In a recently released study from IBM, based on face-to-face conversations with more than 1,500 chief executive officers worldwide, "creativity" has been identified as the single most important leadership competency for enterprises seeking a path through this complexity.
Key findings from the IBM study:
- Today's complexity is only expected to rise, and more than half of CEOs doubt their ability to manage it.
- Seventy-nine percent of CEOs anticipate even greater complexity ahead. However, one set of organizations—we call them "Standouts"—has turned increased complexity into financial advantage over the past five years.
- Creativity is the most important leadership quality, according to CEOs. Standouts practice and encourage experimentation and innovation throughout their organizations.
- Creative leaders expect to make deeper business model changes to realize their strategies. To succeed, they take more calculated risks, find new ideas, and keep innovating in how they lead and communicate.
- The most successful organizations co-create products and services with customers, and integrate customers into core processes.They are adopting new channels to engage and stay in tune with customers. By drawing more insight from the available data, successful CEOs make customer intimacy their number-one priority.
- Better performers manage complexity on behalf of their organizations, customers and partners. They do so by simplifying operations and products, and increasing dexterity to change the way they work, access resources and enter markets around the world. Compared to other CEOs, dexterous leaders expect 20 percent more future revenue to come from new sources.