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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  July 05, 2012

What CEOs Want Now

The 2012 IBM CEO study is making the rounds. Last time, the buzzword was complexity. This year: connections.

According to the 1,700 plus CEOs they interviewed:

  • 75% call collaboration among employees critical. Open and collaborative cultures are seen as the antidote for the war on talent. Organizational Development consultants, start your happy dance. And expect “collaboration” to be a major buzzword for everyone else.
  • CEOs are obsessed by three leadership traits: inspirational leadership, customer obsession (see next point), and leadership teaming. Now before all the motivational folks start to change their websites, keep in mind these folks are sophisticated buyers. Any fluff will be marginalized. Those who bring their “A” game will be richly rewarded.
  • 70% are investing in customer needs. Not just getting the needs straight, but understanding the customer and responding with lightning-quick immediacy. This is seen as the conduit for relevance. The thinking: the more we understand, the more relevant we will be.  Watch for more marketing consultants to move in this area. It’s the next ultra-competitive arena.
  • Responsiveness is tied to taking insights and turning them into action. This area – from insights to action – will be a hot spot for opportunities.
  • How CEOs plan to innovate: by partnering. Instead of creating new products for their base, almost half of the outperformers are moving into different industries. This is good news for “new market” experts. Folks who can help integrate complex partnerships will be in vogue, too.

Here’s the report so you can see for yourselves. As you read this ask yourself: where are my best opportunities?


About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.