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GLOBAL STUDY REVEALS MOST TOP EXECUTIVES FEAR BEING OVERWHELMED BY CHANGE

CORPORATIONS LACK LEADERSHIP SKILLS TO ADDRESS CONVERGENCE OF NEW
AND EXISTING BUSINESS MODELS
 
GLOBAL STUDY REVEALS MOST TOP EXECUTIVES FEAR BEING OVERWHELMED BY CHANGE
 
More than two-thirds of corporate executives fear their leadership being overwhelmed by complex challenges as whole industries are transformed by the demands of the digital age in a trend towards convergence.
 
The main drivers are changes in customer expectations and technological innovation, according to a new international study by Egon Zehnder International, a leading privately-owned global search firm.
 
Whilst three out of four top executives are witnessing convergence in their industry, nearly two-thirds believe their companies lack sufficient leadership skills to cope.
 
Convergence is affecting a whole range of industries, from car manufacturing moving towards clean fuels and electric cars to healthcare, where the advent of personalised medicine promises to transform patient care. Change is most evident in the technology and telecoms industries, where products as well as corporate structures are converging, whilst traditional industries like energy and engineering are being transformed by new technology.
 
"Convergence is resulting in corporations developing ultra demanding leadership profiles for executives who can manage change and looking globally for the leaders that fit this profile," said Damien O'Brien, CEO, Egon Zehnder International.
 
The pressure on corporate executives has spiked substantially and leaders are required to possess skills and competencies that were once thought of as impossible to find in one individual. For example, leaders today are increasingly required to have a range of skills and competencies, from being vigorous and persistent to being culturally sensitive. As a result, an intensified war for talent is taking place across industry - and geographic - borders.
 
Convergence is taking all sorts of businesses into areas where theyre interacting directly with consumers often for the first time and you can measure everything, said Dom Loehnis, a consultant specialising in convergence at Egon Zehnder International in London. This raises real challenges as organisations have to build new capabilities and often new structures. Marketing, for instance has been qualitative and long-term in approach, whilst digital marketing is instantaneously quantitative and analytical and experienced executives who can straddle both worlds are extremely rare.
 
The biggest challenges we see are for the leaders of established businesses making a transition from the old to a new business model, Mr Loehnis continued. "Every legacy business finds it hard to cope with convergence because of cannibalisation issues and the challenge of developing new skills and mindsets.
 
The study queried 515 top executives from multinational corporations, as well as small and medium-sized businesses in countries across the globe, including: Denmark, France, UK, Germany, India, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.S.

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