Recap: Top Insights From Our #CsuiteChat You Won’t Want To Miss

Today’s C-suite executives have a lot on their plates – not to mention anticipating tomorrow’s competition.

Following the recent launch of our IBM Global C-suite Study, we set up a Crowdchat session to debate the current and future challenges that CxOs are facing. We were joined by featured chatters,Vala Afshar, Chief Digital Evangelist @ Salesforce, and Eric Lesser, Research Director @ IBM Institute for Business Value, for a one-hour discussion on  the most important aspects the C-suite are dealing with (or missing!).

Below, we picked some of the best quotes from the chat for you. We gained many valuable insights thanks to our great crowd of approximately 100 folks on the Crowdchat, with many more contributing from Twitter. Feel free to read the entire chat transcript here.

C-suite Chat 1

What is the most unpredictable risk the #Csuite is facing today and why?

  • “Disruption from relatively unknown or new entrants to the market or industry” – Craig Milroy

  • “The convergence of industries, as you’ve got to be continually assessing the emerging disruptors to prempt the intersections of play” – Kulbir Singh

  • “Kubir is right – what we found from our CXOs (over 5000) is that the convergence of industries is the most challenging issue they are facing right now” – Eric Lesser

  • “Today, everyone is smarter, especially your customers. To avoid disruption, businesses must be data-driven. 90% of world’s data was created in the last 12 months. Welcome to the data science revolution! “– Vala Afshar

How can businesses stay nimble and innovative while competing with disruptors, upstarts and innovators?

  • “For businesses to stay nimble and innovate, they must fully embrace digital transformation initiatives. Businesses must authentically engage with customers at every step of the customer success journey. CXOs need to focus on customer success and the customer experience. Technology is only a piece of the puzzle – CXOs should be personally committed to customer success.” – Vala Afshar

  • “To stay nimble, companies need to experiment, use agile and design thinking, and look outside their own industry for ideas” – Sheila Sidhu

Customers are expecting to be followed and engaged now. If you miss a step, you may lose a customer. How does a company keep up?

  • “Connected businesses develop a multi-channel customer engagement strategy – invest in tools, lean processes, employee training and culture of empowerment.” – Vala Afshar

C-suite Chat 3

 What should CxOs change to avoid being “uberized”?

  • “They need to keep focus on needs of target audience, not products. Products can pivot to have unpredicted uses.”Bob Pulver

  • “Absolutely – too much emphasis on product design can miss the ever changing market needs” – Astrid F. Kowlessar

  • “CXOs must recognize the cloud revolution – companies can avoid disruption by adopting the cloud”Vala Afshar

  • “In our study, Cloud was the top technology that companies indicated would revolutionize their business”Eric Lesser

  • “Cloud is an aspect – machine learning and artificial intelligence are game changers if you have the data and skills to make it happen”Craig Milroy

  • “All tools that we need to have in the toolbox. There isn’t a silver bullet but a methodology embracing rapidly evolving technology platforms.” – Steven G. Snyder


How can CxOs make fewer bets and faster, more decentralized decisions?

  • “Decisions are only possible if the organization has a direction and a plan… otherwise decentralization creates fragmentation” Craig Milroy

  • “Almost half of CXOs interviewed for the C-suite Study indicated they were moving towards more decentralized decision vs 30% more centralized.” Eric Lesser

  • “CXOs must adopt and outside-in approach to improve organizational agility – innovative companies seek customer feedback. They must also champion line-of-business (marketing, sales, services, R&D) collaboration – horizontal influence and alignment is key.”Vala Afshar


How will cognitive capabilities help the C-suite stay ahead of the game?

  • “Cognitive can help understand the signal amid the noise for agile, data-driven decision-making.”Bob Pulver

  • “For customers – the people we serve – digital and use of cognitive sciences means choice, flexibility, better quality, and lower cost.”Vala Afshar

C-suite Chat 6

What will be the top opportunities for CxOs in 2016?

  • “Data, Analytics and the insight economy.”Craig Milroy

  • “CXOs in 2016 must recognize the “Internet of Customers” – behind everything is a customer. They must also use data to listen, engage, communicate and act faster with greater accuracy than ever before.” Vala Afshar

  • “What’s interesting is how few CEOs utilise social media. It’s such an amazing resource – more should be made aware of its potential. I got this great quote from Ronan Dunne, CEO of O2 in the UK: “CEO social is the equivalent of walking the shop floor.” Damian Corbet

What do you think? Add your insights in the comment section and get the IBM Global C-suite Study to learn more about what keeps today’s C-suite awake at night.


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