In 2014 we have conducted our third annual Russian boards survey, which asked corporate directors to assess the importance of a range of megatrends and reflect on how their companies can adapt and prosper in an environment of ongoing global change. Business will already be feeling the impact of these megatrends in the next few years: anticipated demographic shifts and related rebalancing of global economic clout. These trends reflect such key factors in contemporary global development as accelerating urbanisation, climate change, resource shortages, and technological breakthroughs.
Our focus in this survey has been on identifying how corporate board members view various megatrends as well as how they perceive these trends in the context of their company's operations. The survey results tell us that 65% of respondents believe global trends have a significant impact on their corporate operations, while 28% of those surveyed had difficulty answering this question, and only 7% are confident that megatrends will have no impact on their company's business.
The survey data shows that 65% of respondents recognize that both of these megatrends have a tangible impact on their business operations. Moreover, most Russian corporate directors do not believe that such trends as climate change and resource shortages will have a significant impact on how their company's business is organised. Assessing risks and opportunities, respondents believe that corporate boards should spend more time and put greater focus on relevant megatrends and their potential impact on company strategy. And, 28% of those surveyed see new opportunities in these trends for their companies. However, nearly the same percentage of directors (24%) is largely inclined to see global trends as a source of new risks.
During the last three years' boards surveys, we focused our questions on those themes that, in the view of directors, are considered highest priority for their boards. For the past two years already, strategic planning has topped the list of priority tasks: 90% of respondents stated that this issue merits more attention from corporate boards (versus 87% in 2013 and only 52% in 2012), whereas only 45% of those surveyed think this issue deserves significantly greater attention and effort.
Among other priority issues this year, 76% of survey participants named crisis management and planning (factoring in a wide spectrum of megatrends-related risks), while 83% named executive succession planning, 73% named developinghuman capital (which, among other things, includes analysis of such megatrends as demographic change and rapid urbanisation), and 72% named review of executive compensation.
We invite you to take a closer look at the Russian boards survey results.