CXO Perspectives: Leading Change Agendas

“The world is changing because of ChatGPT and generative AI…” one executive told us. “Every CIO or senior executive has AI on their meeting agendas.”

In our interviews with hundreds of C-suite leaders of Fortune 500 companies across different industries and roles this past year, we’ve repeatedly heard about the impacts of emerging technologies, the acceleration of disruption, and the need for businesses to respond. AI models are only one example. As these leaders recognize the crucial and increasing roles that digital and AI will play in their work, there is urgency to figure out how to infuse them into their business models. What will drive competitive advantage and deliver on the necessary change? Below are some consistent themes we are hearing:

CXOs are aligned on what needs to change.

While the way in which the themes manifest themselves in individual roles may differ, there is overall agreement on where change is needed:

  1. Become agile – There is a call for speed, flexibility, and agility both in how leaders build strategies and operate within their functions, and how the whole enterprise works, innovates, and goes to market.
  2. Be the disruptor  Enterprises must become disruptors to maintain and drive competitive advantage with customers.
  3. Use data-driven innovation – Data is a tremendous priority, and the volume of available data provides a critical base to unlock new market opportunities and ways to work.
  4. Deliver on customer-centric business models – The pressures of commoditization, consolidation, and cost cutting are requiring even the laggards to find a path to digital transformation and new business models. The customer experience is core, and business models should be reinvented to deliver on the customer experience.
  5. Develop collaborative ecosystems – Responding to digital transformation challenges requires more and potentially different types of collaboration than in the past, both internally and externally.

Leaders see early actions and innovative approaches but still an undefined path forward.

While transformation is a top priority and most leaders have begun to take action, few feel they have completely cracked the code.

Digital disruption will be an iterative process.

Our conversations also suggest that there is no finish line in sight. Instead, the era of digital disruption will be one of constant, iterative evolution.

Farland Group will continue to explore these themes in our interviews and Customer Advisory Board meetings to understand more about what CXOs are doing to respond and lead in the current and evolving era of digital disruption.

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