Outlook for the Chief Clinical Information Officer Role

What You Need to Know Right Now to Level Up as a CCIO

The role of Chief Clinical Information (or Informatics) Officer has its earliest roots half a century ago amid the emergence of Electronic Health Records (EHR), also known as Electronic Medical Records (EMR). For some organizations, the CCIO role is interchangeable with the Chief Medical Information/Informatics Officer (CMIO) role (and sometimes Chief Health Information/Informatics Officer), while in others, CCIOs work side-by-side with CMIOs, as well as with clinical informatics chiefs in multiple disciplines, such as nursing, pharmacy, and dentistry.

The role leads clinical informatics and is a “vital marriage of insight into clinical strategy and understanding of digital technology and systems,” Chloe Dobinson writes on the CIO site. Dobinson goes on to note that the role combines the clinical perspective with strategy, with an eye toward scoping out innovative technology for the organization.

The year 2016 was significant for the CCIO role as the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) released a report authored by Joseph Kannry and seven other researchers that was designed to define the highly heterogeneous role in terms of knowledge, education, skillsets, and operational scope. “Ensuring that the health system understands and incorporates effectively essential clinical HIT [Health Information Technology] requires the addition of the CCIO to the traditional CIO position,” Kannry et al state in the report.

Key Competencies for the CCIO Role

The CCIO role requires a bachelor’s or advanced degree in information technology, nursing, healthcare administration, or other related field. Many CCIOs climb the ladder from clinical backgrounds, including nursing, pharmacy, and dentistry, but as the AMIA report notes, “non-clinicians have very successfully executed this role.” Still, it’s not unusual for a CCIO candidate to be expected to bring at least five years of health-practitioner experience to the role, along with a background in clinical informatics and project management. Would-be CCIOs from non-clinical backgrounds must still possess insight and experience in healthcare settings, the AMIA report points out. CCIOs typically report to the Chief Information Officer (CIO).

When preparing career-marketing communications to send to employers, those aspiring to the CCIO role should emphasize these qualities:

  • Subject-matter knowledge of clinical informatics, health-information systems/applications, programming, hardware, and the healthcare system
  • Clinical decision-making skills
  • Clinical-care process improvement skills
  • Quality-improvement ability
  • Data analysis
  • Human-factors engineering
  • Ability to lead and manage change
  • Financial planning for clinical information systems
  • Strategic and collaborative decision-making
  • Grasp of the global healthcare context
  • Strong familiarity with and ability to analyze the clinical environment and clinical workflows
  • Up-to-date knowledge of health information systems and trends in the field
  • Commitment to protecting privacy and security
  • Problem-solving skills 

Level-Up Tips

Here are a few suggestions for those seeking to break into the CCIO role, expand their horizons in an existing CCIO role, or even rise beyond the CCIO role:

  • Demonstrate collaborative competencies. In an article on the site Healthcare Innovation, Rajiv Leventhal suggests that top clinical-information officers should closely align with Chief Information Officers, to whom they often report, also citing situations in which the lack of collaboration has been unworkable. Collaboration with the CIO, CMIO (if applicable), and IT teams to deliver efficient, cost-effective and adaptable technology products aims at “improving the patient journey and overall healthcare,” Dobinson notes. Similarly, in an interview conducted by Mark Hagland, George Reynolds, M.D., CIO, and CMIO of Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Omaha, suggests candidates “should know how to develop a team, build consensus, and establish relationships of trust.”
  • Obtain a board certification and join professional organizations. Hilary Ross, one of the executives Levanthal profiles in his article, suggests that high-level clinical informaticists “continue to add to their expertise by looking at analytics through a board certification of informatics, as well as joining organizations such as the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) and the Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems (AMDIS), where candidates can take advantage of their educational committees.” 
  • Know cutting-edge technologies. As in most areas of business, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have grown increasingly important in healthcare informatics, so knowledge of these emerging technologies is an advantage. Writing for Becker’s Hospital Review, Diane Nole observes, AI’s “value will be in augmenting clinicians and optimizing their time.” Expertise in robotics, 3D bioprinting, nanomedicine, cloud computing can also boost CCIO marketability. A detailed infographic from the site Health Informatics describes how these technologies are used in healthcare. 
  • Adopt a patient-centered perspective. In describing their vision for a technology-based system in healthcare, Keith Horvath and his 10 co-authors observe that “patients and clinicians desire technology that facilitates access to and use of health information and communication tools leading to quality, person-centered care.” Prospective CCIOs with the will and creativity to promote through informatics what the authors describe ­– a reduced administrative burden, enhanced clinical care, and knowledge-sharing capabilities that benefit the patient – may be poised to make their mark in clinical-informatics leadership.
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Outlook for the Chief Nursing Officer Role

