5 Key Takeaways from a CEO Forum!

5 Key Takeaways from a CEO Forum!

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending a CEO Forum organized by Spencer Stuart in Bangalore, India. The event brought together CEOs from diverse sectors including manufacturing, healthcare, services, and technology. The discussions were incredibly enriching, offering deep insights into organisations' and their leaders' prevalent and upcoming challenges.

Here are the top 5 themes that dominated our discussions: ( and 1 key action that I have taken at my organisation since)

  1. Employee Motivation: This was the number one concern for all CEOs present, regardless of the industry or size of the firms they represented. Action taken: We now read our “purpose” statement bi-weekly during our daily morning meetings
  2. Crisis of Leadership at Mid-Level Management: There is a notable lack of qualified and engaged managers at the mid-level who can synthesize the organization’s purpose and convey it effectively to front-line employees. Action taken: We have started involving second-line managers in key decision-making activities, including meetings and email chains
  3. Upskilling: Most CEOs felt the urgent need to upskill and stay updated with the latest developments within and outside their domains. Action taken: I have enrolled in the latest Management and IT courses on LinkedIn and Coursera, while continuing my long-time subscription to the Harvard Business Review
  4. Personal productivity: While each CEO was acutely aware of their strengths, what impressed me more was their openness about their struggles, particularly in finding time for personal fitness and family time — both of which, are linked to productivity. Action taken: As many of you who follow this blog know, I have written extensively on this topic [ https://www.rajatagarwal.org/ ]
  5. AI: The discussions inevitably turned to AI, with everyone aware of the latest developments from ChatGPT to Gemini to Copilot and Amazon Lex. Conversations focused on the impact of AI on various industries and job roles, as well as the opportunities and challenges posed by AI. Action taken: We hired our first full-time AI/ML engineer

In conclusion, if you are a CEO, you are not alone!

More importantly, if you are an entrepreneur, team member, team leader, or senior manager, you should be aware of the challenges being faced by corporate India, and each one of us should help in figuring out creative solutions to address the common issues affecting us all!

Let’s work together and Shoot to the Top!