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The Starting Gun Has Fired…

There will be CEOs who are winners and losers. What about you?

The sprint has begun. If you’re not moving, you’re already falling behind.

For CEOs, the time to act is now. Gen AI is on the brink of transforming every industry, every company, and every knowledge worker’s role – including yours, CEO.

Leaders with vision are already on their feet, ensuring their teams and themselves are versed in the essentials of Gen AI.

They recognize the seismic shifts in work, seeing Gen AI not as a threat but as an ally to boost productivity, improve decision-making and elevate the quality of work.

I’m not the only one who sees it this way. Consider these insights:

  • 99% of companies are boosting their Gen AI investments.
  • 97% anticipate Gen AI will transform their business within three to five years.
  • A 20% productivity pickup is expected by automating tasks with Gen AI, says Accenture.
  • According to McKinsey, Gen AI tops the list of CEO priorities in 2024.
  • PwC reports that 84% of leaders believe Gen AI will streamline employee efficiency in 2024.
  • Gartner predicts Gen AI will deliver a 15.7% cost savings and 24.7% boost in team productivity within 12 to 18 months.

The future will herald victors and vanquished. Neglecting Gen AI as a top priority spells defeat. Delaying, failing to properly train, allowing rivals to forge ahead. What’s the price you will pay if you sit on the sidelines?

Last week, I launched a Gen AI series for twenty-five CEOs. Executive AI Bootcamp is a hands-on dive into harnessing Gen AI for productivity, strategy formulation, team enhancement, and leading into the Gen AI era. Despite 80% starting as beginners, they’re on track to becoming Gen AI powerhouses. They recognize the necessity and the immense opportunity to lead through this transformative era.

What will your Gen AI narrative be? Victor or vanquished. Sitting out puts you in peril. What’s your next move?

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

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.

How Moderna’s CEO Stephane Bancel Stays Relevant and Thrives in a Hyper-Growth Environment

Can you name a company that has grown in revenue from $0 to $19 billion in one year? Here’s a hint: the biotechnology company that pioneered the messenger RNA (mRNA) COVID-19 vaccination – Moderna.

Founded in 2010, and led by CEO Stephane Bancel since 2011, Moderna is credited with one of the greatest discoveries of the past century, the Spikevax vaccine, which has found its way into the arms of hundreds of millions beginning in 2021. More than a one-product biotech firm, Bancel describes the company as having a “platform”, whose new way of making drugs can allow it to quickly pivot to deploy mRNA technology vaccinations and therapeutics to combat the most threatening viruses and diseases. Now with forty-eight different programs and with thirty-eight in active clinical trials, the company’s future is bright, with a market capitalization that surpasses many large pharmaceutical companies.

With the impact Moderna has experienced, over eight hundred million Moderna vaccine doses delivered in 2021 alone, it wouldn’t be a surprise to find the CEO enjoying the spoils of success. That’s not the case with CEO Stephane Bancel.

At the recent Wall Street Journal Health Forum in Boston, WSJ reporter and author of The Messenger: Moderna, the Vaccine, and the Business Gamble That Changed the World, Peter Loftus interviewed Bancel. My ears perked up when Bancel answered Loftus’ question about his unique challenges in the face of Moderna’s rapid transformation.

Loftus: “The company has changed so much in the last three years. It used to be a smaller biotech development stage. No products, a lot of people had never heard of Moderna. And now you’re a household name much bigger. What has it been like to go through that transformation? And what are some of the unique challenges you think that you’ve experienced there?”

