvent as a leader is to consciously transform how you operate, connect and lead, so you stay relevant, energized and create maximum value.

The CEO of Moderna, the biotech firm that pioneered the messenger RNA (mRNA) COVID-19 vaccination, Stephane Bancel, says the reinvention of Moderna must start with him. Every quarter, he takes the time to reinvent how he approaches his job – to recraft his role as CEO. What he needs to start and stop doing. The vital functions and key responsibilities that only he, as CEO, must perform.

Bancel reflects on how to bring an even greater sense of purpose to his work. On the relationships he must develop and nurture. And on what he must learn and how he must grow to stay current and thrive.

Are you, and your top team members, reinventing how you lead, like Bancel? Are you recrafting your roles to create maximum value, while you elevate the contribution of the next generation of leaders?

Forty percent of global CEOs think their company will no longer be viable in ten years’ time, if it continues on its current course, reported the PwC’s 26th Annual CEO Survey. With 75% of respondents believing growth will decline in 2023, most CEOs feel it is critically important for them to reinvent their businesses for the future.

CEOs and their top teams need to perform while simultaneously focusing on how to transform. PwC’s CEO study revealed chief executives spend 53% of their time driving current operating performance and only 47% thinking about the future today. The respondents believed 43% of their time should be focused on the current state while 57% should be invested on evolving the business and its strategy to meet future demands.

To transform, C-suite leaders must engage and empower others. They must use more of the visionary and coaching styles of leadership to lift others to execute today’s business, so they can place a greater emphasis on the transformation of the business.  They will need to continuously recraft their roles and reinvent their impact so they stay relevant and thrive.

Summary

It’s time for CEOs to double down on optimizing their top teams. Overcome these three costly mistakes and invest the energy, time and resources towards building a top team that creates a valuable enterprise. That’s a competitive advantage that can’t be duplicated. Failing to do so will put the company, and you, in a perilous position.

Creating clarity, shaping positive dynamics, and reinventing top team members’ contributions and roles, while reimagining the business for the future, are the steps towards high performance and value creation.

Top Reports for Healthcare CEOs in 2023

Informative Resources for Executives to Create Massive Value

For the first time in person since 2020, the 41st annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference is taking place January 9-12, in San Francisco. Over 8,000 attendees representing 550 healthcare companies have gathered for the premier conference, widely considered to be the largest and most informative healthcare investment symposium in the industry. It connects global industry leaders, emerging fast-growth companies, innovative technology creators and members of the investment community.

With hundreds of CEOs meeting face-to-face for the first time in three years, the networking and insights shared this week are a welcome return to the past.  With the higher cost of capital, a focus on tightening the balance sheet, geopolitical concerns, and other factors, we are in an era that requires innovation and value creation. Every healthcare company CEO needs all the resources, connections, expertise and insights they can get to help their company win.

As a CEO executive coach working exclusively in the healthcare sector, I’m asked daily by my clients and others for connections, information, and updates about what’s new in our industry. Since work obligations made it impossible to attend live and converse with colleagues at this year’s event, here’s a list of the most useful reports for healthtech sector CEOs (and other leaders) from the past year I’m recommending.

The selected CEO content comes from research conducted by EY, CB Insights, Accenture, Pitchbook, SVB, McKinsey, KPMG and more, with a short description of the report and a link for quick access. Addressing topics like disruptive technologies, digital health, the future of healthcare, the growing role of private equity, the strategies of the biggest players, these reports share valuable insights. Which forces are transforming the healthtech industry? Which trends deserve the most attention? Which innovations are likely to disrupt? You’ll find the answers within this baker’s dozen list of informative free reports. As you review the material, even in choppy economic waters, you will see there is still a tremendous opportunity for healthtech companies to grow and become more valuable.

