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February 4, 2022

Inflation 2022: A Briefing for CEOs

Inflation. What was supposed to be transitory does not appear to be transitory. Skyrocketing labor costs will almost certainly insure that’s the case. So, will it come down in 2022? Will supply chains unsnarl? Will the Fed act too slowly? Has it already?

While we all wait for answers, it’s good to once again think through how to cope with this current moment, which we haven’t seen in decades. We rounded up some resources for you, in the hope of helping you attack the problem:

  • Costs. Controlling what we spend, is, of course, a really big part of the plan. There’s a good, brief rundown of how to think this through in this environment over at HBR, which I’m happy to share here.

  • Pricing. The other big one—the most underutilized one by many sales forces—is pricing. We had a great session in December with Brad Soper, a partner in Simon-Kucher & Partners, to help get your teams (and yourself) to be far smarter on pricing. This is not a nice to have—it’s a must, and Soper has lots of smart tips for making it happen.

  • Negotiation. We also had a tremendous session at our Leadership Summit with Victoria Medvec, an impresario of high-stakes negotiations and a management professor at Northwestern University. She shared four big traps that senior leaders should avoid. “People who negotiate all the time run into these traps specifically because they do [negotiations] all the time,” she said.

  • Compensation & Labor Costs. At our sister site StrategicCHRO360, Dale Buss talked with a dozen CEOs, CHROs and other top execs to learn more about how they’re tailoring compensation strategies and practices for 2022.

  • Supply Chain. One of our favorite professors, MIT’s Jonathan Byrnes, lays out ways your CFO can become a more powerful force for managing your supply chain disruptions. “Astute CFOs have an historic opportunity to make a massive impact on their companies’ profitability for years,” he writes. “However, first-mover advantages are critical, and the time to act is now, when your customers and suppliers urgently need lasting solutions.”

—     Dan Bigman, editor, Chief Executive.

Maximize Your Deal Outcomes. As M&A breaks records, are you prepared to get the most out of your deals in a time of sky-high valuations and abbreviated due diligence? Join mid-market C-Suite executives, experienced dealmakers and industry experts to learn how to best position your organization for success during Chief Executive's online M&A Dealmakers Forum on April 19.


Board confidence rises. After a downward slope for the majority of 2021, the latest Corporate Board Member survey finds directors more optimistic about the future of business conditions and more hopeful that Covid-19 will shift to endemic soon.

Why the GMT matters. The global minimum tax agreement signed by more than 136 countries late last year marks a sea change in the taxation of international businesses. And, contrary to headlines, it’s not just the big fish of the corporate world who need be concerned.

Changing comp strategies. From supply chain disruption and inflation to the ever-escalating talent war, myriad forces are complicating the challenge of performance forecasting and goal setting. At a recent roundtable, CEOs discussed how their companies are rethinking incentive compensation.

Mastering Risk


  • Greater productivity ahead? The pandemic precipitated major changes in the way people work that, if the pandemic eases this year, could pay big dividends for U.S. companies. (WSJ)

  • Minting future leaders. Three strategies for rethinking your leadership development—and how you are promoting leadership development on your teams—in an age of near-permanent uncertainty. (Fast Company)

  • Change of direction. Andreas Nauen is out as CEO of Siemens Energy’s wind-turbine subsidiary Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy after a series of project delays and cost overruns—thanks in large part to supply chain woes—led to profit warnings. (Bloomberg)
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