The Top 6 CEO Challenges and How to Overcome Them
THE TOP 6 CEO CHALLENGES AND HOW TO OVERCOME THEM
Keeping up with goals, making big decisions, and directing a roster of associates – CEOs and leaders are encumbered by a lot of responsibilities. But on a long list of company backlog, what are their biggest challenges? What concerns them the most?
We asked 11 executives to name the greatest challenges that come with their roles in their organisations. Here are the top 6 CEO challenges Face:
Building great teams with the right talent
The keyword is right talent.
Goly Oy is a Finnish start-up which developed a mobile platform that connects talents and businesses with nearby opportunities. Its founder and CEO, Oladimeji Joseph Fakayode, said that it has been a challenge finding people with the right combination of skills and entrepreneurial drive.
This is true especially when an organisation has limited resources.
This could be more difficult for companies who assemble remote teams. It’s tougher to streamline workflow, establish employee trust and cultivate synergy.
Attracting highly-qualified people and right partners is not only the problem for start-ups. It is an issue for medium-sized companies as well.
Case in point: NovaStor. NovaStor is the leading international provider of software solutions for data protection and availability based in Hamburg, Germany. Its CEO, Stefan Utzinger, said that they would be able to meet better results if recruiting highly-qualified people was easy. Therefore, NovaStor invests a lot in education and training. They see that having talented, motivated and educated people will make for better employees—resulting in a better company.
The same can also be said for QuinScape. QuinScape is Germany´s software solution provider which aims to simplify business processes and the departmental interaction. Gero Pesser, CEO at QuinScape, confirms that recruiting is also a key issue for their company. They find it hard to find the right people considering their budget limitations.
I´m a co-founder at Goly, a digital trading platform, empowering small businesses to sell, process and collaborate with customers on a single place and on the go. I grow businesses by spotting opportunities, designing solutions and bringing them to markets.
I´m the CEO at NovaStor, a global provider of backup, disaster recovery and data retention solutions. Our goal is to provide the most efficient, reliable and compliance solutions in the industry.
I'm a CEO at QuinScape GmbH, an Germany-based IT service partner focused on Talend, TIBCO Analytics, Kony and Jaspersoft/Spotfire. We support our customers to becoming a data-driven organization. I spend my free time with my family and enjoying my hobbies - skiing and music.
After finding the right employees and building the right team, the next step is keeping them motivated. Motivating people through hard times, retention and development, and managing diversity is for many companies very challenging.
The Munich-based crowdtesting company called Testbirds has much to say about this. Its Managing Director, Georg Hansbauer, shares that his number one struggle is maintaining his employee’s motivation. He believes that the more driven and focused his employees are, the better their performance will be.
This is also the case for Christian Hahn, the CEO at Hubject. Hubject is a Berlin-based joint venture formed by leading energy, technology, and automotive companies. Christian shares that one of his biggest challenges is “creating a team of top motivated, adaptable people, committed to the company’s success – including persons who can teach me new things.” Like Georg, Christian strongly believes that motivation and great teams are essential to the success of any company.
I´m a Managing Director at Testbirds, one of the world’s leading crowd testing providers.
I´m a CEO at Hubject, a joint venture that was formed by leading energy, technology and automotive companies. Its goal is to simplify electric mobility.
Leading with the right scalable strategy
Managing scalability is also one of the biggest CEOs challenges. Any company who may have been doing well at the start might be hindered or doomed if they aren’t able to scale upwards and keep up with their growth.
Rainer Koppitz, CEO at B2X Care Solutions, a Munich-based SMARTCARE Technology, shares his struggle about this one. His challenge is to take all the opportunities in the market with the limited resources (e.g. people, money, etc.) they have available. He says that once they’ve ironed out the wrinkles, they can expect strong growth and rapid expansion.
CEO at NovaStor, Stefan Utzinger, also worry about implementing the right strategy. Leaders are kept occupied with a long list of priorities daily. It could be hard to find the time to create, execute, and review the best strategy.
It can be chaotic and exhausting to lead a company without a clear set of goals and feasible action plans. That’s why a great and feasible strategy would help you develop a clear focus and vision. A winning strategy is critical for a company to become a market leader.
People, process, and technology are the three key elements that businesses should consider before they think about scaling the business.
Dutch Premium Video eCommerce Company, Cleeng, describes the same challenges. The company’s CEO and founder, Gilles Domartini, says that their current battle is managing scalable growth. At the moment, the start-up is still pretty small. But recently, they have grown from 17 people a year ago to its current 30 people. It looks like a healthy growth that should allow the company to achieve their goals. However, the level of client requirements is growing way too fast. Gilles feels that they have to streamline a lot of processes and scale faster while still continuing to innovate and maintain their leadership. Even if their business has doubled, their costs have also been growing significantly. Their managerial roles have become more internally focused.
