What happens when strategy manifests in organization titles? Or when an organization is managed focused on value creation.
Titles used for roles and how organizations are structured need to be revised as technology has profoundly changed the way work gets done and how an organization's performance is measured. Business results are a consequence of the efforts of people who staff the organization. And where people focus is predominantly a function of their mindset, how they believe the world works and their ability.
So why not change designations and organization functions to reflect ‘what the people manning the positions ‘need to deliver’ and not ‘what the person occupying ‘does?’
It is no longer adequate for ‘job roles’ to define what a person occupying that position will achieve. And hoping that selection, performance measures, and incentives will be sufficient to deliver results is specious thinking.
I am suggesting the following:
Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) becomes ‘Chief Demand Creation and Customer Acquisition’ Officer. Customers are like annuities based on their lifetime value and need to be acquired managed as an asset with measures and ROI. A sale is a transaction. Used with loyalty, based upon the frequency of purchase, is inadequate. Every potential customer is an asset. And marketing can convert them into annuities.
Chief Finance Officer (CFO) becomes ‘Chief Capital Deployment Officer’ taking ownership of return on capital employed, focusing on ‘Capital allocation and capital productivity.’
Chief Operating Officer (COO) becomes ‘Chief Efficiency and Effectiveness Officer.’
Chief Information Officer is a supplier or manager of information? Strategic use of technology involves data, algorithms, and analytics. ‘Chief Data Analytics Officer’ or ‘Chief Algorithms Officer’ and so on also seem weak in directing the incumbent towards owning outcomes. As an intermediate step, these highlight the importance of discovering value through data, algorithms, and analytics.
CRM Head should be made ‘Chief Customer Engagement Officer.’ The value of CRM management lies in creating customer communities where value is added beyond the transaction and beyond traditional company boundaries.
An eCommerce function needs to be visualized as a capability creation function across the customer journey with metrics starting from when a customer places a brand in their choice set until they receive, use, and express their experience, becoming advocates of the brand. In an organization, Chief eCommerce Officer needs to be responsible as a CEO of an eCommerce startup, not the head of a division/channel/department.
Chief Human Resource Officer needs to visualize themselves as managing a Balance Sheet asset and become Chief Human Capital Officer focused on human capital productivity. Human Resources need to be nurtured and developed to become productive assets using knowledge and organizational culture. Resources that are embedded in an organizational social network. Either the HR team manages this creating a cultural DNA that often trumps strategy or the social network will acquire a life of its own. Strategic HR is what CEOs usually do, often spending 80% of their time on people-related issues.
Head of Sales must become Head of Growth. Sales and pricing go hand in hand. The sales team should think about innovating pricing and revenue models, developing an ability to grow steadily, extract value through services, and innovate for recurring income.
The Chief Executive Officer should become Chief Returns Officer responsible for increasing the value of the business. CEO is a responsible position. The objectives of a CEO need to be visible to every stakeholder, creating a culture of performance allowing the team, rank, and file, understand how their objectives contribute to the organization goals assumed by the CRO. And returns can focus on all stakeholders.