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The Alchemy of Leadership Blog

Future-proofing the CEO

Report Cover DF Copy 2

How should today’s CEOs prepare themselves for the challenges they may encounter tomorrow? This is a question we asked 66 CEOs, Chairs and HR Directors from a range of quoted and large private organisations. Our aim is to understand the internal and external factors that are changing the way businesses function and how leaders can help their organisations both survive and thrive in an unpredictable environment.

We asked these leaders what they thought were the key drivers of change. Contributors listed a number of influencers while highlighting that CEOs will need to be prepared to make decisions faster than ever before to stay ahead of agile competitors in a fast-paced environment.

Patrick Macdonald co-founded the School for CEOs, with David Sole OBE, to help organisations prepare individuals for senior leadership positions and strengthen their succession pipeline. He is an experienced CEO himself: “The research really brings home just how complex and fast moving is the range of issues the modern CEO has to deal with. Tomorrow’s CEO is going to have to work even harder and move even faster to keep ahead of the curve.”

David Sole OBE, an experienced leadership coach, added: “it is important that the CEO maintains a broad perspective, and doesn’t get bogged down in the detail – that’s why they build a strong team to support them. Horizon-scanning and preparing for future challenges is just as important as the here and now.”

Further insights into the report will be discussed at the launch of the research, hosted by PwC on 1st November. The evening event benefits from the insight of three of our contributors: Rob Woodward, CEO at STV plc; Crawford Gillies, Chairman at Control Risks International Ltd and Non-executive director at Standard Life plc and Barclays plc; and Rosemary McGinness, Group HR Director at William Grant & Sons Limited. Our panellists bring diverse perspectives from a variety of sectors within both public listed and privately owned companies.

We are very grateful to PwC for hosting the event, and our panellists for their support. Should you be interested to learn more about the research and the launch event, contact

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