Pulse of the Industry Report 2022: In today’s disruptive healthcare environment, how will medtech transform? – EY

To gain deeper insights on where medtech has been and where it’s headed, download the full annual Pulse of the Industry medical technology report. There you will find original perspectives on how medtech can rethink innovation to address new challenges and opportunities in commercial models, supply chain and talent management. https://tinyurl.com/5n8ysx2t

Digital Health and Medtech: New Signals for Transformation – Accenture

Globally, healthcare is experiencing increasing pressure and disruption, from affordability challenges to shifting patient expectations. Care is expanding from hospitals to ambulatory and at-home care, but the industry remains at the beginning stages of having the capabilities to meet this shift. Medtech must find an approach that reflects and benefits from the speed of transformation now enabled by digital innovation. Five trends that can help medtech companies mature and scale their capabilities to thrive in this new paradigm of digital health are shared. https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insights/life-sciences/rise-digital-health

The Future of Healthtech 2022 – SVB

Dramatic shifts over the past year indicate that a market rebalancing is underway, with investments and valuations lowering from 2021’s boom. However, the healthcare industry is more resilient during periods of downturn and remains ripe for innovation.

https://www.svb.com/trends-insights/reports/healthtech-trends-report

2022 State of VC, PE & M&A: Health Tech – Axios Pro

What forces are transforming the healthtech industry right now? Which trends deserve the most attention? Which firms are making the biggest impact on VC, PE and M&A? This report answers those questions. https://www.axios.com/pro/venture-capital-private-equity-manda

Private Markets Rally to New Heights – McKinsey Global Private Markets Review 2022

This annual review of private market investing shares research on industry dynamics and performance. Private markets bounced back last year, despite a new set of risks with a war, higher inflation and interest rates, supply chain and labor challenges. Private equity continued to drive global growth. Private equity fundraising ‘winners’ do so by growing their flagships and raising more frequently. https://tinyurl.com/5yc627u7

US Private Equity Breakdown 2022 – Pitchbook

After a busy start to the year, US private equity dealmakers are finally feeling the bite of higher interest rates, with activity in Q3 collectively slowing across M&A, growth equity and recap deals by more than 20% year-over-year. Yet what may seem like a dramatic decline could also be considered a reset. Far from being a new normal, 2021’s blistering pace of activity was an aberration, making the “old normal” of the pre-pandemic years a better comparison for private equity, according to this report. https://pitchbook.com/news/reports/q3-2022-us-pe-breakdown

Book of Strategy Maps – CB Insights

This 67-page coffee table book of strategy maps shines a light on the strategies behind some of the world’s most important companies – from JNJ, to CVS Health, to Optum.

https://www.cbinsights.com/research/report/book-of-strategy-maps/

2023 US Venture Capital Outlook – Pitchbook

With 2022 coming to an end, many investors are happy to turn the corner on a year that saw crypto ride a remarkable rollercoaster and VC firms clutching their pearls. 2023 is shaping up to be an even more stress-inducing ride for investors, according to this outlook. But while analysts predict some downward movement, there is of course always some upside—if you know where to look. https://pitchbook.com/news/reports/q4-2022-pitchbook-analyst-note-2023-us-venture-capital-outlook

H12022 Digital Health Review – Fletcher Spaght

The report contains details on revenue performance, investments and exits (M&A, IPO).

https://www.fletcherspaght.com/post/h1-2022-digital-health-review

Trust Barometer Global Report 2022 – Edelman

The report is published in January and covers a range of timely and important societal indicators of trust among business, media, government and NGOs, shaping conversation and setting the agenda for the year ahead. https://tinyurl.com/2s4z9kpk

Book of Market Maps – The CB Insights

The reports consist of 31 pages about healthcare companies that are navigating the marketplace. Fascinating and comprehensive. https://www.cbinsights.com/research/report/book-of-market-maps/

