CEOs Lose Sleep over 10 Issues



Global CEOs face 10 issues, with which many say they’re unprepared to cope. That’s the conclusion from a study involving 13,124 global business leaders.

So are many CEOs trying to fill shoes that are too big for them? Apparently so.

The study, “CEOs Top Challenges — Leaders Aren’t Ready,” contains the disturbing data in the Global Leadership Forecast 2014|2015 by Development Dimensions International in a partnership with The Conference Board.

Development Dimensions International is a consulting firm and The Conference Board is a self-described “global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest.”

thinking-272677_128010 challenges

Here are the 10 challenges and the corresponding percentages of CEOs who say they’re very prepared:

1. Human capital — 27 percent

2. Customer relationships — 45 percent

3. Innovation — 26 percent

4. Operational excellence — 33 percent

5. Corporate brand and reputation — 41 percent

6. Global political/economic risk — 11 percent

7. Government regulation — 25 percent

8. Sustainability — 27 percent

9. Global/international expansion — 17 percent

10. Trust in business — 43 percent

So, conversely, the results are troubling. For example, if only 27 percent of the CEOs feel very prepared in handling their companies’ human capital, that means 73 percent aren’t well-prepared. Similar conclusions can be drawn in the other nine issues.

Employees’ perspective

Indeed, from the employees point-of-view, another 2014 study also indicates leadership is not adequate. The overwhelming conclusion — there’s a crisis in accountability.

More than 40,000 workers responded to the Workplace Accountability Study by Partners in Leadership.

Employees aren’t aware of any clearly defined objective and they’re confused about accountability in their workplace.

 

…if only 27 percent of the CEOs feel very prepared in handling their companies’ human capital, that means 73 percent aren’t well-prepared. Similar conclusions can be drawn in the other nine issues.

“There’s a crisis of accountability in organizations today, a crisis of epidemic proportions,” said Roger Connors, CEO of Partners In Leadership and the study’s chief researcher.

“When properly approached, accountability can really be the low-hanging fruit for optimizing organizational performance and accelerating organizational change efforts,” he added.

Key findings

The troubling key findings:

— Accountability is incorrectly perceived as strictly consequential and almost entirely after-the-fact.

— 80 percent of those surveyed say feedback is something that happens to them only when things go wrong or not at all.

— The lack of clarity around key results led 70 percent of survey participants to indicate that their organization’s key results in jeopardy or altogether doomed.

— 85 percent of survey participants indicated they weren’t even sure what their organizations are trying to achieve, a missed opportunity for creating alignment and focus.

— The failure here is astounding — with 93 percent of those surveyed unable to align their work or take accountability for desired results. Fully one-third feel their priorities change frequently, creating confusion.

— The burden is on leaders — 84 percent of those surveyed cite the way leaders behave as the single most important factor influencing accountability in their organizations. And yet just 15 percent of leaders have successfully clearly defined and broadly communicated their key results.

— When it comes to holding others accountable, 82 percent of survey participants say they either try but fail or avoid it altogether.

— Additional best practices supporting positive accountability are not widely deployed. Just 20 percent of individuals constantly seek and offer feedback. Just over one-third see due dates (or “by-whens”) as real commitments. Only a quarter solve problems and don’t see that as someone else’s job.

“If you don’t get accountability right, you won’t get much else right either,” continued Mr. Connors. “Accountability encompasses how people make commitments to one another, what they make commitments about, how they measure and report progress, and how much ownership they take to get things done.”

In conclusion, both studies — from the CEO and worker perspectives — show the problems. They also show the solutions.

It’s obvious many companies have cultural issues exacerbated by a lack of leadership. Imagine how performance can dramatically improve if individual workers, managers CEOs do their jobs.

From the Coach’s Corner, related tips:

How CEOs Benefit from Executive Coaching for Leadership — Almost two-thirds of CEOs don’t receive executive coaching or leadership development counsel even though they admit it’d be a good idea to ask for it, according to a study. My sense is that many of the surveyed CEOs are uncomfortable with exploring their self-awareness, a prerequisite for true leadership. Until CEOs better understand their personal capacities, they won’t be able to fully understand, manage and inspire their personnel. So coaching would help CEOs become better leaders.

Leadership: How Leaders Employ 11 Strengths to Grow Businesses — Ascension to the C-suite doesn’t automatically qualify an executive as a leader. Leaders have 11 strengths that enable them to manage their companies for greater effectiveness and elasticity despite a fast-changing marketplace. Having positive attributes is synonymous with having skill sets. Strong attributes are certainly helpful. But more importantly, possessing qualities or strengths connotes having values.

Why Not to Expect Miraculous Leadership from Narcissistic CEOs — “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!” -Al Michaels, sportscaster  That’s the line sportscaster Mr. Michaels made famous on Feb. 22, 1980 in “The Miracle on Ice,” a famous hockey game in the Olympic Winter Games.

