CEOs Operating Blindly and in Hindsight Mode According to Khorus Survey

Chief executives blame tools and random KPIs for misaligned employees and poor visibility into business performance

200 CEOs Can't Be Wrong. (Graphic: Business Wire)

AUSTIN, Texas--()--CEOs are largely out of touch with day-to-day progress towards business goals in their organizations, according to a survey conducted by Khorus, the maker of a business management system for executives. The company polled 200 CEOs of organizations with 50 or more employees about their roles, challenges, processes and initiatives.

“The results paint a bleak picture: CEOs are operating blindly much of the time, with little reliable data into how the business is meeting its goals until it’s too late to make a difference,” said Joel Trammell, CEO of Khorus. “Much of the data they do receive is random, outdated, and detached from business outcomes. The upshot is that CEOs are squandering valuable time that should be spent setting priorities that all employees can track to, making timely adjustments, and driving the business forward.”

While nearly 70 percent of the CEOs surveyed have had previous experience as a chief executive, three-quarters have spent five years or less in their current role. The average CEO tenure is about five years, according to research by Challenger, Gray and Christmas. The survey results may explain why: Despite their experience levels and tenure at their current organizations, all CEOs surveyed indicated having internal business performance challenges. The top ones cited include:

  • Aligning employee output with corporate objectives (59 percent)
  • Capturing and predicting company performance (57 percent)
  • Generating cross-department collaboration (49 percent)
  • Improving employee motivation (34 percent)

How are CEOs addressing these issues? They are running their businesses primarily via e-mail (64 percent), calendars (17 percent), and spreadsheets (15 percent). When asked specifically what tools they are using to predict business performance, almost half of CEOs said they are using enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools, while one-third use Excel spreadsheets, and nearly 18 percent use human resources tools of some kind.

However, almost half of CEOs also cited these same tools and applications as the biggest hurdles to knowing their true quarterly business performance at any given time:

  • 49 percent blame clunky ERP and business performance management tools
  • 49 percent blame management KPIs that are functional (isolated to individual departments) and not normalized across areas
  • 48 percent blame poor visibility of performance beyond direct reports

Indeed, the survey indicates that CEOs are often the last to find out about problems. Asked when they find out if their quarterly corporate goals are being met, fully 80 percent are getting progress reports monthly at the earliest:

  • 48 percent said monthly
  • 32 percent said quarterly
  • 10 percent said weekly or in near real-time

To read the full results of the CEO survey, visit’t-Be-Wrong.

About Khorus

Designed by a CEO for CEOs, Khorus software harnesses the collective intelligence of employees companywide to answer the one question every chief executive must know: “How likely is my company to meet its corporate goals?” This future-oriented approach helps CEOs run their businesses with weekly status updates into the corporate objectives they define and warnings to spot issues in time to address them. Khorus is the only product that gives executives a wide-angle lens on the organization to ensure employees are aligned, engaged, and working in harmony to achieve performance goals. Khorus is headquartered in Austin, Texas. For more information, visit


H2 Strategic Communications
Chandra Hosek, 512-524-9652


H2 Strategic Communications
Chandra Hosek, 512-524-9652