The new age of CXOs are innovating within their organizations to ignite growth
Editors note: This article concludes a multipart series on the 6Rs
The world is changing faster than ever before and todays small business executives must think holistically and act personally to stay ahead of the curve. Making this a reality requires organizations to refocus their approach to the C-Suite. New titles for CXOs such as chief of reason, chief resilience officer, chief of reputation, chief revenue officer, chief relationships officer and chief rouser will open the door to innovation like never before.
Problems with the Current C-Suite Model
The conventional structure of our organizations and management teams was well suited to many of the challenges of the 20th century, but not todays world. For example, a focus was needed on marketing and customer service, so companies appointed a chief marketing officer. Financial skills and management expertise are clearly vital, hence the rise of the chief financial officer. And when it comes to the black art of managing people, the chief people officer (HR director) takes responsibility.
However, this approach has always had one major flaw, and now another problem has evolved. The perennial problem is that the responsibility for delivering to customers doesnt rest on one individual or even one department. It has never been solely the responsibility of the CMO. Rather, everyone works in service of current and potential clients.
Similarly, when managing people or finance, having one person who has the necessary skills and is working constantly to improve his area of the company is great, but these advantages are outweighed by the benefits of holding everyone responsible for important issues. Or, to put it another way, the mere presence of a CFO means that some people can choose to neglect their financial responsibilities, safe in the knowledge that the CFO and her team will provide cover.
Another problem with this approach has been present for a while and has recently become acute. Appointing a CFO, CMO, COO or any of the conventional C-Suite members is too internally focused and fails to take into account the changes necessary to accomplish the following:
Think holistically and recognize that issues cut across these functions
Act personally and take responsibility for improving the organization and delivering its strategy or goals
Refocus everyone in the organization on six vital issues: the 6Rs
Renaming the C-Suite is vital not only because of the external changes shaping the world in which we live, but also because of the need to understand the big picture and balance this with a practical, execution-oriented approach that reflects the desire for strong, capable leadership.