56% of global C-suite admit current business transformations aren’t working, and only 43% effectively operate regeneratively

Analysis from global consultancy Kearney has found that over half (56%) of executives say their current business transformations aren’t working. Despite businesses moving from a focus on resilience during COVID to a new perspective of ‘regenerative’, currently only 43% of businesses effectively operate in this way.  More is needed and more is yet possible.

What is a ‘regenerative business’?

Embedding new digital models and advanced analytics, while making supply chains and people models sustainable for business and society is now mission critical. Businesses that wish to fulfill these commitments will require a long-term approach of becoming truly ‘regenerative’. This means looking beyond resilience and proactively asking where value can be added back into society and the wider world.

Instead of optimizing for efficiency, the next generation of business will regenerate for speed, using external data plus analytical and advanced AI to quickly and accurately see and make sense of what’s happening outside their own four walls.

By regenerating the entire business system, from supply chain to customer experience and organizational culture, both business and the public sector can ensure that our teams, companies, and the broader environment can reach and sustain their full potential.

The view from the C-Suite

Kearney’s new research report Regenerate: For a future that works for everyone surveyed 800 C-suite business leaders from across the globe and found that 99% of global business leaders thought that becoming a regenerative business was important. However, more guidance is needed on this new business paradigm, as only 43% reported that their companies were already operating this way effectively.   This is a meaningful gap to close.

Similarly, only 40% of businesses reported effectively implementing a regenerative culture and 45% said they were already operating a regenerative supply chain.

Attitudes across the C-suite differ, too. Almost half (48%) of CEOs globally say that their business is very effective at operating regeneratively. Whilst COOs broadly agree that their companies are operating regeneratively, 58% say there is still further progress to be made.

The research shows that regenerative business is also influencing the leadership style of the C-Suite globally. A very small minority (2%) of CEOs said they don’t see any need to factor the regenerative model into their leadership, but almost half (47%) say they are currently doing so effectively. This is a business gap worth closing.

Which industries are leading the way?

Although 92% of C-suite leaders believe in the responsibility of business to create ‘a future that works for everyone’, Kearney’s research found that the retail sector is ahead of the curve in making this happen. Over half of retail businesses (53%) are operating regeneratively and over a third (35%) are doing it very effectively, in part by relying on technology to help limit waste of energy and materials.

For example, the energy sector is also following suit and taking a regenerative approach to sustainability, with 46% of C-suite leaders in this sector reporting that they are already operating regeneratively very effectively. Alongside changes to the supply chain, energy leaders believe the greatest opportunity for regeneration lies with systematic changes to their business model, including leveraging a responsible and deepened view of advanced analytics.

Florian Teleabă, Principal and Office Lead at Kearney Romania, comments:

“In the context of Romania’s dynamic market, most large companies have undergone and continue to undergo various ‘transformation’ processes. These transformations are often designed to address specific pain points and achieve only incremental results. The main reason stems from the opportunities that pervade the market, which no company wants to miss out on. In some cases, there are transformation processes aimed at increasing the company’s resilience in the face of volatility or to integrate new technologies to optimize specific processes or operations. However, the majority of these transformations still remain rather ‘on point’ in nature. Operating in a ‘regenerative’ approach on the other hand, involves a holistic view characterized by two main aspects: (1) The business model must be equipped with the ability to reinvent and adapt rapidly to changes, eliminating the need for separate ‘transformation programs’ for each necessary change; continuous transformation and improvement should become the norm, not a ‘project’; and (2) It has to address not only the business model and how the company operates, but also the impact on the environment and society in which the business operates, as well as the well-being of employees. There are not many transformation programs where we see a company equally focused on these three aspects: business, people, and the environment.”

analysisbusinessbusiness transformationsC-SuiteexecutivesKearneyregenerativeSupply Chain
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