Top Teams, Reimagined

A new Korn Ferry Institute report reveals the changing dynamic among CEOs and their high-performing executive teams.

Interconnected and interdependent.

More and more, the world is seeing its boundaries blur, and last year brought that reality into sharp focus. The COVID-19 outbreak tested economies, supply chains, and global leadership, taxing countries as they worked together to change the course of a pandemic that spared no one.

Without a doubt, the recent crisis has forever changed the world. Now, experts say, to succeed in this new landscape, CEOs and their high-performing executive teams will have to operate ­­­in a new way. “As the role of the CEO has evolved, so too must the mindsets and actions of the executive leadership team to serve the value-creating interests and purpose of the enterprise as a whole,” says Tierney Remick, Vice Chairman and Co-leader of Korn Ferry’s Board & CEO Services practice.

As part of its CEOs for the Future series, the Korn Ferry Institute took a deep dive into what CEOs and theirexecutive leadership teams will need in order to navigate such uncertain and disruptive times. Korn Ferry interviewed more than 100 CEOs and directors in North America and learned more about those mindsets and capabilities now critical to future success. More than anything else, these experts told Korn Ferry, CEOs and their high-performing teams will need to lead the enterprise together, through a holistic lens, and from a collective, interconnected, and interdependent perspective.

For her part, Remick says this trend started emerging within the last few years, but has only accelerated thanks to the events of 2020.  Yet, while these societies have become overwhelmed by the crisis, they’re also been lifted by their shared experience. And this, experts say, provides a valuable insight for CEOs and their high-performing executive teams: confronting a common challenge can bring a powerful sense of teamwork and community-building. “The integrative synchrony with which CEOs and their executive leadership teams need to think and lead the business holistically, as one, is not only critical to the world of accelerating change,” Remick says, “but can be truly differentiating in terms of performance.” 

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