The CEO Report

indexby Peter Tufano, Dean of Oxford Business School,

January 2015 was an exciting one for the School. I was at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos with colleagues to announce three important initiatives for the School.

The first was the launch of ‘The CEO Report’, the result of a global research project that we conducted in partnership with Heidrick & Struggles that focuses on 152 interviews carried out with CEOs of global companies.  The CEO Report was launched at a breakfast briefing on Wednesday 21 January by Professor Tim Morris, and sparked a lively debate among a panel of CEOs composed of Ilene Gordon, Chairman, President and CEO of Ingredion; Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International; and Klaus Kleinfeld, Chairman and CEO, Alcoa, moderated by Matthew Bishop, Globalisation Editor of The Economist.

The report identifies six critical capabilities CEOs need for success in a changing and complex global environment such as the ability to harness doubt constructively, and to anticipate interactions between seemingly disconnected global trends and identify potential issues and opportunities – which the team call ‘ripple intelligence’. In addition to Tim Morris, the full research team included Andrew White, Michael Smets, Amanda Moss Cowan, Andromachi Athanasopoulou, and Ted Malloch.

Secondly, we announced a piece of research we have just started with EY that is looking at the link between organisational purpose and the potential positive impact on transformation, innovation and inclusive growth. Marc Ventresca introduced the EY research at a breakfast briefing on Thursday 22 January where Sir Richard Branson introduced a prestigious panel of CEOs whose companies have made purpose a core part of their operations – Arianna Huffington, President & Editor-in-Chief, Huffington Post Media; Antony Jenkins, Group CEO, Barclays; Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever; Irene Rosenfeld, Chairman & CEO, Mondelez International; and Mark Weinberger, Global Chairman and CEO, EY, with moderator Stephanie Ruhle, Bloomberg. The research team includes Oxford colleagues Andrew White and Matthew Grimes. This work will continue in collaboration with the newly-announced EY Beacon Institute for Purpose.

Third, I am delighted to announce a collaboration with the Global Shapers Community which will strengthen our shared vision to create new solutions to world-scale social, environmental, political and economic challenges. The 4,659 young people worldwide who have been designated Global Shapers by the WEF will be encouraged to apply for two new dedicated scholarships for our MBA programme. We look forward to Shapers from the 402 hubs around the globe applying to the school in the coming years.

In addition, WEF launched its ‘Shaping Davos’ sessions this year designed to include participants from around the world in forum conversations.  The inaugural Shaping Davos panel was chaired by Stephan Chambers (on Trust in Public Private Partnerships)  and enaged panellists from Accra, Kathmandu, Luxembourg, and Addis Ababa (

Our work should produce results, and this month more of our research is in the news. Our research with Heidrick & Struggles was profiled very positively in the Financial Times; Tim Jenkinson won one of the top honours for his research; and President Obama signed into law the American Savings Promotion Act, which turns one of my own streams of research into reality. We seek to turn ideas into action.

As well as partnering in research, we also forge links in person. The OBA New Year Dinner will take place on 7 February 2015 at the Institute of Directors.  Our speaker will be Orna NiChionna, the Chair of our Business Advisory Council.  Among her other many accomplishments, Orna chairs the Advisory Board of Eden McCallum, profiled recently in The Economist as being at the forefront of “on-demand workplaces.”


Peter Tufano

Category: Dean’s Dialogue
Tags: Dean, Tufano, Research

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March 17, 2015 · 4:31 pm

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