Bancel: “I think it’s managing a company in a hyper-growth mode. You know, I worked at Eli Lilly, and I ran BioMerieux, two great companies, but neither was growing 50% a year. If you look at Moderna, as you say, actually, since the early years, we’ve grown 50% in headcount every year. This year, we started the year with around four thousand team members. We’re planning to hire two thousand people this year. So, it’s another 50%. Again, I know it’s not going to last forever, which is a good thing. But the thing that I have never done, and I think it’s, it’s the same for all of my colleagues, is ‘How do you keep reinventing your job all the time?’ Because as you can appreciate the job of a CEO at Moderna 12 years ago, when, you know, we literally had a couple of scientists and two million in the bank and only research is quite different than the job of CEO four years ago before COVID with 20 drugs in development and a public company, and running a manufacturing plant in Norwood to what it is today.”

“And so, I think it requires a lot of humility to, to really work with your boss, to work with your team. And to regularly kind of reinvent your job in terms of ‘What is the job of Moderna’s CEO today?’”

“What I do once a quarter is actually to kind of literally fire myself on a Sunday, where I try to think about where the company’s going. And I will literally write the job description of what I think the Moderna CEO must be today. And when I spent a couple hours comparing what the CEO must do today with what I’ve done in the last month or two. And I realized that some things I need to stop doing. Sometimes, it’s things I love to do that I just need to stop doing, because it’s not what the CEO of Moderna what needs to do. There are things I have not done yet that I need to start doing. Some things I must start, I don’t really like. It’s what the Moderna CEO needs to do. And so, it’s this constant reinvention that is really new. It took me quite some time to really get this as a muscle. Because again, I’ve never worked in a hyper-growth company before. That’s how to stay relevant.”

In my experience as a CEO coach, it isn’t uncommon to hear CEOs speak about the need for reinvention. Usually, it’s about how the company must reinvent to stay competitive. This perceived need has been highlighted with the findings of the recent PwC’s Annual Global CEO Survey where 40% of the CEO respondents think their company will no longer be economically viable a decade from now, if it continues on its current path.  Increasingly, reinventing the company is on the CEO’s agenda.

What is uncommon is to hear a CEO like Bancel acknowledge that reinvention must start with him. Reinvention is a must for all who work to stay relevant and thrive. If you are not CEO of your company, see yourself as CEO of your function, or of your role and your life. The purpose of reinventing your role is for you to not only feel more purpose and passion from your work, but to design your job in a way that creates massive value and impact for your stakeholders.

  • Given your current business state and your desired future state, what tasks must you stop and start doing as CEO?
  • How will you bring a greater sense of purpose to your work?
  • How will you make the time necessary to focus on your few vital functions that drive the greatest value?
  • Over the next twenty-four months, what relationships are most important for you to develop and nurture?
  • And what must you learn and how must you grow, so you stay relevant and thrive today and tomorrow?

These are questions every CEO – whether or not they are in a hyper-growth environment – should reflect on quarterly, as part of their on-going reinvention. How about you? If you are a CEO, are you reinventing every quarter? What are you doing to stay relevant and thrive?

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read or write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”

Alvin Toffler

For more on reinventing your role as a leader, check out Reinvent Your Impact: Unleashing Purpose, Passion and Productivity to Thrive

Reinvent Your Impact - Bestselling Book by Executive Coach Chuck Bolton

2023 Will Be a Challenging Year for C-Suite Level Executives in Transition

Executive hiring cooled by 14% in 2022 as compared to 2021, said Thrive, the software services firm that supports executive recruiters and talent professionals, in their recently released Executive Compensation & Hiring Benchmarks 2022. While a 14% percentage drop may not seem significant, Q4 executive hiring was down 43% compared to the first quarter of 2022.

Venture capital saw the sharpest decline in leadership hiring. Late-stage VC executive openings were down 57% in Q4. Private equity also saw a significant decline, decreasing 37% from Q1.

In both privately-held and publicly-traded companies, the number of open and completed executive search engagements has trended down. From 2021, executive search volume was down 20%.  Additionally, searches are taking 12% longer to complete.

As interest rates increased to combat inflation, areas of the market saw valuations plummet. As the economy cooled, companies pivoted from a focus on growth-at-all-cost to sustainable growth-creating demand contraction. There are three reasons for this contraction:

  1. A decrease in new business due to broad cost-cutting measures.
  2. Increase in churn due to companies going out of business.
  3. Seat contraction from layoffs and decreases in hiring.

