This year, we reviewed the extent to which certain social themes have permeated the Dutch boardrooms. Sustainability and digitalisation are seen as key social themes by 60% of the CEOs, which are frequently to constantly a topic. Sustainability has been a hot item in the boardrooms for many years. It has now become one of the key social themes for CEOs. It is interesting that in spite of being accorded such importance, it is not classed as a major strategic issue, apparently organisations do not allow social developments to be leading in preparing their strategic policy. On the other hand, the other social theme considered important, digitalisation , is reflected on the CEOs’ strategic agendas as well. As digitalisation has an increasing impact on the way in which organisations operate, it is not surprising that cybersecurity is also a major social theme. The interest in cybersecurity also in part coincides with the conclusion that risk management plays an increasing role within organisations. After all, a leak or weakness in the digital infrastructure can have major consequences to the organisation’s primary process and even the organisation’s reputation. Although many companies seem to see future mountains of gold abroad, international themes such as geopolitical tensions and European politics have a remarkably low place on the agenda in many companies.

Berenschot Strategy Trends 2016: Sustainability, Digitalisation and Flexibilisation on the Social Agenda

Social Topics

Organisations do not give social themes a key place when determining their strategic policy. For example, sustainability is high on the social agenda, but businesses do not see it as a key theme on the strategic agenda. Although many CEOs indicate that they expect mountains of gold abroad, the knowledge of and interest in international business does not seem available at a very high level. Issues such as geopolitical tensions and internationalisation therefore do not have a very high place on the agenda.


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Strategy Trends: 

Justin van der Starre

Gerben van den Berg

Douwe Suesan

Ruben Stukart