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2023’s path to success – how to grow in trying times. A manual for CEOs

For many, the beginning of a new year is the opportunity for a fresh start, and while the market situation is surely challenging – smart planning and persistent commitment to resolutions are more important than ever.

2023 certainly has a number of major challenges awaiting businesses in a range of sectors, and CEOs are aware of this – as many as 75% believe that they will experience a decline in growth over the year. But how do you address such a scenario and grow when the odds are stacked against you?  

The manual below will allow you to properly prepare for difficulties, and adopt the appropriate mindset to help you in achieving your goals. 

  1. Detailed planning – focus on the goals 

Presumably, the goals for 2023 are set by now- and that’s a good thing! But how do you manage them now and throughout the year to meet as many as possible? 

First of all, always keep them in mind. Although at first glance this seems obvious, everyone who has ever had long-range goals knows that it’s not really that easy. Making a habit of looking at the list can help. Every day, every week, once a month? It depends on you.  

Sticking to schedules and time frames is always a good thing if you want to achieve long-lasting results. A list of goals is the first step but organizing it properly will further simplify prioritization. Set a path and divide your year by monthly, quarterly, and overall sections in order to keep track. More than half, a whopping 52%, of digital initiatives that fail to achieve their targets set by CEOs had ill-defined deadlines and seeing results or issues can be an overlong process. This is why the small-steps method is so vital. 

And to be certain that everything goes as planned – establish metrics to measure success. It will allow for the visualization of progress and identify any pinch and pain points. Results will be noticed more rapidly, which can help in maintaining motivation and responding quickly to any issues. 

What’s equally important, especially in times when things may not go as we wish, is to prioritize the goals. Reconsider what is most important and pin that to the top of the list. This will ensure a goal-oriented mindset is applied when planning activities during the year. 

Focus on the main goals but remember the small steps, too. They matter.  

Looking back as well forward is important as well. Such detailed plans and measurements may help you identify past mistakes, realize which solutions work better than others and improve both efficiency and effectiveness.  

2. To grow is to learn 

No matter what the economic situation is, education and growth are still good value for money. Broadening your and your teams’ competencies is a way of addressing problems such as burnout, low resilience, and even talent gap issues in the organization. 

For leadership positions, growth gives the ability for a more confident, rapid and powerful response. Effective management and the ability to address the company’s most urgent needs are important qualities in this new reality.  

And for the team, growth may be shown as building new experiences, gaining the knowledge of how to catalyse and accelerate the most important efforts, and developing both their hard and soft skills. Learning can be a great motivation booster as well. It gives the team the tools and confidence to act and face challenges as well as helping your whole organization to thrive even against the backdrop of challenging economic headwinds. 

But still – learning is not only about certificates, courses, and new challenges. It is also about being humble. Regrettably, it’s impossible to be a guru on each and every subject. It’s really important to take the time to listen to those who are experts in their matter. If you want to keep track of the current situation, get to know about upcoming challenges before others, and plan ahead. It’s a good idea to draw on a number of  sources to help you react in a timely manner.  

Learning is not only for defence but for offence as well. Broadening the competencies and deepening knowledge help to identify new solutions, best-fitting tools, and great opportunities for your company to grow. Keeping in touch with the latest trends on sites such as LinkedIn may give you a practical picture of what works.

3. New technologies and the search for solutions 

You are well aware of your goals. While you can accomplish them on your own, it’s not worth making the job more difficult. Look for tech initiatives and solutions that can assist in reaching these goals. There are countless tools on the market that are dedicated to making day-to-day work easier in various sectors. These can allow teams to collaborate smoothly and make remote work more effective. 

The scope and impact of technology-related opportunities have never been so extensive but it will take careful consideration as to what you need. Arrange the time for doing research, but more importantly for the practical aspect. Request demos, contact vendors that seem to you to be the best fit for your company in terms of model and mindset, and use these free trials to get a first-hand idea of whether something will be beneficial for your company. 

With a tough economic situation looming on the horizon, it’s worth recalling that effective use of technology in day-to-day operations helps save the team time, utilises resources when they are actually required, which in turn, cuts costs. According to Gartner’s study, using new technologies may increase cost-efficiency by 22%. But your organization’s economy is not just about expenses. Results are what matter – here, technology can help as well. You can enhance customers’ experience by up to 45% with digital solutions. 

And if perhaps you don’t have enough time to explore the options yet still feel that some aspects of your business need support – there is a solution for this, too. Let specialists handle these lower-priority projects. This will take the pressure off your company, which can then concentrate on efforts that have a direct impact on performance and the bottom line. 

By staying on track with the new solutions, you won’t be left behind and will always know what’s happening on the market. Build your advantage and… 

4. Get flexible 

Now may be a great time to take the risk and try things you have never attempted before. We may all benefit from networking so try to think about cooperating with companies in your ecosystem and nurture closer relations to guide the company  through these trying times. Maximize the resources and start building a supportive network with your partners. Bartering may be an excellent option for some. The question is – how can we help each other?  

When it comes to talent management, a more flexible mindset is an advantage. Maybe it’s time to stop hoarding all that great talent and resources you keep within your team. It’s not a good idea to let your best specialist go, but don’t ever let them go to waste. Manage their time wisely and if they are not occupied with a project, you can consider putting them on a bench – so everyone can benefit from their extensive skillset.  

But maybe you also need support in particular areas? Your team needs a helping hand with resolving any temporary issue or would you like to increase the efficiency of a process? Don’t wait for the issues to pile up. Gig workers may be the best answer if you have a short- term task that requires attention. It is a quick and impressively efficient way of dealing with such matters. Nearly 77% of organizations do not use gig workers but obtaining talent from alternative talent pools and hiring contractors can address the urgent needs of your company and sometimes – having a new set of eyes may be helpful to the process as a whole.  

5. Take care of your team’s wellbeing 

Times are tough for everyone, and it’s been like this for a while now. We have all faced a number of major challenges in the past few years – with the pandemic, inflation, and the war in Ukraine.  

As was mentioned earlier, it is important to use your resources wisely in such times. It also means that it’s a top priority to make the work of your specialists easier and focused on the overall goal. Thinking of hiring non-traditional employees and using new tools to enhance the results will take the heat off your employees.  

To minimize burnout – it’s more important than ever to celebrate these small steps as much as the milestones. Motivate your co-workers to achieve better results and make their journey with your organization a one of a kind. Letting them grow and offering an effective and considered response to their needs is a way to empower and inspire the workforce.  


PwC –

Gartner – 2023 Gartner CIO and Technology Executive Survey

Forbes –

Your future digital workforce is here and now.

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