IMD International

IMD hosts the 2014 CEO Roundtable

Leadership in an increasingly volatile world

November 27, 2014

"Leading in an Era of Volatility" was the theme of IMD's 2014 CEO Roundtable, which brought more than 70 CEOs and Chairmen of leading global companies to campus earlier this month.

Projecting a strong sense of purpose in an increasingly volatile world is arguably the toughest challenge that global business leaders face today.

CEOs and Chairpersons around the world are expected to map a clear way forward and inspire others with their vision. At the same time, their agenda and list of priorities are shifting constantly because of economic uncertainty, disruptive competition and rising geopolitical risks.

This dilemma is particularly sharp in the areas of responsible leadership and strategy, which were the two main discussion themes at the Roundtable.

Participants discussed how leaders can build companies with a shared sense of responsibility for society and the environment in these highly uncertain times. They then reflected on the responsibilities business leaders have to explain the benefits of capitalism in societies that may be hostile to free markets.

The CEOs and Chairmen also discussed whether strategy is becoming less relevant as volatility increases. In addition, will the best companies in the future be those that outsource the most, or those that build the strongest competencies?

The event was led by Professor Allen Morrison, Director of the IMD Global CEO Center.

"The best business leaders will manage and take advantage of this volatility, and will see the questions above as opportunities," Professor Morrison said. "Although finding the right path to take will not be easy, this latest CEO Roundtable again generated stimulating discussion and practical insights."

The CEO Roundtable is IMD's annual Foundation Board event. Aimed exclusively at CEOs and Chairpersons, the Roundtable offers practical, top-level peer debate to support the continued success of global business leaders.

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