PJ Neal

Thoughts from a more-than-occasional writer

Specialists, Caretakers, and Chameleons: The C-Suite in 2021 [Russell Reynolds Associates]

It’s a challenging time for corporations.

The first years of the twenty-first century have seen a period of rapid technological innovation, an explosion of entrepreneurial activity, and globalization on an unparalleled pace. Nations have experienced unexpected political upheavals. Markets have shifted and changed. So have the employees we lead. And executive teams have never looked quite this way before.

No longer is the C-suite defined by elder statesmen in corner offices at the pinnacles of long, successful careers in a single company. We now live in an era rampant with job hopping, a time in which twenty-somethings launch billion-dollar companies, and organizations face constant pressure to disrupt or be disrupted.

Executives understand the changes that have already happened – but are struggling to predict what changes will come next.

To that end, Russell Reynolds Associates partnered with Trendera in the summer and fall of 2016 to interview thirty executives and thought leaders from around the world to obtain their point of view on the forces that will shape commerce and industry, and what we can expect the C-suite to look like in 2021 (a full list of interviewees appears on pages 28-29). These individuals lived and worked around the world, represented both emerging and established organizations, and came from industry, academia, and professional services. These interviews covered the forces that are impacting all of us today, the changes in our working lives that are on the horizon, and the ultimate insight: What leadership teams will look like, and be doing differently, five years from now.

Some of these changes are good for business. Others will make our lives more complicated. But all of them, good or bad, may very well be the reality with which we have to contend.

Read the full paper, co-authored with Todd Safferstone and Dean Stamoulis, and published by Russell Reynolds Associates.