- More than half of CEOs believe their business will grow in the next three years, with 53% projecting up to 2% growth, according to KPMG's fifth Global CEO Outlook. That's slightly less than the 55% in 2018, and the report also found a small dip in confidence in the growth of the global economy over the same three-year period. KPMG said 62% of respondents expected global growth, while 67% expected the same in 2018.
- More than one-third of CEOs surveyed said they plan to grow their workforce by about 6% in the coming years, but most plan to invest more in technology than in employee development. About 70% said their capital investments will be in tech, while only 32% said they will be workforce development that could improve resilience, according to KPMG.
- A majority of CEOs (84%) believe a "fail fast" culture, in which "lessons from failures are learned quickly," drives innovation today, KPMG said. Still, only slightly more than half said their organization has that culture in place.
Small organizations in particular have been optimistic about growth since the Trump administration introduced its deregulation policies. Nearly a quarter of small businesses in a recent TD Bank survey intended to increase their head count in 2019, despite the challenges the talent shortage presents.
For many employers, growth often hinges upon striking the right balance between updating tech and developing workforces. Automation-related shifts have many managers concered, while some employees are confident technology will enhance their jobs, rather than replace them. According to KPMG, however, technology isn't being implemented quickly, with only 16% of CEOs reporting leveraging AI and automation in their organizations. Talent leaders may need to lead the charge on integrating technology — while maintaining needed human labor power — by piloting new tech in their own department.
Employers may need to adopt a model of continuous learning, as well, to keep pace with change and anticipate what the market holds for the future. Additionally, employers that choose to adopt the sort of "fail fast" culture described by KPMG might consider how a mindset that pushes agility and constant change will appeal to current workers and prospective hires. Organizations might also monitor the Trump administration's developing tariff war with China, which is expected to decrease the GDP in the U.S. and could impact growth plans across industries.