To overcome this challenge, a company should continuously adapt their organisation and develop each team member’s expertise. This way, every member is equipped for optimising the processes of their functions and delivering the outcome required to scale. They would also be equipped to review and measure if the new process delivers the right outcome.
I´m a CEO at B2X GmbH, a leading global provider of end to end customer care solutions for mobile and IoT devices, founded in Munich, Germany.
I´m a CEO at Cleeng, a leading video eCommerce platform, helping 100's of broadcasters worldwide like Sportsmax, Cirque du Soleil, Canal+, Orange sell their live or on-demand videos.I´m always looking for the next challenge, because life is simply too short.
Breaking Traditions in Business Units
Changes in business communication, corporate culture, customer needs and government regulations are causing a lot of businesses to abandon traditional organisational structures.
Riccardo Sperrle, CIO at Tengelmann, a multi-brand retail holding in Germany, shares these concerns. Knowledge and processes in the digital world are different than in the ancient analog world. It can be difficult to switch from outdated to new processes, especially since it includes retraining your employees.
“As the CEO of a strategic unit, the challenge is to overcome traditions in our business units”, says Martin Sinner. Martin is a Board Member of the leading European provider iBood.com. The tagline of iBlood.com is the “Internet’s Best Online Offer Daily”. The company is based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. He believes that if they overcome this challenge, it would result in more transparency, more affectivity, more focus, and smaller structures.
I´m the CIO at the Tengelmann Group, a multi- sector, family-owned retail group. Its divisions include OBI DIY stores, the fashion and non-food discounter KiK, babymarkt.de, Trei Real Estate and Tengelmann Ventures as well as Emil Capital Partners in the US.
Member Of The Supervisory Board Member, iBOOD.com
Martin is the Board Member at iBOOD.com, the leading European Internet´s Best Online Offer Daily provider.
Successful businesses make their mark by expressing their unique capabilities. Businesses need a unique selling proposition to differentiate themselves in the market. This would attract target customers to your door and away from competitors.
Booming markets and business sectors bring a combination of opportunities and issues. It is up to the different brands in the market to innovate creative and unique ways to deal with problems.
Gianluca D´Agostino told us his challenges regarding differentiation and business models. Gianluca is the Founder and Advisory Board member of Neomobile. Neomobile is an Italian-based mobile monetisation enabler for app developers, ad networks, and digital companies. His goal is to reshape the business model, adding one or two additional go-to-market strategies. However, they struggle to differentiate their business. He believes that the problem was early timing and scarce commitment. He concludes that by modifying their business model, they might be able to add new revenue streams. This would enable them to move back to growth and depend less on their core business.
A good business model explains what problem of the consumers are you trying to solve. It would also explain why your solution works better than your competitors’. Furthermore, it would clarify for your business what consumers are willing to pay for and for how much.
I´m a founder at Neomobile, a mobile monetization enabler for app developers, ad networks and digital companies such as content providers, merchants and stores.
Alignment and Prioritisation
For any initiative or strategy to be successful, every leader must have a set of clear priorities to make it happen. They must also make this clear for the people they are working with. Furthermore, they must also manage the time allotted for each task.
It is known that focus and prioritisation are the most important aspects of getting things done. Colada is a small software company based in Switzerland. Its Founder and CEO Andrea Salce has issues with juggling a lot of things at the same time. He thinks that this is a problem with time management and delegation of tasks. He also says that prioritisation is the key. To solve this, he needs to concentrate on making strategic steps towards the growth of the company rather than trying to do everything at the same time.
Andy Owen Jones has exactly the same problem. Andy is the CEO and Co-founder of bd4travel, an online travel-booking platform based in Frankfurt, Germany. He relates that they need to align the teams around the right priorities. This means defining what they do and don’t do at a given period. He says that this would clarify the agenda and avoid internal arguments. In that way, they would focus their resources adding value to the company instead of wasting time.
I´m a CEO at Colada, an online collaboration network for planners and marketing professionals. I was raised in Schaffhausen (Switzerland) and was attracted by computing as a kid in the ZX81/C64 era.
I´m a CEO and co-founder at bd4travel - Big Data Analytics for the Travel Industry with an initial focus on the European Leisure travel sector.
It´s not a coincidence that many of the featured leaders have common challenges in their organisations. It is difficult to tackle organisational issues that stand in the way of doing things better.
As the world changes, learning and adapting would create critical progress for all companies.
Putting a winning strategy into action is a crucial skill for any team and organisation. But without an effective strategy, it is impossible to effectively learn process execution.
We have developed a Learning Organisation Framework that allows the streamlining of knowledge exchange within a whole organisation. This framework is crucial for companies to keep the pace in a fast-changing world!
Change begins with a team before it ripples out. This approach is different from what most Agile consulting companies teach out there. Scrum, Kanban or any other Agile frameworks is important. But before we jump into processes or frameworks, it is important to build a proper team.