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Monday, August 27, 2007

The Future CEO

The August 20th edition of Business Week magazine featured an excellent cover story on “The Future of Work.”

In this special double issue, they discussed how we will master technology, manage companies, and build careers in the era of the global 24-7 workforce.

This special report also discusses “The Five Faces of the 21st Century Chief.” It predicts that the “generalist” CEO will give way to the “specialist” CEO, and predicts five specialist CEO types that will be in the greatest demand:
  • The BRAIN … May be algorithm geniuses, coding prodigies, or merely credentialed scientists or designers. CEOs in touch with their inner geeks will be a much sought-after breed.
  • The AMBASSADOR … CEOs with explicit business experience in emerging markets of China, India, Russia, Brazil and Dubai.
  • The DEALMAKER … Those able to both sell off non-core assets and go toe-to-toe with private equity players on big acquisitions will be in heavy demand.
  • The CONDUCTOR … Future companies will have to form alliances with outsiders and turn to networks of innovators for new ideas. More cooperation and creativity across divisions will also be necessary. This CEO will have to orchestrate everyone to play in the same key.
  • The CASTING AGENT … As Boomers retire, the talent wars will become fierce. CEOs who can retain the best people and deploy them adeptly will be hot commodities.

BOTTOMLINE: As our future workforce changes, so too will the skills required by company leadership. A systematic approach to addressing an ever-changing and increasing series of challenges is what is needed. An enduring business excellence program such as Six Disciplines could be the answer for organizations that have such intentions.

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