Executives on the C-suite are being forced to adjust strategies more often, and the global pandemic has amplified this need. Businesses want to self-disrupt before competitors disrupt them, and the executive group in charge of implementing strategy is expanding with new roles, such as Chief Growth Officer, Chief Transformation Officer and Chief Sustainability Officer.
At the same time, strategy now needs to focus on all stakeholders — not just shareholders. Competitors also need to be considered as potential partners in order to thrive in an uncertain future.
All of these forces are changing the way companies formulate and execute strategy. The new EY Realizing Strategy survey of 1,000 CEOs, CFOs and other C-suite executives on the future of strategy formulation shows how.
Among the key findings:
- 76% indicate that COVID-19 will impact, or even cause them to pivot, their organizations’ medium- to long-term strategy, and 12% say it will cause them to look to new sectors to succeed.
- 82% indicate that customers are as important as, or more important than, shareholders when formulating strategy, and 69% say the same for employees relative to shareholders.
- 67% believe that the biggest competitive threat in the next three years will come from a company outside their current sector.
- More than 80% who added the roles of Chief Growth Officer, Chief Transformation Officer or Chief Sustainability Officer in the last five years say that those positions substantially influence strategy.
Going forward, executives will likely need to understand the broader set of stakeholders that influence strategy, embrace an ecosystems and competitive landscape that is evolving rapidly, incorporate new C-suite roles that are now influencing strategy and rewire the organization to increase speed and agility to stay in tune with strategy changes.