Future chiefs face digital test, argues David Sole

David Sole co-founded the School for CEOs in 2011. Picture: Ian Georgeson
David Sole co-founded the School for CEOs in 2011. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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Technology and the digital revolution are driving an increasing pace of change that future chief executives must master to succeed, a new report argues.

The research from School for CEOs, the executive coaching group co-founded by former Scottish rugby internationalist David Sole, found that 79 per cent of current business leaders believe the corporate landscape is shifting at a quicker rate than ever before.

The majority also pinpointed technology as the primary driver of change during the next five to ten years. Just four out of ten said their company was currently prepared for digital and technological advancements, though 71 per cent identified this as the main force of change. That was more than double the next-highest rated category – globalisation – at 35 per cent.

READ MORE: Monday interview: David Sole, co-founder of School for CEOs

This was followed by a number of other factors ranging down to the natural environment, which came bottom of the list at 5 per cent. Sole – who set up School for CEOs with former John Menzies chief executive Patrick Macdonald in 2011 – said that represents a shift from three years ago when severe winter flooding cost the UK more than £1 billion in damages and disruption.

“While technology featured highly and at the forefront of respondents’ minds, what was perhaps more surprising was that, given the profile of climate change and renewable energy, only 5 per cent of our respondents considered that it is a key driver of change over the next ten to 15 years,” Sole said.

The research was based on responses from 66 chairmen, chief executives and human resources bosses across several sectors. Other forces of change cited included politics and regulation.

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