Checklist — 10 Tips for Leadership in Business Profit — In the new economy – a former Great Recession that seems to linger and linger – a company will succeed if it’s a leader in generating capital. Unfortunately, this economy has become a zero sum game for many businesses.

18 Leadership Strategies to Earn Employee Respect — Eighteen strategies to profit from good labor relations, and to leverage the perspective of employees – your company’s human capital.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

-John Quincy Adams 


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Facebook – Fewer Users, Drop in Consumer Satisfaction and Share Price



Get out the black balloons for Facebook?

Facebook has finally climbed above its IPO price of 2014. Investors finally see what they want from Facebook — a focus on monetizing mobile.

However, its user-rate and consumer satisfaction ratings have been dropping, according to two authoritative published reports.

File:Facebook.svgOne reason for Facebook’s decline appears to be the popularity of Google’s social network, Google+.

There are other reasons – this business-news portal has been critical of Facebook, but more on that later.

The two reports show:

— Facebook may be the world’s largest social network, but its number of users began dropping in the first half of 2012. About the time of a report (Facebook Falls as Use on Social Site Drops), by Capstone Investments, Facebook’s share price dropped nearly nine percent in two days.

— A report (Facebook down, Google+ up with customers) indicates Facebook’s consumer satisfaction score has dropped in 2012 by eight percent. That’s from a survey of 70,000 consumers by the American Consumer Satisfaction Index and Foresee, an analytics company.

According to a Capstone analyst, Rory Maher, the report on Facebook’s user-decline shows two developments:

— The number of U.S. users declined 1.1 percent.

— Worldwide in Q2, the social network showed little growth or a decrease in 14 countries where it had at least a 50 percent market share.

“This could be an issue for Facebook growth since we estimate that outside of Southeast Asia and some countries in Latin America, most markets are approaching 50 percent penetration,” the report quoted Mr. Maher.

ForeSee says Facebook’s consumer-satisfaction decrease was ostensibly prompted by increasing privacy concerns and dissatisfaction with its Timeline feature.

“Facebook and Google+ are competing on two critical fronts: customer experience and market penetration,” said ForeSee’s President and CEO Larry Freed. “Google+ handily wins the former, and Facebook handily wins the latter, for now.”

The American Customer Satisfaction Index ranked Facebook with a 61 – among the lowest of 230 ranked companies. On the other hand, a news release said Google+ won a 78 score because of its mobile product and sans any advertising.

The average for all social media companies was a 69. Twitter held a 64 and LinkedIn followed at 63. These mediocre scores confirms a warning published in this Biz Coach column: Despite Hoopla over Social Media, Web Searchers Stay Longer.

Facebook’s demise is not a surprise – note these articles:

Is Facebook Approaching the End of Its Product Life Cycle? Ostensibly, Yes. — If you’re a prospective Facebook stakeholder looking to profit from the social-networking site – as an investor or major advertiser – beware of all the Facebook hype. Facebook appears to be approaching the end of its product life cycle.

Aside from Privacy, Security Issues — Facebook is a Threat 2 Ways — Facebook is well-known for its privacy and security issues. I’ve written multiple articles about social media and how it can harm businesses, especially when employees are not trained about using it on your company’s computers.

Still, some companies can make money via social media, and it teaches businesses valuable lessons in understanding customers.

From the Coach’s Corner, for additional columns about Facebook, see:

“Our head of social media is the customer.”

–McDonald’s

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Who Profits from Android’s Security Issues? Not Users



A government task force, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has issued a dire warning about malware. In particular, it’s a threat to Android users. As a result, IC3 issued security tips for users as early as 2011.

There’s also a version of the OpFake malware for Android – it’s incorporated in the Opera Mini mobile browser, according to ZDNet.

Users don’t know anything’s wrong until they use the legitimate software.

adamr readingAndroid user beware: other security applications are fakes, too – they’re Zeus malware. Known as “Android Security Suite Premium,” they confiscate new SMS messages to the Android user.

Messages can include passwords and other sensitive data, according to Kapersky Lab Security News Service.

Countless headlines detail the cyber dangers of Android-based devices, which is why it was announced that 22 applications were taken off the market by Google.

The operating system’s issues stemmed from malware infections.

So who can benefit? Certainly it isn’t Android users.

“We continue to advise readers to be very cautious in downloading Android applications,” wrote Stan Stahl, Ph.D., on his blog. “Applications should be downloaded only from ‘official’ stores and only after they have been ‘vetted’ as legit,” wrote the nationally known security expert.

Google removed the apps from its Android market after they fooled users into accepting hidden, fraudulent charges.

“Applications should be downloaded only from ‘official’ stores and only after they have been ‘vetted’ as legit.”

The biggest operating-system competitor to Google’s Android: Apple’s iOS.

Published reports indicate Microsoft is actively pursuing opportunities to capitalize on Android’s woes.

Blackberry, of course, has problems with profitability. New products have been slow to market. As Blackberry’s phones age and need to be replaced by business users, Apple’s products might become even more attractive in the corporate world.

