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The world around us has changed exponentially and, as a result, so have the challenges faced by leaders and senior executives. In response to this new environment, and increasing demand for Criticaleye from the business community, we are entering a new phase in the development of The Network of Leaders. Our new website, launching this week, includes more content and greater functionality than ever before, not only to address the need for collaboration and access to information from senior executives and board members, but also to engage the next generation of c-suite executives as the Criticaleye Community continues to grow and gain influence.

It has always been our aim to create an environment where leaders across industry sectors, business functions and geographical locations can resolve business issues through peer-to-peer debate and discussion. On reaching a certain level, executives and leaders need access to knowledge and experience outside their immediate circle. The new website is designed to give Members easier and more immediate access to the breadth of information needed to be a world class leader. 

As many of you will know from your own roles, there is a common misconception that leaders, be they of multinationals or company divisions, have all the answers. Clearly this is not always the case. Senior executives also need the opportunity to learn and develop, as Trevor Matthews, CEO, Friends Provident explains: "You need to be constantly trying to learn more about what's going on whether it's in your own particular field, your own business, your own country, your own company or outside all of that. Seek networks and connections outside the company because you'll need them once you get to the lonely position of CEO." Rob Woodward, CEO for Scottish Television Group plc expands on this, advising that an executive shouldn't, "underestimate the value of building an experience bank". Criticaleye's new site offers a resource to allow these individuals to grow their expertise.

Although the core skills of leadership remain the same there is always the question of reacting and responding to external events. Now more than ever, leaders are held up to scrutiny and expected to act accordingly. As Paul Drechsler, Chairman and Chief Executive, Wates Group Ltd. explains, it is more about "our ability to deal with greater volatility" than changing leadership skills and requirements. Paul believes that "a key role of the chief executive is to ignite and excite the whole organisation, to get it motivated and focused on delivering to customers." We believe that the new site will enable leaders across organisations to gain insight into best practice leadership, be that through other individuals in the Criticaleye Community, one of our research pieces or articles, a filmed interview with an industry-leading CEO or signing up for one of our events online.

In the future, factors including globalisation and increasing sizes of organisations will inevitably make leadership more challenging. The ability to formulate and communicate a clear and effective strategy will be a key success factor for individuals taking on a leadership role. Graham Love, CEO, QinetiQ believes that the role of the CEO will have to become more strategic to cope with "increasing complexity and increasing speed of communications". Julian Roberts, Group CEO, Old Mutual plc reiterates this sentiment, he says, "going forward there's got to be a heavier focus on strategy and organisation than there has been before." It is crucial that leaders get the support and resource they need to meet this increasing challenge.  

We are hugely excited about our new site, as well as entering the next stage of Criticaleye's growth. I look forward to receiving your comments and feedback on the new site over the next few weeks. Please do get in touch with me or any of the Criticaleye team with any questions or comments you have.

Matthew Blagg, CEO, Criticaleye

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