Is a CEO job now just a doddle?

For CEO’s  and all C levels now, if you like a challenge, the ability to focus a business has never been so easy. Let me put it another way.  CEO’s I meet now are saying, with the so called good times gone, people are actually cutting the crap and just focusing on the business and quality to get results. So it is much simpler now. The great news for me is, as  I  lead in our advisor and service provider firm, our clients are finding this  too.

What I am seeing is happening at the human end is discussions around semantics quickly fail in most environments now if they don’t add value. And job protection rackets like bureaucracy screens are being exposed without much effort as the business end of integrated supply chain links customer systems to delivey with a deadly punch to the sloppy.


For me the fun is now seeing a new breed of manager thinking join up the direct value and results of cause and effect effort. With the easy money for smoke and mirrors gone, we have not seen this for a very long time. With distractions and choices narrowed, it is also much simpler for customers too. So it is not surprising it is also becoming easier to talk to them sensibly too without fluff as an issue, when they want some real help.

But now more-so than ever market responsiveness by default means decisions are being made real-time or much faster but also on sound principles too. Which means planning, preparation and readiness are even more vital.  People are paying real attention these best practices as being so important now with lip service solutions that” do it for me” no longer an option to be considered.

Since my early days as a young accountant and business fledgling, I learned the things that are important are  getting the numbers fast to make decisions, shortening planning and budget cycles that get commitment and making sure sound information technology and processes are  in place to process transactions, so it all hangs together.  But most important overarching of all that I learned as a midle manager and later as business executive on the sharp end, was I needed  fast easy access to transparent decision based reports that linked operations and strategies well. 

These are all accepted best practices that every business person  knows they  must  have. And it is not even a question of need. If it is questioned at all  now it is mostly to move people and systems on that cannot delver to these expectations  And with market chnages of late, we are finding organizations who are not  up to par are now  running to get there to survive as they know seat of the pants thinking will no longer work.

The clever guys too are now using the simple fact based analytical tools that come with these tools sets to look for the money. And they are finding it too in spite of what you might read in the papers about gloom and doom. They are using them to move their ships as needed  from strategic to tactical mode to be more reactive to markets, from export to domestic markets to focus where demand has not evaporated, and to add pragmatics  to processes for more flexible styles to handle demand driven business changes. Many too are upgrading their capability for faster results so they can see what is happening quicker or to make sure they don’t lose what they have.

Most of the cowboys are gone too,  as conditioning for supply driven simplicity and integrity for growth has seen client based KPI measures striking that  sudden death I meantioned to delinquents.

Changing market conditions are saying there is a demanding different management skill. So I have to ask,  are fact based decisions styles of management at risk as a soon to-be forgotten habit, as we have moved qicukly to transition modes?. Of course not. The investments in this management genre has stuck well with the new breed of manager now emerging.  They have learned well how to use  fact based information as they have come through the ranks. And of course seasoned business leaders know it is way of doing things that works, no matter what business approach you use to  handle changed markets.

So for now the new world reminds me of the old world before the last 25 years of continuous change to simplify the complex and consolidate to grow  Then, like now, simple things worked and opportunities continued. What a breeze of a job I have. Now as I can just concentrate on my customers.


Foot notes:

The picture in this off this U-Tube video about the Ford Motor company’s most advance assembly plant in the world.  It is  in Brazil and has robotics and world leader automated production line flexibility. The real story behind this revolutionary site with its own shipping vessels and  port is the close integration of the suppliers within the assembly plant. if you have seen it before it may be worth another look to get some ideas



Gordon1998About The Post Author

Gordon Wood is Executive Director and Managing Partner at Sherwood Group Consulting, who are  performance management  advisors based in the Singapore Thailand and Australia.




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