CEOs are facing an extraordinary test. Enduring competitive advantage is hard to achieve in a time of great uncertainty and volatility: sector leaders are no longer sure to stay at the top for very long, and new challengers—often state-owned or family-owned companies that are unburdened by legacy business models—are attacking the profit heartlands.
CEOs know, nevertheless, that they have an obligation to make their companies stronger in a sustainable way. If they can’t, they will be seen to have failed. In the end, it is not what you achieve in the short term that matters, it is what you leave behind for the long term—what we call the perpetuity principle.
How can CEOs guarantee success? The answer is clear: they need the right people with the right skills supported by the right organizational structure, processes, and tools. If they have all this, they stand the best chance of outpacing their rivals in a fast-changing world.
Some companies already possess the necessary portfolio of capabilities to win. We call them enabled enterprises.
In a fast-changing world, CEOs need to build or strengthen their companies’ capabilities to win, and they must do so in an enduring way.
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