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Mountain View, CA, United States, 2008/10/28 - Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, is pleased to announce the results of its second annual CEO Survey, an evaluation of the thoughts and strategies of global industry leaders.
Threat of Recession Showing Little Impact on Growth Initiatives
Reputation Management Still Critical to Long-Term Strategy
The assessment presented questions on growth plans, organizational abilities, management development, external and internal corporate challenges, media perceptions, and corporate reputation to CEOs, Presidents, and Chairpersons across all industry categories in all regions.
Consistent with last year's results, CEOs continue to report that growth is their top objective (84% of respondents). Customer satisfaction and margin improvement continue to round out the top three growth objectives. Conversely, cost reduction and working capital are the lowest growth objectives rated.
CEOs also have varied ideas on how to achieve this coveted growth. While the largest proportion (23%) of CEOs report that competitive strategy has been their number one success for growth during the past three years, over half of respondents stated that both competitive strategy and strategic partnering are two of the top three strategies they have utilized to secure the most growth (both 54%). Additionally, product launch and geographic expansion have also been utilized by nearly half (both 47%). The least successful growth strategy appears to be growth outsourcing (13%).
"The numbers are clear," explains Tonya Fowler, Director of Competitive Benchmarking Services for Frost & Sullivan. "CEOs remain committed to growth, and will utilize a combination of strategies to achieve this goal."
However, CEOs realize the need for a competent, experienced management team in place to carry out growth strategies. In the survey, significantly fewer CEOs report having a dedicated team for growth strategy compared to last year's results (down 22 percentage points to 38%). "As might be expected," continues Fowler, "CEOs are the most significant contributors for developing growth strategies compared to others within their organizations."
Economic downturns or a slowing economy often provide the most punishing environments in which to pursue growth strategies. However, Frost & Sullivan finds that CEOs do not appear to be reacting negatively to the uncertain economy. Specifically, 67% of CEOs are aggressively seeking growth opportunities to counter an anticipated economic slowdown.
Perceptions of a downturn also leave CEOs undaunted. Nearly half (48%) of survey respondents report that the media's threat of a recession has had no effect on their growth strategies. Yet, 62% believe that the media threat of a recession is negatively impacting their customers' spending.
As a final point, corporate reputation is viewed as very critical to long-term strategic goals (85% of respondents), with CEOs relying upon internal and external opinion surveys as well as media relations to measure their corporate reputation. Indeed, many CEOs believe that their Boards of Directors evaluate their success on the improvement of corporate reputation.
The survey was conducted by Frost & Sullivan's Competitive Benchmarking Services group, a division of the Customer Research team that conducts independent, non-sponsored research among end-users to evaluate and measure companies and trends in the market. Specifically, Competitive Benchmarking Services surveys respondents that are deemed experts in the wide range of industries that Frost & Sullivan supports.
For more information, please send an email to Jake Wengroff, Corporate Communications, at jake.wengroff[.]frost.com, with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, company email address, company website, city, state and country. Upon receipt of the above information, an overview will be sent to you by email.
About Frost & Sullivan
Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, partners with clients to accelerate their growth. The company's TEAM Research, Growth Consulting and Growth Team Membership™ empower clients to create a growth-focused culture that generates, evaluates and implements effective growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan employs over 45 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses and the investment community from more than 30 offices on six continents.