2022 Year in Review Images – McKinsey

Reflecting on the past year sheds light on pivotal moments and forges the path toward a resilient future. The past year has been anything but ordinary. The unnerving combination of war, inflation, energy scarcity, and climate change wasn’t what anyone expected as life was just beginning to move forward from the COVID-19 pandemic. 2022 has also proven to be a year of resilience. McKinsey designers put a lens on the images that helped bring our insights to life, and their selections are telling.

https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/2022-year-in-review/2022-the-year-in-images

CEO Outlook: Growth Strategies in Turbulent Times – KPMG

Tested by enormous challenges in quick succession — a global pandemic, inflationary pressures and geopolitical tensions — it’s encouraging that CEOs, surveyed in the 2022 CEO Outlook, were confident in their companies’ resilience and relatively optimistic in their own growth prospects. The 2022 CEO Outlook draws on the perspectives of 1,325 global CEOs across 11 markets to provide insight into their 3-year outlook on the business and economic landscapes. https://tinyurl.com/5n8mnvba

CEO 2022 Study: Own Your Impact: Practical Pathways to Transformational Sustainability – IBM

The IBM Institute for Business Value, along with Oxford Economics, interviewed 3,000 CEOs from 40+ countries and 28 industries as part of this series. These conversations focused on executives’ perspectives on leadership and business; their changing roles and responsibilities; and sustainability, including how they are addressing challenges, what they see as opportunities and visions for the future. https://www.ibm.com/downloads/cas/6NJEKDD8

For additional CEO resources for 2023, see The CEO’s List of “Must Have” Tools for 2023: The Best New Studies, Books, Articles, Apps and Resources for CEOs Who Seek To Create Value in an Uncertain World.

Sometimes it is the smallest insight that can have the biggest returns. When CEOs are equipped with the right insight, at the right time, they make better decisions and all stakeholders benefit. Invest some time reviewing this excellent content to help you lift your game. To become the exceptional, value-creating CEO you are meant to be.

 

The CEO’s List of “Must Have” Tools for 2023

The Best New Studies, Books, Articles, Apps and Resources for CEOs who Seek to Create Value in an Uncertain World

In today’s turbulent business world, CEOs need all the help they can get to navigate the treacherous waters. Despite the supply chain, inflation and great resignation challenges, the job of every CEO remains to create great value sustainably. To create value, every CEO (and aspiring CEO) needs to learn, grow and get better. This year’s list of the best new tools for CEOs is sure to provide any leader with many insights and ideas for how to elevate their game in their value creation quest.

Here’s the 2023 list.

What Matters Most? Six Priorities for CEOs in Turbulent Times by Homayoun Hatami and Liz Hilton Segel. This McKinsey & Company article and report shares six priorities that are featured prominently on CEO agendas worldwide in late 2022, and the moves leaders are taking to shore up defenses and gain ground on rivals.  https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/strategy-and-corporate-finance/our-insights/what-matters-most-six-priorities-for-ceos-in-turbulent-times

Leading Through Inflation: A Playbook by Ram Charan. This well-known advisor to boards and CEOs created an exclusive primer with Chief Executive to help leaders plan for this new inflationary environment. In this uncertain time, this article is relevant to every CEO and board member who seeks to help their company survive – and possibly thrive – in this new era of rising inflation.  https://chiefexecutive.net/inflationplaybook/

Your CEO Check Up This free, confidential, self-assessment measures your current performance on the six key CEO responsibilities and the mindsets and practices that underpin them. Whether you are an aspiring CEO, a new CEO or have been a CEO for many years, Your CEO Check Up will give you insights that will help you create greater value in your role. https://yourceocheckup.com

Women in the Workplace 2022: The State of Women in Corporate America by McKinsey & Company. Women are demanding more from work and they’re leaving companies in unprecedented numbers to get it.  If companies don’t act, they won’t just lose their female leaders; they risk losing the next generation of women leaders.  https://womenintheworkplace.com 

