Inside the CEO Room

CEO Room strategy noteboardEconomic uncertainty means more CEOs concentrate on existing performance over long-term strategy. The CEO Room, launched last year, aims to change that by making sure they concentrate on the questions that really matter.

Uncertain economic and regulatory conditions mean that it is critical that businesses adapt faster than the rate of change in their markets.

This uncertainty increases the pressure on CEOs to spend their time “in” the business, addressing day-to-day activities. This makes it difficult to find sufficient time to work “on” the business.

Sustaining and growing value comes from making the right strategic choices and then aligning the business model, stakeholder requirements, management, communications and risk management to those decisions.

Making time for strategic thinking 

Grant Thornton launched its CEO room last year to change the conversations clients have about their businesses. It has been created to allow business leaders more "on" time. The Room – which has been set up by partner Shaun O’Callaghan – is designed to offer a stimulating space where business leaders can work together with our advisers on the key strategic, operational, financial and leadership issues that matter to having a successful business.

Core to this work are four key questions Shaun argues every business leader should have an answer to:

  1. What do we want to achieve?
  2. What does the future look like?
  3. How will we grow value?
  4. How will we lead and deliver change? 

"The successful CEOs, in our experience, are the ones who find the time to reflect on the wider impact that change will have on their businesses," says Shaun O’Callaghan.

"That’s why we have developed the CEO Room, a dedicated space for a one-to-one discussion where CEOs can think clearly about their ambitions and stress-test existing strategies. We challenge established thinking to enable them to unlock valuable insights that will help to achieve sustainable growth."

It is an approach that has proved popular with clients who have visited the room. James Rolfe, Director of Finance, Enfield Council commented that his session was “one of the best 90 minutes I’ve spent in a long time”. 

Read more Strategies for growth 

An edited version of this article first appeared in Strategies for growth, our magazine for CEOs that explores ways businesses can navigate the current economic climate and unlock growth. Read more articles on Strategies for growth. Or subscribe to our quarterly email by registering your details with us at