What You Need to Know Right Now to Level Up as a CNO

The Chief Nursing Officer (sometimes known as Chief Nursing Executive) is the top-ranking nursing management professional in any healthcare organization. A July 2017 study of CNOs by AMN Healthcare and The Center for the Advancement of Healthcare Professionals identified about 3,800 CNOs in the United States. The study found these CNOs spent most of their time on culture and operations. Approximately 68 percent of them report directly to the CEO; 91 percent are part of a senior-management team.

The CNO role has evolved from a focus primarily on hospital-based patient care to one much more tied to the organization’s success and results. “When I first graduated from college,” recalls CNO Carol Boston-Fleischhauer in an interview by Thomas Seay, “nurse executives were called ‘nursing directors’ and were typically focused on ensuring that inpatient nursing care was compassionate, safe, and effective – period.” Today, however, Boston-Fleischhauer notes, “organizations recognize that nursing is core to the strategic achievement of outcomes, including clinical, financial, growth/market share, and the like.” To attain those outcomes, she observes that CNOs collaborate directly with the chiefs of medicine, finance, strategy, IT, and quality, “to drive achievement of strategic as well as operational goals.” A respondent to the AMN Healthcare study similarly summarized the role’s evolution “from just staffing the nurse department to being a key player in setting and achieving organizational goals and decision-making for major changes.”

The role’s scope now extends far beyond the healthcare facility. “The CNO role now spans the entire care continuum, from telehealth and community-based care to home health and more, says Lamont M. Yoder, in an interview in Nurse Leader by Heather O’Sullivan. Blogger Pat Magrath calls CNOs consummate problem-solvers, noting that the CNO “balances passion for patient welfare with administrative management.”

Key Competencies for the CNO Role

The CNO role requires at least a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and often a Master of Science in Nursing (with a suggested concentration in Nursing Administration or Leadership in Health Care Systems, or a dual degree in which the MSN is paired with a Master of Health Administration) or a doctorate in nursing (Doctor of Nursing Practice). Another master’s option is a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or Dual MSN/MBA. Licensure, of course, is a must, with nurses obtaining a state license as a registered nurse by passing the NCLEX-RN from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

Additional certifications also are available, including the Nurse Executive certification (NE-BC) through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), certifications in Executive Nursing Practice and Management and Leadership (CNML) from the American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL), and Certified in Executive Nursing Practice Certification (CENP), also from AONL. The American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) also offers a credential, Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

A nursing career path leading to CNO includes gaining at least five years of increasingly responsible clinical roles that include management.

