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The Perspective In Brief
Chief Strategy Officers face a number of challenges distinct from those faced by other members of the C-Suitein particular, the breadth and ambiguity of the CSOs role.
Our research finds six distinct roles, or faces, most CSOs must present, at different times and in varying degrees, to be successful optimizing this allocation of effort is no easy feat.
The six faces of the CSO:
- The advisorhelping shape the strategy
- The sentinelsensing and interpreting market shifts
- The bankerdriving deals and partnerships
- The engineerdesigning and running the strategic planning process
- The aide de campthe CEOs unofficial chief of staff
- The special project’s leadertackling miscellaneous high-impact initiatives
This white paper outlines the six roles and discusses some of the additional factors a CSO must consider to achieve their potentialespecially when transitioning into the job.
Be on the lookout for more perspectives from Deloittes CSO Program, including analysis of how CSOs from various industries allocate their effort across the six roles.
The Best Mba For A Cso
MBAs are increasingly common among the ranks of top executives, and that includes chief strategists. An MBA will provide you with the deep business skills and abilities that youll need to guide an organization effectively. However, people who have their sights set on an executive role specifically may want to consider pursuing an executive MBA, or EMBA, instead.
An EMBA differs from an MBA in that the courses and electives you take are more geared toward corporate strategy and governance. Youll still learn all the business fundamentals that you need, but youll also gain additional skills for the board room.
Many EMBA programs, also let you specialize in areas including advanced corporate strategy or data analysis. That can give you a competitive edge in a world where MBAs are becoming the norm and help tip you for the role.
Another consideration for choosing an MBA program involves whether an online or traditional MBA is right for you. Each has its advantages:
- An online MBA lets you keep working while earning the credentials you need on a schedule that works for you.
- A traditional MBA provides structure and focus and is still well regarded in the business world.
Either way you go, make sure your choice offers a to help you develop your professional connections.
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Chief Strategy Officer Salary & Outlook
The salary of a chief strategy officer can vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the size and industry of the company. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses or stock options.
- Median Annual Salary: $149,500
- Top 10% Annual Salary: $275,000
The employment of chief strategy officers is expected to decline over the next decade.
Organizations are increasingly relying on analytics and technology to help them make decisions. As a result, fewer chief strategy officers will be needed to oversee these activities. In addition, organizations may choose to outsource some strategic planning functions to other companies or consulting firms.
What Are The Duties Of A Managing Director
A Managing Director oversees workflow and progress, making sure that all operations align within the company or organization’s mission or set of goals. They are responsible for crafting strategies, devising effective business plans, and executing guidelines that would nurture a company’s growth, and as well as to be the driving force that would direct employees to the company’s objectives. Furthermore, a Managing Director must coordinate with those in a higher position, such as the members of the board.
Now we’re going to look at the managing director profession. On average, managing directors earn a $32,033 higher salary than chief strategy officers a year.
While the salary may be different for these job positions, there is one similarity and that’s a few of the skills needed to perform certain duties. We used info from lots of resumes to find that both chief strategy officers and managing directors are known to have skills such as “strategic initiatives,” “business development,” and “business strategy. “
But both careers also use different skills, according to real chief strategy officer resumes. While chief strategy officer responsibilities can utilize skills like “cso,” “health system,” “strategic vision,” and “sales goals,” some managing directors use skills like “healthcare,” “portfolio,” “project management,” and “customer service.”
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Chief Strategy Officer Duties & Responsibilities 9
- Oversee finances and lead the business to continuous profitability
- Develop and lead execution of external marketing, sponsorship, ticket sales, public relations and community relations plans
- Oversee and provide strategic direction for day-to-day operations, including monitoring and forecasting revenue and expenses
- Hire a highly-driven management team and other personnel with the vision of developing a first-class organization
- Implement, grow, and foster a sales-driven, entrepreneurial, hard-working culture
Distinguishing Characteristics Of This Level
The intent of this job description is to provide a representative and level of the types of duties and responsibilities that will be required of positions given this title and shall not be construed as a declaration of the total of the specific duties and responsibilities of any particular position. Employees may be directed to perform job-related tasks other than those specifically presented in this description.
Duke University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual’s age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.
Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas-an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.
Being A Chief Strategy Officer For A Startup Vs Corporation
The chief strategist is much more common in large corporations, where the CEO may not have the time to manage the company strategy as much as they might. This position can take 10 to 15 years to attain and typically involves working your way up the ranks within the same company.
Chief strategy officers less frequently appear in startups as the CEO typically takes on the role. However, a CSO can play a critical role in a startup if the CEO isnt confident at taking the strategic lead. Often, youll see the role labeled Chief Growth Officer to reflect the startups growth as a strategic priority.
If you want to become a chief strategist/CGO of a startup, begin developing your career network as early as possible to make the right connections as you pursue your MBA. Look to connect with someone whos got a vision that interests you, but who needs a strategist at their back to execute it.
Chief Strategy Officer Job Requirements
A chief strategy officer typically needs the following qualifications:
Education: The minimum educational requirement for a chief strategy officer is a bachelors degree. However, many companies prefer to hire candidates who have a masters degree or a doctorate. A candidate with a masters degree in business administration can expect to gain knowledge in areas such as finance, accounting, marketing, human resources and management.
Training & Experience: The training for a chief strategy officer is generally acquired through a combination of formal education and on-the-job experience. Many CSOs begin their careers in entry-level positions in business or finance. They may work their way up to a senior-level position before being promoted to a CSO. Some CSOs may also have experience in other industries, such as technology or manufacturing.
Certifications & Licenses: The most common certifications for chief strategy officers relate to their role and their organizations goals. These certifications give C-level executives the knowledge they need to perform their job effectively.
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Chief Strategy Officer Requirements & Skills 5
- Previous experience as a Chief Strategy Officer or in a similar role.
- Proven success owning cross-functional operational elements of an entire company.
- Experience leading large teams, including other senior management.
- Excellent communication, public speaking, and presentation skills.
- Strong analytical skills with the ability to leverage data to drive business outcomes.
Understanding The Role Of The Cso
CSO of a global pharmaceutical company recently quipped: I am responsible for nothing and accountable for everything. Although all C-suite executives have strategic responsibility for their respective domains, they typically focus most of their time on the day-to-day responsibilities of running a business or function.
The CSOs ambit, on the other hand, is the companys overall strategy. He or she has an intangible role that is a key force in anticipating the future and mobilizing the organization to meet its challenges. The CSOof a national consumer products company put it succinctly: To be a good CSO, you need to have the vision and tools and frameworks of a strategist. But you also need good relationships with the leadership team and be a good thought partner.
The CSO has significant influence on the organizations success and the CEOs longer-term impact. To bolster their value, top strategy executives often work as a quiet strategy counsels to the CEO. He or she must build trust and stature through industry and company knowledge and the ability to drive often contentious strategic choices. As the CSO of a global chemicals company puts it: Youre only as good as your ability to influence others.
Stakeholder management is not the CSOs only focus, however. Most also support their CEOs board-level engagement and are also increasingly asked to monitor changes in their industry and the world and help define the implications for the company.
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Chief Strategy Officer Requirements & Skills 3
- Ability to set the strategic vision, with an understanding of the future direction of healthcare and the ability to motivate and engage others in a common vision.
- Demonstrated ability to collaboratively influence gaining broad stakeholder support when developing, implementing, and promoting strategies, initiatives, projects and new ventures in a shared leadership environment.
- A systems-oriented thinker with the ability to analyze complex relationships and situations, think outside the box, act, and promote entrepreneurial and innovative approaches at the system level and across the Ministry Market.
- A history of seeking out and developing collaborative relationships with internal and external constituencies in order to accomplish a common goal.
- Superb communication, facilitation, negotiation, and listening skills, accompanied by the ability to know how and when to influence, persuade, direct, challenge, and relinquish control.
Develop It And Hr Smarts
The CEOs vote of confidence and a strong résumé confer the credibility that gets you a fair hearing as a top strategy executive. But even more important for swaying opinions and conveying authority is having deep knowledge in two functional areas that are central to execution these days: technology and human capital. More than half the CSOs in our survey said they are spending more and more time looking at issues within these domains, which arent traditional strengths of strategists. Nearly one-third of the CSOs we polled reported very high confidence in their knowledge of and comfort working in these functional areas nearly all said they are at least comfortable with their level of knowledge of these topics. Half the time I spend with the CEO, people and cultural issues, one strategy chief told us. And while in many ways IT is the bailiwick of the CIO or CTO, its also a critical domain for CSOs, because technology is critical to virtually every aspect of strategyfor instance, creating new products and services, developing new business models, and improving processes.
