Irving Wladawsky-Berger: Growing Up in a Complex World
Several weeks ago IBM released its 2010 Global CEO Study. This is IBM’s fourth and largest CEO study since 2004, based on more than 1,500 face-to-face interviews with CEOs and senior public leaders from more than 60 countries. I wrote about the CEO study in this recent blog. The primary challenge emerging out of the CEO conversations was complexity - the fact that CEOs now operate in a world that is substantially more volatile, uncertain and complex. They feel that incremental changes are no longer sufficient because the world is operating in fundamentally different ways. The study concluded that Standout organizations - those that have been able to deliver good business results despite the recent economic downturn - feel much more prepared to capitalize on complexity by focusing on three key areas: embodying creative leadership, reinventing customer relationships and operational dexterity. On June 14, IBM released a companion to the CEO study, this time focusing on the views of young people, members of what is often referred to as the Millennial Generation or Generation Y. Inheriting a Complex World: Future Leaders Envision Sharing the Planet invited graduate and undergraduate students to participate in a Web-based survey between October 2009 and January 2010. More than 3,600 responses were received from students in more than 40 countries. They were pretty evenly split between undergraduates and graduate students, as well as between emerging and mature markets. More than two thirds were between 20 and 25 years old.