Global Leadership and Innovation Survey (GLIS) 2011

October 2011, by So-Young Kang

By: So-Young Kang, Hanna Kim
Contributors: Luke Chua, Chao Xiang
Now available in English PDF18 pages
Publication date: October 3, 2011.

Press Release: PR Newswire
Awaken Group conducted its second annual independent survey and study, the Global Leadership and Innovation Survey (GLIS), to better understand global leadership and innovation challenges that executives face in the United States, and how priorities and perspectives have shifted in the past year. Over 100 CEOs, Presidents, founders/owners, and other executives from various industries and company sizes participated. The report is based on analysis from survey findings along with key insights from in-depth interviews with 20% of survey participants. Readers will find case studies around global expansion and innovation, and discover what leaders will focus on in the next 3-5 years and how they plan to address their challenges.

Below is a sample of the report:


US leaders’ confidence has dropped amidst a rapidly growing global competitive landscape as leaders feel less prepared to meet the challenges of global growth

Fewer GLIS participants overall feel very prepared for global growth in 2011 (23%) vs. 2010 (33%), while more leaders feel little or unprepared in 2011 (24%) vs. 2010 (20%) (Exhibit 3). We interviewed US executives who shared the specific challenges they face in preparing for global growth including:

• Lack of clear new market entry strategy
• Resource limitations (e.g., capital, people)
• Limited knowledge and understanding of new markets (e.g., local consumer behavior, how to adapt products and services to fit local context)
• Global growth not a current priority; more focused on the US domestic market (e.g., strengthening presence and rebuilding growth)


The drop in confidence of US leaders reflects a real shift happening in the global economy. It has been a tough few years for the US economy and the near future outlook is still bleak. The United States (previously ranked #1 in 2008-2009) dropped two ranks to #4 on the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) 2010-2011* rankings, behind Switzerland, Sweden, and Singapore respectively. The GCI ranks countries (139 in 2010) based on key areas of global competitiveness (e.g., infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, education and training, goods and labor market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, innovation); essentially, the GCI measures the productivity of countries. It may still be too early to tell whether the US is truly in a long-term declining trend in global competitiveness, but the drop in the GCI rankings for two consecutive years is worth noting and paying attention to. In addition, the recent debt crises point to deeper issues that leaders in the US need to deal with, which will only exacerbate current challenges.

* The Global Competitiveness Index 2010-2011, World Economic Forum


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