Unfortunately for job seekers, these trends will likely continue in 2023.  When will leadership hiring pick up?

Answer: When we see broader macro-economic improvements.

For C-suite level leaders and other executives in transition, here are the key takeaways:

  • Expect it to be tougher and likely take longer to land your next role.
  • Fewer searches mean greater competition and that means searches will likely take longer to close, as hiring companies can afford to be choosier.
  • Executives in transition will need to up their games during their job searches.

How can you “up your game?”

If you are in transition or considering leaving your current role, are you crystal clear about your personal value proposition – how you deliver value as a leader? Do you have a crisp, compelling “Who I Am” story, so the people you meet can quickly get to know, like and trust you? As the majority of executive jobs are filled by networking, do you have a strong professional network? Are you continually expanding and nourishing your network?

If you answered no to any of these questions, you’ll likely pay a price during your job search. Is that a price you can afford to pay?

Why are Executive Leadership Teams Failing to Perform?

What Can Be Done?

If you are a CEO and you have lost confidence in the performance of your executive leadership team (top team), you are not alone.  According to a recent study, CEOs, top team members, and their direct reports have all lost confidence in the top team over the last eighteen months.

Results from the Leadership Confidence Index, released last month, shows the confidence leaders have in their top teams has dropped precipitously since mid-2021, falling 7.1%.

Developed by executive search and leadership advisory firm Russell Reynolds Associates, the Leadership Confidence Index captures the views of CEOs, C-suite level leaders, board directors and next generation leaders on their top team. Reflecting on the capability, the behavior and how they respond to key issues, leaders’ confidence in their top teams has trended downward of late.

Three key messages from this study:

  1. CEOs are concerned about their top team members abilities to 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 dynamics of a top team can make or break a company. Investors understand this and cite the quality of the top team as the single most important non-financial factor in evaluating a new IPO. When a top team works together with a common vision and supportive behaviors, the company is twice as likely to have above median financial performance. Yet most senior executives report their team is underperforming. How about you? On a scale of 1 to 10, how is your top team performing today and how should it be performing?

During the new normal as top teams are meeting regularly and in-person again, top teams need to raise their collective games to fulfill the needs of their stakeholders. The need for the top team to perform today and transform for tomorrow is particularly acute in this environment of economic headwinds.

If you are the CEO or a business unit president, consider the following:

  • Is your top team aligned strategically?
  • Is there a healthy working climate within your top team?
  • Do your team members trust one another?
  • Does your top team have the capability to successfully lead the company?
  • Is your top team embracing and leading change effectively?
  • Are your top team members growing, developing and reinventing individually and collectively?
  • Is your top team a positive role model for others within the company?
  • Is your top team transforming your business by embracing the opportunities of digital transformation and of ESG initiatives?
  • Does your top team have the necessary skills and mindsets to capture opportunities this year? In the future?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, you are not alone. High performing top teams don’t become high performing by accident – they are built and attended to continually. Your top team should create tremendous value and be a competitive advantage. If not, you’ve got a problem.

The good news is as CEO and leader of the team, you can dramatically lift your team’s performance by partnering with a top team coach. Your top team coach will listen to you and show you how to create clarity, increase capability and build commitment within your team.  Through a series of customized team advance sessions, conducted over several months, you can build a high-performing top team while your team works on your business.

During the team advance sessions, all team members get better – individually and collectively. In a relatively short time, with focused effort, they will perform at a higher-level running today’s business, while driving transformation and building the future to which you committed. A top team in which you and your stakeholders will be confident.

What’s the price you pay if your top team is not high performing? Is that a price you can afford? Transforming your current team into a powerfully performing top team, Optimizing Your Top Team, is key for your company to thrive in today’s complex world – a competitive advantage that cannot be duplicated.

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.