“As any nurse manager on the executive track will tell you,” exhorts Jackie Larson, senior vice president of a healthcare recruiting firm, “their performance on the job requires skills and aptitude well beyond their training as nurses.” When preparing career-marketing communications to send to employers, those aspiring to the CNO role should emphasize these qualities:

  • Passion for performance-driven, high-level leadership
  • Patient-care champion, focused on patient-care service and best quality and safety practices
  • Strong advocacy abilities to serve as spokesperson for nursing staff
  • Problem-solver
  • Keen business sense
  • Ability to foster a collaborative and strategic environment
  • Expertise in regulatory and compliance approvals and accreditations
  • Ability to partner with physicians as well as cultivate relationships across functions and departments
  • Change champion

In an article directed at those hiring a Chief Nursing Officer, these competencies and qualities were cited: an eye for detail, current clinical skills, critical-thinking skills, proactive approach to staffing, knowledge of when to lead and when to manage, business acumen, a “data junkie” approach, goal-setting behavior, as well as both knowledge of the big picture and the ability to communicate the bigger picture. The 2017 AMN Healthcare study identified five crucial evolving competencies for nurse leaders: influencing innovation, spanning boundaries, collaboration, expanding the accessibility and use of technology, and courage

Level-Up Tips

Here are a few suggestions for those seeking to break into the CNO role, expand their horizons in an existing CNO role, or even rise beyond the CNO role:

  • Boost your expertise on the business side. Experts have identified lack of business acumen as an area for improvement for CNOs. “Even if they have completed BSN or MSN degrees,” Larson notes, “the curriculum they have completed typically does not contain enough, if any, of the business training they will need to perform and advance their careers. The bulk of that learning, at least initially, is done on the job and/or through a mentor.” In her 2015 research Charlene Ingwell-Spolan noted that nurse executives “are unprepared to fully communicate in financial, business terms.” Instead, Ingwell-Spolan points out, “clinical decisions in the health care business are often made by the financial and business executives without full and adequate input from the CNO.”

A list of advice tips for CNOs that Anuja Vaidya collected for Becker’s Hospital Review features these cautionary words from Kathleen Sanford, RN, Chief Nursing Officer of CommonSpirit Health in Chicago: “Looking back over a lengthy career, the one piece of advice I would give my younger self is this: Get as much management and leadership education and knowledge as possible, as early as possible.” Other experts advise reading as many books as possible on executive management and leadership, as well as sharpening strategic skills. “Today’s CNO,” Larson asserts, “must be as comfortable talking about methods to improve productivity and reporting and the strategic importance (or lack thereof) of an IT initiative as they are about patient care initiatives.”

  • Advocate for your nursing staff. “Nursing is the largest, most trusted workforce in all of health care and a critical asset to leverage,” points out Boston-Fleischhauer. Serving as the voice for the nursing workforce is seen as a way for nurse leaders to get ahead. “The key to moving forward is having strong nurse leaders who are willing to advocate for nursing in the C-suite,” says Katie Boston-Leary, chief nursing officer at University of Maryland Prince George’s Hospital Center. 
  • Join or create a peer-support group. That’s the advice of Shane Parker, a nurse who founded a hospital-scheduling software form. The group could be local or could encompass nurse leaders all over if it’s virtual. Parker suggests the group discuss practical and theoretical leadership concepts. Even without a group structure, Parker points out, CNOs can informally seek advice and support from their counterparts by phone or email. “No matter how you construct your support group,” Parker says, “you’ll benefit from interacting regularly with those who have ‘been there, done that.’” 
  • Gain varied experience by serving as an interim CNO. The 2017 AMN Healthcare study reported that “many organizations turn to interim management as a proven way to bridge leadership transitions;” in fact, 50% percent of nurse executives have utilized interim leadership services. Serving in interim role provides the opportunity for CNOs to gain diverse experience.

