How future-proof is your CEO and in turn, your brand?

We were at a meeting with our resident “futurist “, Rohit Talwar last week.

The conversation inevitably turned to predictions for brands.

A fairly far-ranging conversation concluded with the observation that future-proof brands will have to ensure a balanced approach to multiple stakeholder groups (the groups referenced in Brand Champions of customers; colleagues & communities). Talk then turned to the demise of relationships within businesses and beyond on the back of short termism and operating to the quarterly cycles of stock market reporting.

In order to stabilise relationships, however, senior executives have to have at least some confidence in the extent of their backing and tenure. They need more than “the full (verbal)support of the board” if they’re to return to the notion of the five-year plan and to have the confidence that they may even be there when the milestones are approached. And with CEO stability and extended tenure, there’s a fair chance the relationship ripples will extend outward.

Fast Future’s Futurescape 22 echoes this thinking in Rohit’s 100 Predictions for 2011/12:

“….average tenure and contract duration for CEO’s of publicly listed firms will start to rise. As more boards acknowledge that their organisations need radical restructuring and longer term thinking to survive and thrive, for some the attitude to the role of the CEO will shift. Increasingly the emphasis will be on attracting, retaining and rewarding those capable of delivering longer term change and growth rather than simply focusing on quarterly earnings. More enlightened stock analysts will also begin to understand the value of thinking beyond the next three months.”

Whether you’re a brand manager, customer, employee, member of the community or shareholder, the forecast of stable relationships has to be good news in these turbulent times.

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3 thoughts on “How future-proof is your CEO and in turn, your brand?

  1. Pingback: Quick plug for the PR Institute’s Internal Comms Event | The Brand Trilogy (TBT)

    • Good point Andy. The problem with the sector starts at the top. It’s clear that there’s a real problem with the way performance is perceived.
      Lengthier tenure based on medium term as well as short term goals would be in everyone’s benefit given that decisions made in the boardrooms of the banks influence the living standards of lollipop ladies as much as they do their own middle managers. But it’s taking quite some time for that “penny” to drop generally!

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