Strong, adaptive leadership while staying focused on the future are crucial traits for the modern day chief executive, especially when dealing with the challenge of Covid-19, says ServiceNow country manager Hamish Miles.
Commenting on the 2020 CEO of the Year finalists for the Deloitte Top 200 awards, Miles says Covid-19 has been a stress test that has allowed many leaders the opportunity to rethink how work gets done.
"A top CEO will be able to pivot the organisation quickly toward opportunity. Speed is a differentiator in this future of work. The market opportunity could be increased production, new markets, more automation, retiring older more costly 'product or services' earlier than planned."
Miles says the best CEOs are always one or two steps ahead of the market.
"Whilst it may not seem obvious to all staff immediately, this wisdom ensures that the company keeps pace in front of competitors and maintains relevancy."
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare's Lewis Graydon, Zespri's Daniel Mathieson and Beca's Greg Lowe have been named as finalists in the category sponsored by ServiceNow, a consultancy firm.
Effective CEOs also transform and lead their organisation into a purpose-driven company, Miles says.
"Organisations with clear and real purpose are known to be great places to work. When there is a real fight for the best talent, including retention, purpose-driven organisations win. This has been proven when we explore how much work has changed as dramatically as it has in 2020."
Miles notes that two of this year's finalists – Zespri and F&P Healthcare have yielded impressive performance since the pandemic struck the world.
"It's also an opportunity to drive operational resilience and business continuity. All value chains have been split apart by Covid, but digital workflows are reconnecting these across the enterprise."
Leaders benefit from using technology to ensure wellness, support and engagement to do the work people signed up for, he says.
"The future of work is here now as Covid has proven. It's a compelling opportunity to put customers and staff at the centre of that future by embracing automation opportunities with technology.
"In the decade ahead, digital leaders will enjoy many strategic advantages with their organisation better positioned to manage business continuity, meet customer commitments and keep employees engaged and productive."
Deloitte Top 200 Awards were established in 1990 and are held annually to recognise and applaud outstanding individual and management team performances among New Zealand's largest companies and trading organisations.
Last year's winner for the CEO award was Fraser Whineray, then at Mercury Energy.
All the Deloitte Top 200 winners will be revealed at a lunch event this Thursday.
The evening will also include the special "Visionary Leader" award. Click here for a full list of finalists.
CEO of the Year finalists – Sponsored by Service Now
• Fisher & Paykel Healthcare's Lewis Graydon
• Zespri's Daniel Mathieson
• Beca's Greg Lowe