 CNO Trends to Watch 

  • Millennials are prevalent in the nursing workforce. About 50 percent of nurses today are of millennial age. One CNO goes so far as to have taken on a millennial nurse mentor so she can understand this demographic. “I think it’s important to stay on top of the issues of the nurses coming in and managing the different generations, [and] to be able to provide opportunities for growth, preceptorship, and communication methods,” states Karen Clements, CNO at New Hampshire-based Dartmouth-Hitchcock.
  • Patient and consumer engagement come to the forefront. For the past several years, healthcare systems have been encouraged to engage with patients even when they’re well, Shane Parker observes. Consequently, former CNO Davy Crocket suggests that CNOs “be the Chief Patient Engagement Officer whether you have the title or not. Have a philosophy that the patient and family is always right, even when they are not. You may be the clinical expert, but they know what matters most to them. Engaging patients in their care leads to better outcomes.”
  • CNOs are well positioned to be change agents. Crockett also believes CNOs “must become masters of managing organizational change to guide their healthcare system through the constant flux of innovation and disruption.” He advises CNOs to study change-management techniques and be aware that a CNO’s ability to manage change in 2020 and beyond “plays a pivotal role in how well your organization performs in the marketplace.”
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Outlook for Chief Telehealth Officer Role

What You Need to Know Right Now to Level Up as a CTO

Of all C-Suite roles, the Chief Telehealth Officer (CTO) role is arguably the most affected by the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic and is thus likely to present growth opportunities.

The Chief Telehealth Officer role is sometimes identical or similar to roles with such titles as CEO for Telemedicine, Chief Health Information Officer, and Chief Healthcare Technology Officer, the latter two of which may encompass telehealth along with other aspects of health technology. At companies whose sole focus is telehealth, the CEO role becomes synonymous with Chief Telehealth Officer.

In what CNBC’s Bertha Coombs calls “a massive expansion” from pre-pandemic telemedicine usage, virtual health-care interactions were predicted to top 1 billion by the end of 2020, aided in part by government expansion of Medicare reimbursement for telehealth as part of its stimulus package. In a study by Clearlink, a marketing company focused on customer experience, almost 75 percent of respondents said they’d consider using telehealth to be remotely screened for COVID-19, with two-thirds agreeing the pandemic has increased their willingness to try virtual care.

Even before the pandemic, however, telehealth was on an upward trajectory; in 2019 Lyle Berkowitz, MD, Chief Medical Officer for MDLive, attributed growth to “consumer demand, reimbursement alignment, and an improved regulatory environment.” Reduced costs, potential to generate patient satisfaction, and the quest for quality also contribute to telehealth’s growth. Virtual care is seen as a way to help prevent caregiver burnout.

Strong leadership and telehealth governance are seen as keys to growth by Telehealth and Medicine Today researchers Bryan Arkwright, Jeff Jones, Thomas Osborne, Guy Glorioso, and John Russo, Jr., who assert from an implementation perspective, the “telehealth executive champion” and the “telehealth leader” play important roles.

Key Competencies for the CTO Role

The Telehealth and Medicine Today researchers identified four sources for “telehealth executive champion” hires: Internal candidates with experience in telehealth planning or operational implementation, internal candidates with backgrounds in business development and leading clinical operations, telehealth-experienced external hires who have started and led a “matrix-aligned telehealth program,” and interim leaders from organizations open to all viable and established solutions, as well as experience starting and leading a matrix-aligned telehealth program.

Typically, an MD degree is required for the CTO role.

When preparing career-marketing communications to send to employers, those aspiring to the CTO role should emphasize these qualities:

  • Ability to recruit physicians and allied-health professionals to the telehealth program.
  • Vision for the organization’s clinical direction.
  • Knowledge of emerging models in healthcare delivery.
  • Healthcare leadership experience.
  • Innovative drive to achieve business goals and objectives.
  • Collaborative abilities to build partnerships with other health-delivery systems to achieve affordable outcomes.
  • Strategic approach.
  • Telehealth policy-making skill.

