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CEOs urged to shift the discussion from ‘managing disruption’ to ‘seizing opportunities’

CEOs urged to shift the discussion from ‘managing disruption’ to ‘seizing opportunities’

KPMG CEO Godfrey Boyce talks about the importance of taking on a mindset “that is open to new ideas”

In the end, our future success as a firm will depend on our willingness to lock in constant change

Godfrey Boyce, KPMG NZ

“It’s time to move the conversation with CEOs away from the negative connotations that go with today’s buzzwords of ‘uncertainty’ and ‘disruption’,” says Godfrey Boyce, CEO at KPMG New Zealand.

“We have to change the discussion, from managing the disruption, to seizing the opportunities,” says Boyce, at the annual KPMG Executive Business Briefing.

“As Kiwis, seizing opportunity is in our DNA,” he states. “As individuals, we need to embrace personal growth, change and adaptation.”

“In the end, our future success as a firm will depend on our willingness to lock in constant change. This will be structural and attitudinal,” Boyce tells more than 500 business leaders at the Auckland forum.

He explains this entails fostering a growth mindset and building an ecosystem of trust - both with consumers and within one’s own organisation.

We can be captured by the 4th industrial revolution, robotics, AI and automation. These will undoubtedly have a big impact on many industries.

But, as he points out, disruption is an ever present theme, and it is how organisations respond that matter.

He says this requires a mindset, “that is open to new ideas”.

He asks: How do we measure our own emotional intelligence, how do we know we are going forward? How much time is spent on blue sky thinking versus captured series of meetings? How can we collaborate with different partners in different markets?

Boyce says the results of the latest KPMG global study of 2000 CEOs show New Zealand CEOs are positioned ahead of their peers when it comes to mindset, trust and adaptability – attributes needed to seize opportunity during this time of rapid change.

Kiwi business leaders have a much higher focus on building trust and doing the right thing by the consumer than do CEOs of other nations, he says. 

“One hundred per cent of New Zealand CEOs surveyed felt a growing responsibility to represent the best interests of their consumers, compared to only 70 per cent of CEOs in the rest of the world.”

Boyce says growth is dependent on staying relevant to existing customers, becoming relevant to new customers and being adaptable and flexible in a changing world. 

“Key to this is attracting and retaining people with flexible mindsets; the ability to change should be a core competency of today’s team members.”

Trust is important to succeed in this type of environment. It is all about the customer, he states.

He advises putting customers first, being a truly customer centric organisation and making the right decision not only for the short-term but for the long-term. 

Listen to your customers, look at your products and services and whether these are meeting customer needs, he advises.

He also cites improving the customer experience using data but “respecting the boundaries of using people’s personal data”.

  Be ‘match fit' and ready for a competitive world, says KPMG Tax Partner, Bruce Bernacchi. “International uncertainty is the new normal.”
Be ‘match fit' and ready for a competitive world, says KPMG Tax Partner, Bruce Bernacchi. “International uncertainty is the new normal.”

“If we focus on positioning our organisations to seize opportunities, we’ll increase the value we offer to consumers, not just for our own ends, but for the bigger purpose of increasing our nation’s prosperity."

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