The C-Suite’s Needs

As the world forges ahead amid the pandemic, Korn Ferry’s annual pulse survey reveals what’s pressing for each member of the C-suite.

It was before the pandemic hit hard, but many Chief Supply Chain Officers were already up at night, fretting about being prepared for the unknown. A fifth of HR leaders felt they need less hierarchies. And when it came to knowing the skills they need, CEOs too seemed to have a crystal ball, saying for months now that being “authentic” and “inspirational” were among the critical skills.

Indeed, Korn Ferry’s annual survey of more than 1,000 C-suite executives around the world reveals that the C-suite has made a list of key changes that would prepare their organizations for today’s crisis-filled world. “Employees, customers, and communities are looking for leadership that can be trusted and leadership that is real and authentic amid all the turbulence,” says Tierney Remick, vice chairman and coleader of Korn Ferry’s Board and CEO Services practice, commenting on the survey results for CEOs, for example.

The survey covers six leadership specialists, including CEOs, CFOs, CHROs, CIOs, Chief Supply Chain Officers, and Chief Corporate Affairs Officers, whose members ranked the courage of conviction—the ability to speak truth to power regardless of consequences—as a critically needed skill set. “Chief communications and public affairs officers are really at the center of the leadership table,” says Richard Marshall, global managing director of Korn Ferry’s Corporate Affairs Practice of Expertise.

Below, summaries of each of the surveys:

CEO Pulse Survey

How will companies succeed during and after the coronavirus? Get answers from 773 CEOs.

CFO Pulse Survey

Today’s CFOs believe something besides financial acumen is most critical to their job.

CHRO Pulse Survey

How HR leaders are already thinking about reshaping the workforce post-pandemic.

CIO Pulse Survey

The top tech executives believe more collaboration with the CEO is critical during the pandemic.

CSCO Pulse Survey

Before the pandemic, most supply chain executives were confident their networks could handle a major shift. What are they saying now?

CCAO Survey

Corporate affairs executives are asking for more data specialists. Here’s why.