The Last Mile to the Top: Future CEOs Who Beat the Odds and What Research Reveals About the Four Most Common CEO Steppingstones by SpencerStuart. An aspiring CEO’s “last mile” role is the final opportunity to address areas that could handicap performance as CEOs. What are the areas to unlock performance for each of the four primary steppingstones to CEO? This article identifies specific opportunities to unleash potential by building new skills and mindsets for aspiring CEOs. https://www.spencerstuart.com/research-and-insight/future-ceos-who-beat-the-odds

How CEOs Can Make Diversity and Inclusion a Priority by Dan Hawkins. This Forbes article builds the case for a more diverse team, the bottom-line impact of diversity, equity and inclusion practices, and provides guidance for CEOs who need to accelerate their DEI efforts.  There is a link to the insightful report Diversity Wins: How Inclusion Matters, for those CEOs who seek to dive deeper.  https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2022/07/13/how-ceos-can-make-diversity-and-inclusion-a-priority/?sh=d9e2119279a6

CEO Excellence: The Six Mindsets that Distinguish the Best Leaders from The Rest by Carolyn Dewar, Scott Keller, Vikram Malhotra. Today’s CEOs must navigate far more than the traditional running of the business. What a CEO does matters – a lot. Why is CEO excellence so elusive? Based on the findings from a massive research project of publicly traded companies, this book identifies what the most successful leaders really do in their role as CEOs. A must read for any CEO who seeks to stay ahead of the competition.  https://books.google.com/books/about/CEO_EXCELLENCE.html?id=Ssq2zgEACAAJ

Be The CEO Who Gives Gifts and Thanks CEOs and leaders who give gifts of admiration and recognition to their colleagues lift the commitment, trust levels and performance of their top team members.  A straight-forward process is described that can be applied by any CEO to elevate the contribution and commitment of top team members.  Investing in building bonds and tighter relationships creates a strong foundation for top team and company performance.  https://theboltongroup.com/be-the-ceo-who-gives-gifts-and-thanks/

Your CEO Resource Guide What specific actions can you take to elevate your performance as CEO? Your CEO Resource Guide shares the insights to make you and your company better. The CEO Cheat Sheet for Creating Massive Value shares fifty-seven value-creating practices that can be deployed across the six unique CEO responsibilities. A useful tool, also, for aspiring CEOs, who are preparing for the top job. https://yourceoresourceguide.com

The Unicorn Within: How Companies Can Create Game-Changing Ventures at Startup Speed by Linda K. Yates. This excellent “how to” book shows large company executives how to beat startups at their own game – to build a pipeline and portfolio of new ventures to drive meaningful growth. Newly released, discover the teachable, repeatable and scalable method to venture creation.  https://www.theunicornwithin.com

Re-Culturing: Design Your Company Culture to Connect with Strategy and Purpose for Lasting Success by Melissa Daimler. Whether you’re launching a startup, running a global firm, or shifting to a hybrid work setting, it’s up to you and your senior leaders to craft the culture you need that drives long-term business success. “Re-Culturing” is the continuous act of redesigning and reconnecting behaviors, processes, and practices to each other and to the organizational system. Just as a company’s strategy evolves, so too should a company’s culture evolve. You will discover how to “disintegrate” what no longer serves the company and “remake” your culture – the key to navigating this next evolution of work. https://www.melissadaimler.com/reculturing-book/

Calm Renewing one’s physical, mental, spiritual and emotional energy is a must for any busy CEO. Calm is a user-friendly app for sleep and meditation, designed to lower stress and anxiety. There are free courses on the topics of sleep, anxiety and focus that provide a good sense of all the meditations offered. It is widely recognized as the #1 app in the meditation space. https://www.calm.com

When the CEO gets better, everyone around them gets better. Check out each of these “must have” CEO tools, try them on and become a better CEO in 2023. So you can become the exceptional, value-creating leader you are meant to be.  All your stakeholders will be grateful.

