CEOs See Important Changes on Horizon

CEOs See Important Changes on Horizon

The IBM Global CEO Study reveals a dramatic increase in the number of global business leaders who see important change ahead. It also highlights how the ability to absorb and manage change is widening the gap between winners and losers in the global economy.

CEOs reported a surprising level of optimism about change as an opportunity to build new competitive advantage. Overall, 83 percent of surveyed CEOs expect substantial change in the future, an increase of 28 percent in just two years. However, CEOs report their ability to effectively manage change is increasing at a far slower pace. 

Collectively, CEOs set their organization’s ability to manage change 22 percentage points lower than their expectations for the level of change they will have to manage — a “change gap” that is widening. 

CEOs point specifically to their own customer base as the source of the most important changes they will have to address, as two new and more demanding classes of customers emerge: the “information omnivore” (craves all types of information) and the “socially minded” (reference corporate social responsibility) customer. 

The IBM Global CEO Study (“The Enterprise of the Future”) is based on face-to-face interviews with 1,130 CEOs from 40 countries across 32 industries.

For more information on additional findings from the study, visit

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