2014 CEO2CEO Summit:
Growing Your Business in Uncertain Times



CONCEPT: In group brainstorming sessions, CEOs tackled the challenges of driving innovation, building effective work environments and coping with regulatory overreach and political uncertainty.


To drive innovation:
• Define what it means for your company. Is it a new product, a process improvement or a new market?
• Avoid confining innovation to a single department—it should wash across the organization.
• Champion, but don’t dictate. Innovation should be bi-directional, top-down and bottom-up.
• Govern innovation efforts to validate ideas and manage the value-add they can deliver.

To harness technology:
• Carefully vet the build vs. buy decision
• Define the technological opportunities in your industry.
• Ensure leadership is engaged in exploring new technological capabilities.
• Identify and prepare for the disruptive forces in your industry.

To cope with regulatory uncertainty:
• Size up your impact by joining forces with industry peers, trade groups or local business networks.
• Hedge your bets by doing business in more than one region to reduce the risk of being derailed by a political upheaval or regulatory event.
• Be vocal about how potential regulatory action will affect your business—and the jobs you provide.
• Look for the opportunities regulation may bring.

To build an effective work environment:
• Recognize that your offices, not you, make the first impression on potential hirees.
• Environment plays a huge role in corporate culture, which, in turn, impacts performance.
• Charitable activities that tie into employee values boost morale and strengthen ties.
• Performance-based compensation is effective, but high-visibility recognition in the workplace also motivates effectively.