Be the CEO Who Gives Gifts and Thanks

During the past two weeks, the business news has been dominated by tech companies that are laying off staff. Meta laid off 11,000 employees or 13% of their workforce. Twitter terminated the employment of 3,700, nearly 50% of its staff.  A long list of other companies followed. Intel, Snap, Robinhood, Stripe, Salesforce, Lyft, Microsoft, Shopify, Netflix, HP and Coinbase rounded out the list of companies laying off 10% or more of their team members.

The news of layoffs in the tech sector strikes fear in the markets and in those outside of the industry, too.  Meanwhile, unemployment remains at or near an all-time low. Most businesses are not laying people off but doing their best to meet the needs of employees and customers. Many CEOs are projecting an economic bounce back and predict 2023 will return to a more normal year. Outside of the tech sector, where most Americans work, is where the good stuff in our economy is happening, although it is rarely mentioned in the news.

One of my CEO clients in the medical device sector brought his top leadership team together last week to discuss their 2023 plans. Since he was hired just over a year ago, four of his eight direct reports are new to the company. Aware his team of leaders have been working hard learning the business, managing their responsibilities and building their credibility, he took them off-site for a few days to plan for the upcoming year and to recognize their contributions. It is a lonely journey most leaders walk, saddled with multiple demands and high expectations, yet rarely do they receive positive support and affirmation. He decided to change that.

His desire for his new team is not just to develop and execute the strategy, but to get to know one another better and build trust as they work together to create a great company.

During the last working session of the day, everyone wrote on a sheet of paper the name of each team member. Then they wrote three gifts each person brought to their work. These were not technical skills or work competencies; they were personal qualities demonstrated by the individual. At the bottom of the sheet, they wrote what they would miss if that person was no longer on the team.

Ten minutes later, each person received seven pages of their gifts as perceived by their teammates. They took a few minutes to each read their gifts silently, then they shared what they heard with the full team.

After each individual shared “What I heard”, their colleagues elaborated on the gifts and unique qualities that person brought to their work, sharing examples and a story or two.  Many smiles were shared. After everyone took their turn, to take it a step further, they reflected on what they heard, what they saw as their own special gifts and wrote and shared their unique gift statement.

Here is a sample of the gift statements shared:

  • I use my gift of enthusiasm, joy and a positive attitude, to lift people up, encourage and support others, to see the bright side and find a silver lining.
  • I use my passion and ability to connect with others, to create an environment that creates an opportunity for people to achieve excellence and enjoy the experience that leads to results.
  • My gift is passion and care for people. I use my gift to serve others, to increase confidence, so they can achieve increased fulfillment and impact in their lives.
  • I use my gift of a deep caring for people – to engage, support, serve and impact others – helping them elevate.

As they exited, the CEO thanked each team member for their willingness to lean in and work together. He said, “You’ve now landed on your unique gift statement, the uniqueness that no one else in the world brings. What makes you special. Let’s now bring our gifts to all the opportunities and situations that come our way.”

What do you think the collective mood of the team was walking out of the room that afternoon?

One team member stated, “I’ve never been through a process like this, giving and getting gifts from your colleagues and leader. I’ve worked with some companies for many years and never heard what others thought my gifts were. I feel tighter with this team already than the other teams I have been part of.”

Another said, “While it was at first a little uncomfortable to be recognized by my peers and boss in such a way, I am grateful you appreciate me for who I am. I am so happy to be part of this team and company. You make it safe and motivating. Thank you for your encouragement and letting me be me.”

As they wrapped up, high fives, smiles, thank yous and hugs were abundant. An uplifting and affirming afternoon. The team was tighter, more supportive and trusting at the close of their meeting.  Each person felt accepted, encouraged and inspired.

Is the collective emotional state of your top team, CEO, like this team’s? Do you invest in building relationships, trust and commitment?  If not, why not? What’s the price you’ll pay if you aren’t the CEO who gives your team gifts and thanks?