And if the vulnerabilities aren’t resolved, both Apple and Microsoft should be in a position to profit.

From the Coach’s Corner, security resource links:

BYOD, Mobile-Banking Warnings about Security Prove Prophetic — Not to be gauche, but in 2009 you saw the Internet security warning here first – mobile banking is so risky an IT security guru said don’t do it. The warning was prophetic.

New Cybercrime Serves as Warning to Take Defensive PrecautionsCybercrime is only getting worse. From both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, here are three examples of countless crimes: Authorities including the Secret Service are investigating the hacking of retailer Target in 2013 – hackers stole credit and debit card data from 40 million customers.

Identity Fraud Escalates in Smartphones, Social Media — Skyrocketing mobile malware threats amid widespread use of BYOD, bring your own devices, will lead to a $1.88 billion services market in 2013. That’s according to ABI Research. Cybercriminals are successfully attacking vulnerabilities in individual devices and networks to an ABI report.

Tips to Prevent Hacking of Your Bluetooth — Bluetooth technology, of course, allows you freedom when talking on your cell phone. But you’ll lose other freedoms if you don’t prevent scammers from exploiting your system via a trend called “bluebugging.” Beware, cybercriminals using software, are able to intercept your Bluetooth signal to hack into your phone.

Why Many Healthcare Workers Are Alarmingly Responsible for Medical ID Theft — Medical identity theft is skyrocketing. It’s the fast-growing trend in ID thievery. Health-care providers apparently can’t trust their employees to use best practices in observing The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which has been in effect since 1996. You hear the acronym a lot in healthcare.

“Distrust and caution are the parents of security.”

-Benjamin Franklin


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




Photo Courtesy AdamR at www.freedigitalphotos.net


What Do Small Business Owners Need from Washington State Policymakers?



Updated Feb. 1, 2012


Washington state legislators are getting an earful from small-business owners. But will lawmakers listen in the 2012 legislative session?

Washington state’s small-business owners have voiced their concerns over six major public-policy issues, as a result of a Seattle-area conference held by respected think-tank Washington Policy Center (WPC). Their economic-related issues range from workers’ compensation to mandatory paid sick leave.

A detailed analysis was presented in a report to the Legislature.

“Nearly half of Washington’s work force is employed by small businesses,” said WPC President Daniel Mead Smith.

“These are the businesses struggling for survival right now, and they came to us with practical recommendations for how policymakers can make it easier for them to not only survive but grow and create jobs,” added Mr. Smith.

The conference held breakout sessions at Bellevue College.

“The result is a list of priority solutions, selected by small business owners, for solving the major problems with the state’s business climate and moving towards economic recovery,” wrote WPC Communication Director John Barnes.

Here’s the list of small-business owners’ issues:

Workers’ Compensation

  1. Revisit voluntary settlement agreement, as passed in the state Senate in 2011
  2. Do not raise rates for 2012 since L&I funds are in the black
  3. Increase the fraud prevention and investigation efforts

Unemployment Insurance

  1. Reform the displaced worker retraining program
  2. Implement a web-based portal to allow employers to access current claims data, including current contact information for unemployed workers (similar to the system used by the Department of Labor and Industries)
  3. Educate small business owners about the “shared work program”

Regulatory Reform                                          

  1. Review environmental regulations to ensure that Washington rules don’t exceed federal regulations
  2. Legislature should not grant general rule making authority to agencies, but rather be specific about rules to be put in place
  3. Legislature should listen to and follow up on State Auditor Office reports on regulatory reform (tie)
  4. Sunset provisions for regulations (tie)

Health Care

  1. Tort reform
  2. Limit the number of state-required health mandates
  3. Repeal federal health care law

Transportation

  1. Do no harm — don’t reduce lane capacity
  2. Protect highway tolls and taxes for highway purposes
  3. Make congestion relief a policy goal (tie)
  4. Performance-based spending on transportation (tie)

Mandatory Paid Sick Leave

  1. Legislature should not follow Seattle and should not enact statewide paid sick leave
  2. State should pre-empt local government regulations on labor laws
  3. Business impact statements on laws like mandatory paid sick leave should be required

“The conference was co-sponsored by Verizon, Regence, Wells Fargo, Walmart, the Puget Sound Business Journal, Berntson Porter and Co., Columbia Bank, the Washington Health Foundation, NCM, Associated Builders and Contractors of Western Washington, Baldwin Resource Group, and Noteworld Servicing Center,” Mr. Barnes indicated.

”More than 30 chambers of commerce and trade associations from around the state co-presented the conference,” he added.

This was WPC’s fifth conference hosted since 2003. Rarely has the majority of the legislators listened to small business. Let’s hope they start now for economic development and the creation of jobs.

From the Coach’s Corner, in the past I’ve written about the results of the WPC conferences. I’ve also voiced similar concerns in this portal’s Public Policy section.

“People try to live within their income so they can afford to pay taxes to a government that can’t live within its income.”

-Robert Half

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.