4 JUNE 2016 Consulting®
ShortTakes Trends, Views and Analysis
There’s optimism, and uncertainly, according to Deloitte’s Business Confidence Report
For the second year, Deloitte’s Business
Confidence Report reveals that America’s
top leaders, CXOs and CXOs-in-waiting—the latter including those who
are next in line to the C-suite—have a
very high level of confidence despite global
volatility. Results show 69 percent of CXOs
and 56 percent of CXOs-in-waiting feel
very confident they will outperform the
competition in the next year. However,
some doubts are emerging as executives,
particularly those just outside the C-suite,
struggle with how to transform their
businesses and disrupt their industries
in an unstable marketplace. Consulting
caught up with Janet Foutty, CEO and
Chairman of Deloitte Consulting to
discuss the survey results.
Consulting:What was your main takeaway
from this year’s survey?
Foutty: The fact that the confidence at the
CXO level is a little higher that they can
outperform the competition than it was just
a few years ago, but still almost half of them
are losing sleep over technology changes and
talent, which very closely matches what I’m
hearing from clients, So that shows me that
there’s a lot of discomfort, and perhaps opportunity, with that pace of change.
Consulting: There was quite a gap in the
perceptions of CXOs and CXOs in waiting...
Foutty: I think a lot of that comes down to
the difference in roles and the chairs they
currently sit in. As you get from the concep-
tual to the practical, we see big gaps. I think
we’re seeing that gap widen a bit due to an
uncertainly in the economy and uncertainty
in the marketplace.
Consulting: The survey indicates a lot of
market volatility and an increasing pace of
change. Is that just the new normal?
Foutty: I wish I had a crystal ball but having
lived through it leading our Technology Practice for a number of years, I can tell you I have
felt that way for a long time. When you think
of the pace of technology change, I don’t see
it slowing down any time soon. Which, by the
way, I think is fabulous from an innovation,
culture and talent opportunity. I think getting
comfortable with the uncomfortable is a key
attribute to how our leaders need to lead.
Consulting: Another interesting finding of
the survey is that nearly all CXOs in waiting
thought leadership would be the key factor
to success, but fewer than half feel they are
equipped to lead. Why is that?
Foutty: Yeah, isn’t that fascinating. I think
that was the part of the survey that caught
our collective attention the most. There’s
enormous opportunity for our clients to recognize that delta exists and the importance in
investing in leadership development. Firms
need to help leaders and future leaders build
that confidence. I see that reality in both the
survey and my client conversations.
Consulting: The overall confidence level went
up more than 10 percentage points. What
does that mean for clients and for Deloitte?
Foutty: I think it’s absolutely an indicator of
opportunity for both Deloitte and our clients.
When I go back to my opening comment on