Key points for CEOs

The main findings to come out of the GNZB survey, which are of particular interest to CEOs are listed below.

  • High flying businesses focus on the needs of their customers, including unstated needs, and the means to meet these needs - profit follows.
  • Low flying businesses focus on profit, and see customers as a means to achieve this.
  • Fast turnover growth and fast export growth frequently go hand in hand. Those achieving fast growth are likely to do so internationally.
  • Higher profits can be achieved by focusing on today's products (exploitation); creating tomorrow's business (exploration) requires a willingness to forgo today's profit.
  • Growth and innovation go hand in hand. Businesses which grow larger build up in-house innovation capabilities. They grow these internal capabilities with customer-informed innovation (are customer-driven) and a willingness to engage in external collaboration.
  • Innovation, training and high commitment practices also often go hand in hand, in a holistic approach to business development.
  • Businesses aspiring for substantial growth are more likely to face limitations in the availability of skilled personnel, as well as finance or the acquisition of capabilities.
  • Many CEOs are baby boomers and many foresee a change of ownership; this is likely to produce investment or acquisition opportunities in the coming years.