The CEO of tomorrow: Leadership transition in dynamic times
text size

The CEO of tomorrow: Leadership transition in dynamic times

Succession planning starts with creating future-oriented profiles of the type of people needed

As we continue to navigate the complexities of our global, interconnected world, I find myself reflecting more often on the profound changes reshaping the landscape of leadership.

It’s an exciting, yet challenging, time to be in a position of influence. The paths that once led us to executive roles are being redefined right before our eyes.

The Transforming Role of CEOs

I’ve noticed a significant shift in what it means to be a CEO today compared to just a decade ago. We can no longer rely solely on past experiences to navigate the present, nor can we use established strategies unmodified for the future.

Today’s CEOs and top leaders must adeptly manage constant connectivity and respond agilely to global shifts. They must be visionaries who also embody resilience and adaptability.

Challenges in Succession Planning

As someone deeply involved in shaping future leaders, I see succession planning as increasingly vital yet complex. It’s not just about selecting someone who mirrors the success of past leaders anymore. It’s about anticipating the needs of future workplaces and markets. We need leaders who are not only capable of managing current challenges but are also prepared to tackle emerging global trends. below are some of the are strategic shifts needed for effective succession:

1. Building future-oriented leadership profiles: Together with my team and network of global leaders, I’ve been advocating for a clear, shared vision of the capabilities needed for future leadership. This means moving beyond traditional competency models to embrace dynamic profiles that prioritise adaptability, digital literacy, and a global mindset.

2. Making decisions based on data: I believe in the power of data to guide our decisions. By grounding our succession planning in analytics, we can define essential leadership qualities more clearly, align them with our strategic goals, and avoid biases that might otherwise influence our decisions.

3. Ensuring cultural fit and strategic alignment: The right leader must resonate with our company’s culture and strategic vision. This alignment is crucial for ensuring smooth transitions and maintaining continuity, which in turn helps preserve the integrity and momentum of our initiatives.

4. Managing transition risks: Transitioning leadership, especially from an iconic incumbent to a newcomer, carries inherent risks. It’s something I’ve had to manage with great care, ensuring that the timing and support systems are in place for new leaders to succeed.

I view effective succession planning as a critical, ongoing strategic initiative, not just an administrative task to be revisited occasionally. It requires our full attention and should be regularly updated to stay aligned with our evolving business strategies and external conditions.

Looking ahead, the success of our organisations will increasingly depend on how well we adapt our leadership development and succession planning to meet new challenges. The leaders of tomorrow will need to blend visionary thinking with practical skills, innovation with stability, and strategic acumen with adaptability. It’s a tall order, but one that I am committed to fulfilling.

Arinya Talerngsri is Chief Capability Officer, Managing Director and Founder at SEAC — Southeast Asia’s Lifelong Learning Centre. She is fascinated by the challenge of transforming education for all to create better prospects for Thais and people everywhere. Executives and organisations looking to collaborate or learn more about leadership development, succession planning and organisational transformation can contact her directly at or connect with her on LinkedIn at

Do you like the content of this article?