Business leaders harness uncertainty for growth

10 May 2016

If today’s global business environment were to be characterized by a single word, that word would be uncertainty. Business leaders face an increasingly complicated and shifting landscape. On top of traditional challenges, companies are dealing with greater competition from established and emerging markets, complex legislative rules, geo-political unrest, and technological advancements that are altering delivery systems, empowering a more demanding consumer base, and creating conditions for cyber attacks.

In PwC’s 19th Annual Global CEO Survey, 67% of the participating CEOs told us they believe there are more threats to business today than there were three years ago. In fact, the level of worry is higher today than at any point in the past five years.

Aligning Risk with Strategy

In the face of this tumultuous landscape, the instinct might be to hold steady and wait for the storm to subside. But seven years on from the global financial crisis, the business landscape still hasn’t really returned to what it was. The uncertainty we see today may well be the new normal. Thus, the ability to make strategic decisions in volatile conditions has become a business imperative. Doing so swiftly and leveraging risk in this environment will be the defining factors for long-term growth.



Author and futurist Jamais Cascio asserts that, “Resilience is all about being able to overcome the unexpected. Sustainability is about survival. The goal of resilience is to thrive.” Achieving resilience and thriving in this complex global market demands a robust risk identification and assessment framework. Smart leaders are re-evaluating how they measure total success and applying this knowledge to their risks approaches. In this way, they are aligning risk with their business strategy and the strategy with performance.

Embracing uncertainty

Our CEO survey revealed a small group—14%—of CEOs are “very confident” of their growth prospects even amid the growing threats to business today. They see the risks mounting but they’ve taken the steps needed to position their companies to grow. These CEOs—we call them opportunists—embrace uncertainty and share a focus on the larger vision of their businesses. They recognize that their organization’s approach to risk must be viewed through the broader lens of its mission and vision. As a result, they express less concern about stock market volatility than the average CEO and take a more long-range view of profitability goals.

These businesses, as we detail in Redefining risk in a changing world have landed on the right combination of priorities and protocols to achieve business growth: a strong risk management function that connects risk to strategy and performance; a clear understanding of the key factors and players that define their specific business success; and a focus on building enterprise resilience.

Combining these three allows them to bounce back from unexpected developments and empowers them to make more bold business decisions that have long-term growth impact.

Peter-claude-thumb.jpg.pwcimage.200 Peter Claude | Partner    Profile | Email | +1 (415) 498 5024


innovation is the key to developments in today society.thanks

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