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Notably, in Mainland China and Hong Kong, customers (56%) and governments took the number one spot in the most influential stakeholder on organisational strategy, followed by employees (54%).

New data has found that in the next five years, customers (70%) and employees (41%) will be the most influential stakeholder groups on business strategy globally.  

According to Russell Reynolds Associates' latest report which surveyed more than 1,000 business leaders across 53 countries, investors (37%) and the board (33%) were ranked third and fourth. The report explained that the changing power dynamic has shown that “global leaders are increasingly aware of the influence that employees can exert over public discourse, with social media a ready platform for airing concerns”. 

Notably, in Mainland China and Hong Kong, customers (56%) and governments took the number one spot in the most influential stakeholder on organisational strategy, followed by employees (54%).

Asia's sentiment towards company leadership’s preparedness to respond to technological change is marginally lower (59%), compared with the US (63%) and Europe (72%). Meanwhile, respondents in Mainland China and Hong Kong (81%) believe their leadership is prepared to respond to forthcoming changes in consumer behaviour, the highest among a list of major markets.

The top five external factors that will most likely to impact the health of organisations in Mainland China and Hong Kong across the next 12-18 months include:

  • Uncertain economic growth,
  • Technological change,
  • Availability of key talent/skills,
  • Policy uncertainty,
  • Changes in consumer behaviour. 

The data also shed light on the widening gap between the board and C-Suite leaders. Globally, while board directors are unanimously confident that the information they provide to the executive team is good, four in ten CEOs and other C-Suite leaders don’t believe they receive good advice and input from the board.

Additionally, 74% of CEOs and board directors agree the leadership team is effectively embracing the opportunities of ESG, but only 57% of other C-suite executives do. 

Unsurprisingly, talent availability is the top challenge for global leaders, with 59% of leaders citing availability of key talent and skills as a top threat to their business over the next year and the concern they are least prepared to address. 

Russell Reynolds Associates's 2021 Global Leadership Monitor surveyed 1,327 business leaders across 53 countries/regions and all major industry sectors, including 51 business leaders from China and Hong Kong. The survey highlights several pertinent issues for leadership teams, including concern about talent availability, leadership softness on issues of ESG and DE&I, and disconnects between boards and management teams.

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