Redefining Business Success in a Changing World

Business leaders see an increasingly complicated and multi-polar world of diverging socioeconomic and political models, beliefs and values, where technology is transforming the expectations of customers and other stakeholders.

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In the coming years, business success will be defined by more than just financial performance, and organizations are increasingly aware that both customers and public opinion asses them in terms of the impact they have on society.
These are two of the findings of the PwC’s 19th Annual Global CEO Survey conducted in 83 countries, including Romania.
 

The sixth edition of the Romania country report of this global survey examines some of the organisations’ challenges in the context of changing stakeholder expectations of business. When referring to stakeholders, the leading organisations are considering a wide spectrum that includes not only customers, employees, shareholders, government and regulatory authorities, but also competitors, suppliers, the media and local communities. Currently, all of them have a significant impact on the company's business strategy.


Redefining organisations

In this year’s survey, business leaders see an increasingly complicated and multi-polar world of diverging socioeconomic and political models, beliefs and values, where technology is transforming the expectations of customers and other stakeholders. The executives have a tough job finding growth and delivering results year in, year out. But they know an even tougher task lies ahead: to prepare their organisations for a more complex future where customers and other stakeholders increasingly expect them to do more to tackle society’s important problems. To equip themselves for this challenge and to build trust and ensure long-term success, organisations implement multiple changes in the way they evaluate risks, improve the marketing, communication and branding activities, harness technology and innovation, leverage the talents’ skills or choose business partners – to execute strategies that meet greater expectations. Thus, 94% of CEOs in Romania declare that they are implementing changes in the way they define and manage risks in response to the constantly-changing stakeholder expectations.

 

To strengthen the market position, the executives sometimes get to the point of changing the purpose of the organisation (what it stands for), to define a more comprehensive view of how their business operates within society. Over a third (35%) of respondents believe that they have always had an organisational purpose that includes the broader impact their business has on society. Other 22% of CEOs say that they have changed the organisation’s purpose in the last three years to take account of the stakeholder expectations. Also, other 11% of respondents consider doing so. The organisational purpose is refocusing on creating value not only for shareholders, but for wider stakeholders, in an effort to better highlight the role and importance of organisations in local communities and society as a whole. Thus, 72% of CEOs state that successful companies will be guided by a purpose centred on creating value for all stakeholders, and about four out of five respondents (79%) say that they prioritise long-term over short-term profitability. However, creating value for stakeholders and profitability are interconnected elements for executives. Thus, 57% of CEOs believe that creating value for the wider stakeholders will help organisations to be more profitable.

 

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