Intentionally building relationships, trust and commitment secures the foundation from which you build and grow your company. The bonds and tight relationships serve as the cement that holds the blocks of the foundation – the people, strategies, goals, products, execution and results – together. A small investment in time and effort can yield a tremendous return on investment.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving and the holiday season, won’t you be the CEO who is grateful for your team and gives gifts and thanks?

CEO Panel Discussion at The Medtech Conference

How Medtech CEOs Are Falling Short – On Purpose!

After two long years, Advamed’s annual MedTech Conference took place in Boston last week. Over two thousand executives, entrepreneurs and medical device professionals gathered to share ideas, learn, network and connect for three days.  The importance of a company’s purpose – the overarching guiding principle for why the firm exists – was raised many times by the CEOs who took part in panels and presentations.

Purpose was cited repeatedly in response to questions about how to encourage their people to accept change, how to motivate and inspire, how to recruit and retain the best, and avoid losing top talent due to the Great Resignation. In the three panel discussions I attended and recorded, purpose was mentioned twelve times during the Leadership in Times of Change session, nine times in the EY Pulse of the Industry panel and seven times during the Top Trends Shaping the Medtech Industry.

CEO Panel Discussion at The Medtech Conference

Jim Welch – EY
Ashley McEvoy – JNJ MedTech
Geoff Martha – Medtronic
Gary Guthart – Intuitive

The gist of the CEO responses is the medtech industry has a “built in” purpose, or as one CEO described, an “Uber purpose”, due to the life enhancing nature of the sector’s work.  In other words, people employed in medtech should be motivated because the work they do improves lives worldwide. One CEO of a company that treats cardiovascular disease, said his company was unlike companies that make “toaster ovens”, which presumably have a less important purpose for existence. Another CEO remarked, “We’re not making and selling baked beans, what we do matters to patients around the world.” Every CEO stated their businesses operate in accordance with a shared company purpose.

Panel Discussion at The Medtech Conference 2022

Ashley McEvoy – JNJ Medtech
Mike Minogue – Abiomed
Barry Rosenberg – Boston Consulting Group

From my own early career experiences at Baxter and Boston Scientific, I agree working at a medical device company that operates by a shared purpose statement can be motivating. But that alone is insufficient. Purpose doesn’t stop with only the company purpose statement. While it is admirable these CEOs embrace purpose statements and purposeful work, that’s the beginning of the purpose journey. It’s only table stakes.

After their panel appearances, I asked a few of the CEOs if they helped their team members discover their own personal purposes. I received the “deer in the headlights” look in response. They apparently aren’t encouraging their people to discover and operate with a sense of personal purpose. By failing to do so, these medtech CEOs are falling short – on purpose! They aren’t embracing purpose-driven leadership.

What is purpose-driven leadership? For starters, it is leading and making decisions in a way that is consistent with the company’s purpose and values. But that’s not all. It’s believing that every person craves meaning in their lives. It’s understanding that every person has a personal purpose – even if they haven’t yet defined it. Purpose-driven leaders know their personal purpose. They live by their personal purpose as they carry out the company’s purpose. The two purposes are not in conflict. They openly share their personal purpose with others when asked. They teach and encourage others to find their unique purposes, too.

Why should leaders teach and encourage others to seek their unique personal purpose, when the company already has a purpose statement? Because they know that a personal purpose is the overarching principle that gives your life meaning.  It’s a forward-pointing arrow, that gives you clarity and helps you get out of bed in the morning. A personal purpose must serve a bigger cause than just yourself. The company purpose isn’t a personal purpose. You can be fired, quit or retire from the company’s purpose, but once defined, you’ll never quit your personal purpose.

Panel Discussion at The MedTech Conference

Nana Mohtashami – Russell Reynolds
Jim Hollingshead – Insulet
Bronwyn Brophy – Thermo Fisher Scientific
Quentin Blackford – iRhythm Technologies
Deepak Nath – Smith & Nephew

With personal purpose defined, purpose-driven leaders help their team members apply that purpose in a way that meshes with the company’s overarching purpose. Encouraging team members to create and live by their personal purposes is important for three reasons:

First, all medtech companies share an identical purpose. Each one is worded slightly differently, but it’s a version of, “We exist to enhance (or save) the lives of patients through _________ (pick a buzzword: innovation, technology, medical procedure, global, etc.)”

