Business leaders in financial services and technology are as concerned about climate change as they are about inflation; a greater number of Presidents and CEOs see net zero initiatives as a driver of growth over the next two years than in any other region
BOGOTÁ, MEXICO CITY, SÃO PAULO, LIMA, 6 DECEMBER, 2022 – Boyden, a premier leadership and talent advisory firm with more than 75 offices in over 45 countries, reports on its annual global executive talent research. While respondents in Latin America are the most confident worldwide in terms of business and talent, they reveal significant concerns about climate change.
Nearly one third, 31 percent of respondents in the financial services sector and 57 percent of respondents in technology are as concerned about climate change as they are about inflation.
Latin America leads the world in recognizing growth potential from net zero initiatives. Almost twice the number of Presidents and CEOs see net zero initiatives as a top three driver of growth than in Europe, and three times the number compared to North America: 15 percent in Latin America, 8 percent in Europe, 5 percent in North America, and 0 percent in Asia/Pacific.
The global study, Strengthening the human-centric core of Industry 5.01, How can organizations thrive in a complex world of risk? explores perspectives on risk among CEOs, boards and other senior leaders, alongside executive talent trends, priorities and investment.
In terms of organizational growth potential, respondents in Latin America are the most confident worldwide, with 85 percent very confident or confident, compared to 70 percent for the global average and 59 percent in North America. Growth will be driven equally by innovation and digital transformation, followed by product or service diversification. Confidence is led by the industrial sector, where 92 percent of respondents are very confident or confident.
“Confidence in Latin America tends to be higher because global trends strike our region somewhat later,” explains Antonio Sanchez, Managing Partner in Colombia and Latin America Regional Practice Leader, Consumer & Retail. “Compared to the beginning of 2022, I will be surprised if confidence has not dramatically decreased due mainly to political changes in countries such as Brazil and Colombia, and high currency devaluations. Coping with global economic change is a priority for companies, aware that talent is having to respond with tolerance and adjustment to market changes.”
In terms of talent, priority investments in 2021 in (i) leadership development for high potentials, (ii) retraining or redeploying existing talent and (iii) hiring new leadership talent seems to have paid dividends, with 76 percent of respondents feeling very confident or confident in having the right talent to align with strategy, compared with the global average of 59 percent. At board level, 73 percent of respondents are very confident or confident in having the right talent to align with strategy, compared to the 62 percent global average. Having the right board profile is increasingly important, with 64 percent of respondents expecting to invest in a board assessment, compared to 42 percent in 2021.
Marytere Arias, Partner at Boyden in Mexico considers the approach to talent, commenting, "We see relevant and positive change as organizations search for executives with expertise in transformation and digital innovation, particularly in financial services and insurance. Demand is also high for human resources managers who understand the post-pandemic reality, pursuing more agile and friendly economic models based on technology and the value of human resources. This is changing the way of doing business and, above all, attention to both internal and external clients, to everyone’s benefit."
With confidence high in having the right talent to align with strategy, growth drivers through 2023 are identified as (i) innovation; (ii) digital transformation and then (iii) jointly human capital and product or service diversification. These are sector averages; the tech sector is distinctive in seeing human capital as the top driver of growth, followed by entry into new markets. Investment in human capital will focus on digital skills (robotics, AI, machine learning), which are the top priority in strengthening executive skills through 2023. The tech sector is also distinctive in seeing the top drivers of structural change as, jointly, ‘competing for the right talent’ and ‘regional growth’.
“In recent years, the tech sector has seen extraordinary growth based on new solutions and the increasing range of its applications,” comments Leonardo de Souza, Partner at Boyden in Brazil. “Large groups were formed and new business models incorporated into traditional companies, attracting executives from various sectors into this emerging corporate ecosystem. With many companies still in the early stages of maturity, innovation, digital advances and diverse executive profiles are seen as key drivers for consolidating corporate culture.”
Concerns around climate change are reflected in strong commitments to ESG objectives. Respondents in Latin America put greater emphasis on ESG initiatives than global peers, with 22 percent seeing these as a top three driver of structural change, compared with 16 percent of global peers. Looking at ESG in the context of corporate culture, Latin America is ahead globally, with 26 percent of respondents reporting that ESG-sustainability is ‘deeply embedded in the culture’ and 41 percent reporting that ESG-DEI is ‘included in most business decisions’. This compares to global averages of 17 percent and 31 percent respectively. ESG commitments are the top incentive for recruitment, used by 70 percent of respondents in hiring.
Read the full report: Strengthening the human-centric core of Industry 5.0: Latin America.
1 The Fifth Industrial Revolution, also known as Industry 5.0, is a new phase of industrialisation, whereby humans work alongside advanced technologies and AI-powered robots to enhance processes within the workplace. Source: The Manufacturer. Source: https://www.themanufacturer.com/articles/the-innovation-behind-the-industrial-revolution/
About the research
This research was conducted in Q2 2022 among senior executives worldwide from publicly-quoted, private/independent, private/family owned, social enterprise and PE-backed organizations. A total of 640 complete responses include nearly 20 percent from Latin America, where respondents are 21 percent board/president/CEOs; 26 percent SVP, division or country heads; and 46 percent functional leaders.
Boyden is a premier leadership and talent advisory firm with more than 75 offices in over 45 countries. Our global reach enables us to serve client needs anywhere they conduct business. We connect great companies with great leaders through executive search, interim management and leadership consulting solutions. For further information, visit www.boyden.com
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