Fit for the future. But are you truly resilient?

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While the results of PwC's 17th Annual Global CEO Survey point to careful optimism about global economic growth in still-turbulent times, CEOs remain somewhat cautious about whether greater global growth will translate into sustained growth for their own companies — particularly over the next three years.

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That may be because, as they look to the future, chief executives see three seismic shifts looming — shifts which they know will hugely impact their businesses over the next five years: technological advances, demographic changes and shifts in economic power. These three global trends will throw new competition, new buying patterns, new consumer needs, new markets, new attitudes and new business models into their path... at a speed never encountered before.

Here’s what the CEOs don’t know: How fast? How much? And how best to act in order to turn these risks into opportunities?

And act they must, if they want to survive and grow.

Yet, as the results of our 17th Annual Global CEO Survey illustrate, businesses vary vastly in their preparedness for the three megatrends. Many appear to be pausing and pondering. Others are embracing innovation and marching straight ahead.

So what accounts for the difference? Is it a lower risk-appetite that is holding many businesses back, after the economic shocks of recent years? Is it a lack of awareness of what the risks really are? On the other hand, what risk resilience practices have some CEOs started to implement which are putting them ahead of their competitors?

Fit for the future means being fit for a world in flux. The good news is that we have much greater capacity today to get more data and model different futures. The bad news is, we can’t know all the eventualities — and we can’t remove all the risks. That’s why embracing risk resilience is the best route for navigating the coming storms of change.

Risk resilient or risk resistant to the trends that will transform?

Are you drawing the most innovation from your technology?
While four out of five CEOs surveyed ranked technological advances as one of the top three drivers that will transform their business, only a quarter (27%) said they had actually completed or initiated an innovation-focussed change programme.

What’s behind the disconnect?