CEOs are less confident in the year ahead and lack of available skills will not make it easier


Eric van Gils

One of the less popular messages from the 2019 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos last week was that the IMF had revised it’s forecast for global growth downwards.

This loss of confidence seems to be echoed by global CEOs in the recent PWC 2019 Global CEO Survey, where 29% of global business leaders felt global economic growth will decline, compared to only 5% in the 2018 survey. The common message is that globally, leaders are less optimistic.

The uncertainty around growth in the global economy is not the only problem weighing on business leaders’ minds. The PWC Global CEO survey also highlighted the lack of available skills as having a detrimental effect on companies’ abilities to operate effectively and grow.

Source : PWC 22nd Annual Global CEO Survey (Click to enlarge)

59% of global CEOs confirmed that challenges with the availability of skills means they are not able to innovate effectively and 52% of global CEOs indicated the lack of skills is causing their people costs to grow.

CEOs face an uphill challenge where global trade tensions combined with lower growth projections will make it difficult to convince their boards and leadership teams to invest in longer term reskilling initiatives.

Unfortunately, the reality is that if reskilling is not a fundamental focus of business going forward then organisations may make it through the coming short term headwinds only to find themselves without the necessary skills and talent to survive the 2020s decade.

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