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CEOs Will Target Innovation Through Talent, AI to Drive Long-Term Growth

CEOs will prioritize “investing in innovation (people, process and tools),” digital transformation (including AI), and upskilling and retraining, to drive growth over the next five years according to the Conference Board C-Suite Outlook 2024 survey.

The promise of AI: Nearly 90% of CEOs view AI as increasing the productivity of their companies but 94% recognize the need for changes in culture, skills, and training to maximize AI benefits and productivity. 

  • Over 90% of CHROs believe AI will increase employee productivity and expand innovation.
  • 76% of CHROs believe AI will increase employee engagement (compared to 62% of CEOs).

  • However, more CHROs – 81% – believe AI will add organizational risk, versus 56% of CEOs and more CHROs (43%) see AI increasing regulatory burdens than CEOs (37%).

Boards disagree on handling of ESG backlash: Board members and CEOs are generally aligned on how companies are integrating ESG into their businesses (64% for Board members vs. 76% for CEOs). However, just 56% of Board members believe their companies are dealing well in addressing ESG backlash compared to 70% of CEOs. 

Different roles, different ESG focuses:  U.S. CEOs place a greater priority on gender and racial equality than Board members, who are more focused on making sure the company addresses climate-related risks.

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Authors: Timothy J. Bartl

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