CEOs of major corporations indicate that employee development and leadership will be major factors in their success in 2008. This observation is based on the NYSE CEO Report 2008 which describes survey responses from CEOs of 240 companies listed on the NYSE. David Baker cited this report in the October 2007 issue of his enewsletter, Customer Strategy Review, as evidence of a renewed business focus on a customer-centric strategy. This point is made in the Executive Summary of the NYSE report:

CEOs say they are focusing more on stakeholders, including employees, shareholders and customers. More than half say they will spend more money on customer-relationship management through 2008, and a third report that they are allotting more time to customer relations than they did three years ago. (p.2)

These CEOs also predict that success in the face of the challenges of fast-paced change and a global economy will depend on good management. They indicate that good management will be increasingly important to revenue growth and retention of employees.

It seems to me that customer service and good management will require continuous employee and management learning. These are not competencies that one develops in a single, two-day workshop. That might be part of the mix, but given the speed of change, learning must be constant. Senior leaders will need to continually learn about good management and all employees will need to continually learn about the customer (and partners, suppliers, and shareholders) and how to best serve them. The NYSE CEO Report 2008 is further evidence of the need for ongoing, results-focused, performance improvement programs in growing organizations worldwide.