Nearly three out of every four chief executives said cost-cutting could not be seen as a route to growth.
The survey of some of the UK’s leading CEOs will heap misery on the Government as it continues to push its controversial austerity agenda following the UK’s fall into a double dip recession.
Campbell Macpherson, CEO of Campbell Macpherson & Associates, which commissioned the CEO Insight Survey 2012 [attached], said: “Four years ago, it was all about trimming budgets and curbing spending. But business leaders are now sending a clear message to the Government that UK Plc cannot cut its way to growth.”
Asked to select their five most important enablers of growth from a list of 13, ‘Leadership Behaviours’ featured most often with 74% of CEOs naming it in their top five. ‘Alignment of Business to Strategy’(70%) came second and ‘Customer Focus’ (65%) came third.
Only 26% put ‘Efficiency’ in their top five.
“In a period when execution is king, efficiencies are important but leading, engaging and investing in your people is more likely to result in business growth”, said Martin Davis, CEO of Cofunds (leading UK investment platform).
Tim Wallace, CEO of iPipeline (the leader in on-demand marketing, selling and processing solutions for the US insurance industry who has recently acquired Assureweb in the UK) said: “Cutting costs is easy but it doesn’t support a growth strategy. Growth strategies require controlling costs and within budgetary cost structures re-allocating resources where they have the greatest impact.”