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Creating An Effective Strategy For The Cso
Understanding which roles the company and its CEO expect the CSO to play is a priority. It is important to gain traction out of the gate. It is important for the organization to have a strategy adopted broadly in order to build credibility and influence with stakeholders.
Newly appointed strategy executives should start with the strategy development process, according to a number of seasoned CSOs. Creating a smooth process can bring order to strategy creation and allow for the revisit or elimination of redundant exercises. A new process can be a great relief to the enterprise and the CSO, as it will allow them to generate key insights and align the enterprise around its long-term strategy.
Chief Strategy Officer Job Duties
A chief strategy officer typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:
- Developing and implementing long-term strategic plans for the company based on market trends and industry conditions
- Determining how to allocate company resources in order to achieve strategic goals
- Evaluating current business performance against objectives to determine if any adjustments need to be made
- Providing leadership in identifying opportunities for growth within the organizations industry or market sector
- Identifying and analyzing external factors that could affect the organizations long-term success, including changing technologies or consumer demand for products or services
- Establishing guidelines for ethical practices within the organization and leading employee training on ethics issues
- Coordinating with other senior executives to ensure that company objectives are being met
- Developing long-term plans for the organization that include strategic initiatives such as acquisitions, mergers, and divestitures
- Creating vision statements and mission statements that define the organizations purpose and values
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Who Reports To A Chief Strategy Officer
According to Deloitte, a CSO may be described as: responsible for nothing and accountable for everything. In other words, unlike a CFO or a CTO, you wont necessarily have a defined domain within the organization. Rather, if an initiative surfaces that will impact the companys position in the future, youll have a role in it.
That means youll need to get ready to form relationships with the leadership of the organization. On any given project, you may find yourself working with:
- Your fellow executives
- Project managers
Common Qualifications And Skills
Identify a list of the must and nice to haves for the open position – this could include both hard and soft skills.
Problem-solving skills in order to identify problems, evaluate options and execute solutions.
Time management skills to manage the timeline of the strategic initiatives.
Quality-control analysis skills to conduct the testing of products and services.
Finance management skills to figure out the amount of money needed to execute the initiatives.
Responsibilities and Skills byIndeed
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Chief Strategy Officer Requirements & Skills 8
- 10+ years of progressively increasing operational leadership experience for a growing, multi-site organization
- 10+ years of progressively increasing financial leadership experience
- Holds high standards for project management while empowering others to proactively and creatively problem-solve, and model versatility and collaboration for the organization
- Ability to exercise excellent judgment in decision-making by leveraging stakeholder input and data
- Thoughtfully considers the impact of decisions, and facilitates resolutions that protect the organization’s interests and prioritizes mission/values when conflict or disagreements arise
A Review Of The Top Ten Questions For Chief Strategy Officers
A Chief Strategy Officer is responsible for working closely with the CEO to improve current business operations and revise them to achieve the company’s long-term vision. Their duties include participating in meetings with the CEO, board members and other executives, coming up with creative business ideas and reviewing data to monitor progress across their business initiatives. A Chief Strategy Officer should have a bachelor’s degree in business administration or a related field, but some companies may require a master’s degree.
It may help if the candidate has a degree in the field the company deals in, as they know the best way to plan for that company. A Chief Strategy Officer with retail experience would be a better fit for a retail oriented company than a person who has no retail experience. Many of the Chief Strategy Officers promoted from within are from the lower levels.
A Chief Strategy Officer may need a lot of experience depending on the company and what it does. A Chief Strategy Officer may need management experience. They will need to lead a team to execute their strategy initiatives.
They should have experience in creating a plan that will benefit the company and boost production. Chief Strategy Officers are committed to improving companies at the operational level. Depending on the company they work for, their responsibilities may be different.
A nice study on School Resource Officer career planning.
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