What keeps business leaders up at night?

For this month’s issue, Luck Analytics partners with Diligent Institute, the research arm of Diligent, a global leader in modern governance, providing SaaS solutions for governance, risk, compliance, auditing, and ESG. Diligent grants us exclusive access to the raw data that powers them Corporate sentiment tracker. To build that tracker, they constantly search the web for executive statements and news about more than 1,489 public companies. The power of the tool, of course, is to gauge how business leaders are feeling overall.


Numbers you need to know


  • … Number of terms in the top 100 (that is, the 100 most frequently used terms by company leaders) in each of the past 36 months. Those terms are: change, China, economy, Future, evolution, India, market, Everyone, strategyand warning.


  • … The number of months in the past three years 5G among the 100 most used terms by business leaders.


  • … The number of consecutive months that inflation was among the 100 most used terms by business leaders. That record goes back to December 2020.

Big picture

  • Entering 2023, company leaders feel a little insecure. Last month, 52% Public statements by company leaders have negative connotations (see second chart below). That compares with 45% in November 2021 and 29% in November 2020. Much of that can be attributed to persistent inflation and rising rates of recession.

Some more profound lessons

first. Twitter skyrocketed on the charts.

While company leaders are known to avoid media attention, Elon Musk not only pursues it, but seems to love every minute of it. Well, at least he did before 2022. In recent months, Musk’s turbulent takeover of Twitter has tarnished the innovator’s image in public and has become a topic of discussion among fellow CEOs. care about. In fact, last month Twitter was the 7th most commonly used term in public statements by company leaders.

2. CEOs are talking a lot about inflation – which is not a good thing.

The researchers at Diligent not only calculated the terms most frequently used by executives, but they also performed a statistical calculation to gauge whether the term had positive or negative usage. pole.

Some things, such as “inflation” and “FTX” implying a negative message, are obvious. Others were slightly surprised, including the fact that when company leaders talk about “Apple,” it almost always has a negative connotation.

3. Wisely speaking, CEOs are still a bit pessimistic.

On paper, the US economy (in addition to interest-sensitive sectors such as housing and technology) is still quite strong. Unemployment is below 4%, while corporate earnings and retail sales continue to be steady.

That said, company leaders appear to be bracing for a tailspin in 2023. Case in point: Just look at how often they talk about “recession” throughout the year.

Our new Weekly Impact Report looks at how ESG news and trends are shaping the roles and responsibilities of today’s executives. Sign up here.


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