The Chief Growth Officer (CGO) role offers companies the focused consistent leadership needed to facilitate the cultural changes that are necessary to achieve strategic growth outcomes and improve the company’s future growth prospects. Ideally reporting to the chief executive, this new corporate leadership role is designed to help companies systematically and continuously break the orthodoxies that constrain their future growth potential. While the chief executive will always have ultimate accountability for growth, the new business environment of uncertainty, change and complexity warrants the consideration of companies to incorporate the chief growth officer role into the existing leadership framework.
While some companies may choose to hire another “C-level” executive to execute the CGO functions, the role should ideally be incorporated into the roles and responsibilities of one of the existing executives who has some responsibility for strategic growth outcomes. Among those existing executives, we strongly believe that the senior strategy executive, such as the Chief Strategy Officer (CSO), Head of Strategy, VP of Strategy (or equivalent) executive is ideally suited to execute CGO functions. The senior strategy executive already has a proverbial “seat at the table”, and explicit responsibility to shape the company’s future strategic direction. Beyond the traditional focus on annual strategic planning, and leading ad hoc transformation and strategic initiatives, adding growth-focused responsibilities to the senior strategy executive’s portfolio has the potential to increase his/her value, credibility and relevance to the broader company. Reorienting that executive and his/her organization to the dual purpose of generating strategic growth outcomes and facilitating the cultural changes needed to sustain growth, moves that organization deeper into the company’s value-creation process.
Such re-conceptualization of an existing senior leadership role is not uncommon in the ever-evolving executive leadership world. With changes in the economic and competitive landscape, senior leaders are familiar with corporate re-organizations given the evolution in human resources (HR), marketing, sales and information technology (IT) divisions. Such evolution and elevation of several traditional corporate leadership roles provides a blueprint for companies to align the senior strategy executive to the urgent need to address sustainable business growth and improving future growth prospects.
To learn more, visit www.growthstrategy.com/growththinking
image credits: growthstrategy.com
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Wayne Simmons is an accomplished executive, innovator, value creator, and entrepreneur and co-author of GrowthThinking: Building the New Growth Enterprise. As CEO and Co-Founder of The Growth Strategy Company, Wayne leads the vision, strategy and growth of the company. He has worked for global advisory firms Ernst & Young, Deloitte Consulting, and has been a trusted advisor to C-level executives at Fortune 500 corporations, venture capital firms, and small and midsized companies. Wayne was trained in airborne reconnaissance for US Army Intelligence; and is an alumnus and Fellow of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Keary Crawford is a results-driven executive leader with extensive experience in operations, M&A and finance for start-up, entrepreneurial and middle-market companies. As co-founder and COO of The Growth Strategy Company, she manages the strategic growth and vision, and day-to-day operations; and is co-author of GrowthThinking: Building the New Growth Enterprise. Keary was trained in Behavioral and Social Sciences and is a Fellow and alumna of the Executive Development Program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.