Don’t believe me? The company purpose statements of the CEOs on the panels are listed below. Throw the purpose statements of these companies in a hat (Abiomed, Insulet, Intuitive, iRhythm, Johnson and Johnson Medtech, Medtronic, Smith & Nephew, Thermo Fisher Scientific) pull them out, and match them to the respective company. I bet you can’t do it. There is nothing that distinguishes one from the other. (The correct matchups are at the bottom of this post.)

  • To enable our customers to enjoy simplicity, freedom, and healthier lives through innovative technology.
  • A leading provider of groundbreaking medical technology that provides circulatory and oxygenation support.
  • Helping people get back to what matters most.
  • We unleash diverse healthcare expertise, purposeful technology, and a passion for people totransform the future of medical intervention and empower everyone to live their best life possible.
  • To enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer.
  • To contribute to human welfare by application of biomedical engineering in the research, design, manufacture, and sale of instruments or appliances that alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life.

Secondly, since we agree medtech company purpose statements are virtually identical, the company’s purpose statement can’t make the critical difference in the employee experience. What makes the critical difference then? A direct manager who is purpose-driven and coaches others to become their best. The direct manager creates upwards of 70% of the working climate a team member experiences. Many companies intentionally create a desired macro-culture for the company, but there are many micro-cultures within the firm that create very different employee experiences.

Gallup has reported that 70% of leaders don’t know their personal purpose. A study published in Harvard Business Review reported that fewer than 20% of leaders have a strong sense of their individual purpose. That number is likely even higher in the general population. If I’m a prospective employee, I need to know my manager’s personal purpose. Is the manager purpose-driven? How do they mesh their personal purpose under the company purpose? If my manager doesn’t have a personal purpose, why in the world would I want to work under that person?  I’ll take the managers who know their personal purpose and embrace the company’s purpose – while coaching and encouraging others to do the same – all day long.

Third, people who operate by their personal purpose in sync with the company’s purpose are your passionate value creators. They take great care of your clients. They are your “A” players. They are clear about their gifts, their purpose, their values and they know how to apply them in support of your company’s mission of enhancing and saving lives worldwide.

If it is true that fewer than 20% of employees operate with a defined personal purpose, as CEO, how can I expect them to take great care of our customers, perform at a high level, create great value, and grow and stay with the firm? If I’m not helping them define their purpose, and showing them how to thrive at our company, won’t they vulnerable to being poached by more insightful companies and leaders who are purpose-driven – and can help them discover and live by their individual purpose? Here’s how you can help others discover their purpose.

My invitation to medtech CEOs is to embrace purpose at both the company and individual levels. It’s your job to be a great value creator and make an enormous impact. You are the role models for purpose-driven leadership. Harnessing purpose in all your team members – and connecting it to the company purpose – is a critical step forward in creating great value for all your stakeholders.

“I apply my knowledge of the purpose of my life every day. It’s the single most useful thing I’ve ever learned.”Clayton Christensen, late professor at Harvard Business School and bestselling author

Company Purpose Statements

  • To enable our customers to enjoy simplicity, freedom, and healthier lives through innovative technology. Insulet
  • A leading provider of groundbreaking medical technology that provides circulatory and oxygenation support.Abiomed
  • Helping people get back to what matters most. Intuitive
  • We unleash diverse healthcare expertise, purposeful technology, and a passion for people totransform the future of medical intervention and empower everyone to live their best life possible. Johnson and Johnson MedTech
  • To enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer. Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • To contribute to human welfare by application of biomedical engineering in the research, design, manufacture, and sale of instruments or appliances that alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life. Smith & Nephew