Majority of CEOs see disruptive forces as an opportunity, not a threat

This year’s CEO Outlook, released by KPMG, has revealed that 68 percent of CEOs see disruptive forces as an opportunity, not a threat, for their business. The CEO Outlook is based on in-depth interviews with 50 CEOs of some of the country’s largest companies.

Makgotso Letsitsi (pictured), Partner and Executive Director for KPMG in South Africa, said:

"In the face of new challenges and uncertainties, CEOs are feeling the urgency to 'disrupt and grow'. Disruption has become a fact of life for CEOs and their businesses as they respond to heightened uncertainty. But importantly, most see disruption as an opportunity to transform their business model, develop new products and services, and reshape their business so it is more successful than ever before."

CEOs are still broadly confident about the prospects for the global economy but their optimism is more modest than it was last year, with only 42 percent expressing confidence. Highlights of the CEO Outlook include:

  • In 2017, South African CEOs are not as confident about the prospects for the global economy (42 percent).
  • Almost seven in 10 CEOs (68 percent) see disruption as an opportunity, not a threat, for their business. And overwhelming 86 percent say that their organisations are actively disrupting the sector in which they operate.
  • Within their own businesses, six in 10 CEOs describe themselves as confident in their company's growth prospects for the next three years.
  • Nine in 10 (92 percent) say they are evolving their skills and personal qualities to better lead their business.

Letsitsi added:

"CEOs understand that speed to market and innovation are strategic priorities for growth in uncertain political conditions. That's why a whopping 88 percent are spending much more time on scenario planning as a result of an uncertain geopolitical climate."