The Role of the Chief Strategy Officer

By Taman H. Powell and Duncan N. AngwinBy understanding how the duties of the chief strategy officer (CSO) can vary significantly from organization to organization, boards and CEOs can make better decisions about which type of CSO is necessary for their leadership teams.

 (CSO) is a comparatively new but increasingly important role in many organizations. To explore the role of the CSO, we conducted 24 interviews with CSOs at U.K. companies that are part of the FTSE 100 Index, across a number of industrial sectors. Secondary data — company reports, strategy documents and presentations — were used to complement the interviews. All interviews were conducted either at the CSO’s office or via telephone and followed the same semistructured outline and set of questions.

They were transcribed verbatim and analyzed through qualitative data management software.From the outset, it was clear that there was a variation in CSO roles, focused on two dimensions.

The first dimension was the stage of the strategy process in which the CSO was involved. Our findings identified a significant demarcation between whether the CSO was focused on the formulation of the strategy or the execution of the strategy.

The second dimension of variation was how the CSO engaged in the strategy process. Some CSOs were facilitators, advising business units during the strategy formulation or assisting in the execution. Other CSOs were enactors, far more likely to execute the strategy process by themselves or with their team.Based on variation in the roles carried out by the CSOs, we have developed a typology of four CSO archetypes. Leer más “The Role of the Chief Strategy Officer”