Challenges for Corporate CEOs in 2011

Posted by | December 30, 2010

2010 was a trying year for every business. Even with the recent glimmers of economic improvement, 2011 will be no less challenging.

I was recently interviewed by Sheryl Nance-Nash for an AOL DailyFinance article on what corporate CEOs will likely face next year.

As a CEO who spends much of his time nurturing and guiding emerging companies, I began thinking about the everyday challenges that come with my job.

Today’s business environment shifts so rapidly that CEOs will have to be nimble, ready to quickly adapt to new realities of technology and consumer demand.   It will be particularly important to have a strong, stable management team in place for support.

As Sheryl pointed out in her article, the biggest challenge in 2011 will likely be the state of the regulatory environment, particularly within healthcare. Here are some other points that I think are worth considering in preparation for another unpredictable year:

  • Strengthening balance sheet to ensure maximum flexibility as it pertains to M&A, IPO or other strategic financial opportunities – This year, it’s going to be particularly important for companies to be lean and flexible. This means not being encumbered by a great deal of debt. CEOs should make sure their companies are reducing debt and adding cash to the balance sheet.
  • Making impactful and cost-effective investments to upgrade corporate infrastructure – Spend smart. Closely analyze every spending initiative to make sure it contributes to ROI and makes employees more productive.
  • Navigating through pricing bubbles when pursuing acquisitions to grow business –In some areas, like technology, valuations of attractive companies have exceeded their intrinsic value. Avoid overpaying.
  • Staying ahead of security risks as it pertains to IT infrastructure and corporate disclosure – It’s imperative that employees and key stakeholders respect the sensitivity around sharing proprietary information via email or cloud computing. Security breeches are not uncommon and can be avoided by taking basic precautions.

This will be our last post for 2010. Thank you all for your interest in Safeguard and our partner companies. We wish you and your families a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!

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