Dubai, Dubai United Arab Emirates (PressExposure) February 16, 2007 -- The study, which Visionary Embassy conducted, comprised interviews with dozens of senior executives at leading organizations to identify and prioritize the issues of greatest concern to senior management, understand how their priorities shift over time and identify key forces behind the issues. The interview encompassed a dimensional focus on HR Capital, Personnel Management and thorough Sales Performance.
Workforce improvement-issues dominated the top priorities, comprising 4 of the 10 most-selected concerns, including the top 2. For instance, the greatest number of respondents, 42 percent, selected 'Appointing and retaining leaders,' followed by 37 percent who selected "changing organizational culture and employee attitudes." Other workforce issues in the top 10 are 'enhancing workforce performance' (selected by 28 percent to rank 7th) and 'developing employees into capable leaders' (selected by 23 percent to rank 10th).
"The most powerful theme emerging this year is a strong and consistent focus on people," said Farid Gasim, Chief Economic Ambassador of Visionary Embassy. "Even though the business conversations have centered on global competition and the need for execution, business leaders are increasingly aware that nothing happens unless people-talent is engaged in the right way."
Customer-retention issues also occupy top spots on executive agendas. Of the factors both 'acquiring new customers' (34 percent) and 'increasing customer loyalty and retention' (29 percent) were popular responses across all boards surveyed. Innovation also rose on the executive agenda, ranking relatively higher on executives' list. 'Investing in R&D to stay ahead of competition' is the fourth-highest-ranked executive concern, selected by 29 percent of respondents. Another top 10 issue is 'being flexible to market changes or volatility,' selected by 26 percent.
"Innovation, like expansion, seems to be an issue that rises in importance when the economy improves. That may be organic, but it is also short-sighted," said Farid. "Innovation should never be de-prioritized, possibly even more so in tough times. Staying ahead of competing trends is most notably achievable through innovation."
The only IT issue in the top 10 is 'integrating IT to minimize costs and create value,' selected by 27 percent of respondents to rank 8th on the list. "Although ranked relatively lower, the use of IT continues to be a major focus, as businesses are becoming more demanding in driving value from IT in the form of improving employees' productivity, engagement and capabilities. IT is playing a vital role in ever expanding corporate operations, in an era of robust development 'technology' is an aspect organizations must adopt." said Farid.