CEOs, are your chief strategy officers set up for success? 4 takeaways

While the role of chief strategy officer is only a few decades old, companies are increasingly starting to see value in the position and how beneficial it could be to their bottom line to have a member of the C-suite focused on the organization's future, according to an op-ed in strategy+business.

The op-ed, co-written by three leaders of Strategy&, the strategy consulting arm of PricewaterhouseCoopers, examines why companies should aim to introduce a chief strategy officer into their C-suite.

Four takeaways from the op-ed:

1. While the CEO's role typically focuses on the company's short-term performance, the CSO is able to concentrate on the organization's future, providing an independent perspective on its financials and industry sustainability. Roughly 65 percent of executives across industries said they don't believe their companies have a winning strategy, according to Strategy& data, meaning companies must examine how to introduce and utilize their CSOs to their fullest potential.

2. Data obtained by the consulting firm indicates there is a significant gap between the reasons the CSO role was created and what the role's day-to-day responsibilities actually entail. Rather than spending time addressing the fundamental questions of an organization's long-term strategy, CSOs are typically stretched across many different areas and lack the freedom to prioritize certain issues, the authors write.

3. The CSO role also often overlaps with those of other members of the C-suite, creating confusion over the company's objectives. Only 28 percent of CSOs across industries said they have an equal seat at the table to those of other senior executives, and almost half said they do not meet with their company's chief executive more than twice a month, the report states.

4. Strategy& examined data from CSOs who reported being successful at creating value at their companies and outlined three recommendations for success:

  1. Put strategy at the forefront of the CEO's agenda.
  2. Make the strategic planning process more effective.
  3. Make the CSO's role and priorities abundantly clear.

To access the full report, click here.

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