This is a basic question I keep asking our CEO clients and have done so for several decades. What keeps you awake at night?
It’s interesting to note that CEOs of medium to large companies (1000+ employees) are usually pre-occupied with finding solutions for the same 4 or 5 problems.
In 2017 the top five CEO problems were:
1. innovation and creating new customers
2. getting and keeping people engaged in their work
3. global uncertainty and the unexpected
4. shareholder returns and capital issues
5. building (not busting) trust.
These show a mix of the macro business environment which a CEO does not control, and company-specific challenges that require thoughtful CEO solutions with better strategic allocation of resources.
For our CEO clients we urge them to embrace lateral thinking. For finding real solutions of value to these five problems nothing on Earth is more powerful than lateral thinking.
Lateral thinking is critically important for the design of a safer and more productive future for their enterprise. But, the real problem for the future is that employees are mostly logical thinkers.