Deloitte and Kellogg School of Management Chief Strategy Officer Study: Most CSOs Lack Understanding of How to Capitalize on Disruptive Technologies
NEW YORK, Sept. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Deloitte and the Kellogg School of Management today announced the results of their inaugural Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) Survey. The survey found that while a large majority of responding CSOs (70%) recognize the importance of generating disruptive growth, only 13% feel confident in their organization's ability to do so. Moreover, CSOs report an insufficient understanding of the role that technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) plays in enabling new strategic possibilities. Only a small percentage of surveyed CSOs believe their organizations are capable of fully leveraging the potential of digital transformation/e-commerce (26%), analytics transformation (24%) and automation/robotics/AI (17%).
"The CSO survey revealed a critical disconnect between the requirements to win in a world of exponential change and what organizations are prepared to deliver," said Bernardo Silva, managing director and member of the strategic growth transformation leadership team, Deloitte Consulting LLP. "There is a huge opportunity for CSOs to act as a conduit in bridging this gap, while better defining their roles as architects and orchestrators of strategic actions across the enterprise."
The "2020 CSO Study" — released in conjunction with Monitor Deloitte, the strategy practice of Deloitte Consulting LLP, and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University — polled CSOs and senior strategy executives in the U.S. and Western Europe. The goal of the survey is to better understand the role of today's CSOs and how they can evolve to meet business challenges.
Understanding the CSO role
The CSO position is also a relatively new addition to the C-suite in most organizations, and therefore one of the most ambiguous. The study shows that a CSO tends to play many roles, including the adviser, the sentinel, the banker, the engineer and more — with responsibilities covering everything from developing long-term strategy, acting as the CEO's chief of staff, and handling special projects.
"This dichotomy between strategic and tactical responsibilities requires CSOs to become very thoughtful about how they assemble their teams, allocate their time and develop the wide range of skills and competencies required to navigate their long-range and short-term responsibilities," said Silva.
The study also uncovered dissatisfaction with the amount of time spent on certain roles. Namely, many CSOs wish they could spend more time in the role of "the adviser" — already the most significant portion of their time (27%) — and less as "the special projects leader" (19%), which is currently the second most time-consuming role and is sometimes seen as necessary but disproportionally taxing on CSOs.
Growth and leveraging disruptive technology
"In the age of human with machine collaboration, wat we call the 'Age of With,' CSOs must have a holistic view of how to use technology to drive competitive advantage for their organization," said Tom Schoenwaelder, strategic growth transformation leader and principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP. "CSOs should play a large role in helping their businesses understand how to leverage technologies such as AI, machine learning and automation to create opportunities. This will help their organizations deliver more powerful and personalized experiences to their customers, new products and solutions, increase business efficiency and bring more value to internal and external company stakeholders."
The new era for CSOs
"CSOs are uniquely positioned to anticipate, structure and manage business transformations," said Sarit Markovich, associate chair of the strategy department, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. "The nature of the CSO role requires these executives to look beyond the near-term and become the guiding hand that positions their organization for long-term success."
CSOs should consider the following:
Follow-up: Strategy in a COVID-19 World
To read the entire paper, visit our site, "Strategy in a COVID-19 world."
For more information about Deloitte's strategy practice and the CSO study, please visit our website.
Kellogg School of Management
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SOURCE Deloitte Consulting LLP
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