CEOs to Managers: You're Not Up to Snuff

Last Updated Oct 5, 2007 1:48 PM EDT

You're Not Up to SnuffWhat's the biggest HR concern among CEOs? With the recent strike at GM and all the talk on the presidential campaign trail about America's growing number of uninsured, you might guess healthcare. Perhaps, after Bill Gates' call for an end to a limit on visas for skilled foreign workers, you'd say a shortage of highly trained tech workers. Either way you'd be wrong.

CEOs biggest HR concern is the quality of the managers coming up behind them, according to a CEO survey released by the Conference Board yesterday. The Conference Board found that,

finding qualified managerial talent (sixth place) and top management succession (seventh place) have become the dominant people issues for U.S. CEOs, replacing last year's top HR concern, healthcare costs. The two concerns are closely intertwined because competition for talented managers will become even fiercer as many baby boomers depart the "top of the house" to move into "third-stage careers" and retirement.
Still, healthcare costs remained a much larger concern for CEOs in the U.S., where it ranked 16th, than for their counterparts in Asia and Europe, where healthcare costs ranked 69th and 71st, respectively, suggesting that healthcare remains a competitive liability when U.S. companies compete abroad.

The survey also concluded that CEOs of "less successful" companies felt the pressure from rising healthcare and energy costs more than CEOs of companies deemed "more successful." CEOs from less successful companies valued consistent execution of strategy more highly than their "more successful" counterparts and were less interested in speed, flexibility and adaptability.

(Image of businessmen by StickBus, CC 2.0)

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    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.