Level-Up Tips

Here are a few suggestions for those seeking to break into the CTO role, expand their horizons in an existing CTO role, or even rise beyond the CTO role:

  • The riches may be in the niches. Specialization provides additional growth into such areas as telepediatrics, teleradiology, telepathology, telecardiology, teledermatology, telepsychiatry, and many more. Provider-to-Provider telehealth is another niche area.
  • You may not need a healthcare background. Citing high demand for healthcare technology talent, healthcare recruiter Bonnie Siegel, notes that IT professionals from other industries are sometimes sought for executive telehealth roles; however, relaxation of the MD requirement is more common for Chief Healthcare Technology Officers than for Chief Telehealth Officers.
  • Growth provides opportunities for women. MedCity News’s Christina Hernandez Sherwood cites Julie Hall-Barrow, vice president for virtual health and innovation at Children’s Health, Dallas, for her observation that “the number and variety of jobs in telehealth have created new opportunities for women across business, clinical, and technology sectors. The value of women in health IT leadership roles is evident, resulting in increased numbers of women holding senior leadership roles in telehealth, health systems, and health IT in general.”
  • Expertise in artificial intelligence (AI) is an increasingly important asset. Recognition of AI and machine learning as valuable tools in telehealth is on the rise. Those well-versed in these technologies will likely be seen as attractive CTO candidates.

 CTO Trends to Watch

  • More and more physicians are adopting telehealth. Physician adoption of telehealth increased 340 percent from 2015 to 2018, notes American Well’s Telehealth Index 2019 Physician-Survey, with almost 70 percent of respondents who hadn’t yet adopted indicating a willingness to try telehealth. Physician adoption is yet another growth indicator that bodes well for prospective CTOs.
  • Telehealth training is expanding. Medical and nursing schools are integrating telehealth into their programs, notes Todd Czartoski, MD, Chief Executive Telehealth, Providence St. Joseph Health. Aspiring CTOs will have greater opportunities to build early-career expertise.
  • Growth is also expected on the patient side. In a survey cited on the blog of General Devices, 74 percent of respondents said they are willing to use telehealth services, while 76 percent of patients surveyed said they find access to healthcare more important than in-person appointments. It is not unreasonable to speculate that these numbers will skyrocket as more and more patients have no choice but to use telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic, and ideally have a positive experience.

Outlook for the Chief Medical Officer Role

What You Need to Know Right Now to Level Up as a CMO

The watchwords for the role of Chief Medical Officer (CMO) are “change” and “evolution.” No longer solely focused on patients in hospitals, CMOs are now often charged with leading sweeping transformation. Martha Sonnenberg, MD, suggests numerous new competencies required of CMOs, including integrating hospital utilization, quality and safety, credentialing, and physician practice evaluation, as well as heading off conflicts between physician goals and hospital goals.

Roles similar to and sometimes overlapping with the CMO role include Chief Quality and Safety Officer, Chief Integration Officer, Chief Physician Executive, and Service Line Medical Director. Writing for Managed Care magazine, Timothy Kelley suggests that “Chief Clinical Officer” is a more attractive and accurate title for the role because it embraces “care management, population health, quality reporting, and strategic planning.”

Where virtually all CMOs were once hospital-based, Chief Medical Officers today function in three basic environments:

·       Hospitals and similar medical facilities, where they manage clinical operations, ensuring patient safety and quality medical care by influencing and coordinating administration and medical staff.

·       Pharmaceutical firms, in which, writes David Shaywitz for Forbes, they function in one of three roles: (1) overseeing all drug development, along with such activities as medical affairs; (2) leading medical functions but not drug development; or (3) serving as strategically focused “medical counselor in chief” with no responsibility either for product development or medical functions. McKinsey’s Edd Fleming, Ken Park, Nav Singh, and Ann Westra prescribe “fundamental changes” to the pharma CMO role designed to result in “a single point of accountability” who can drive organizational change.

·       Large tech companies at what Shaywitz calls the “intersection of technology and health,” serving as “an authoritative voice to represent healthcare inside the company, as well a credible voice to represent the company to the external healthcare community.”

Key Competencies for the CMO Role

The CMO role requires a medical degree and state licensure as a physician, sometimes enhanced by specialty-practice certifications and a degree in business, as well as management experience and 5-10 years of clinical experience beyond residency. CMOs typically report to the Chief Executive Officer or board of directors, though more than half have multiple or shared administrative reporting relationships, notes Becker’s Hospital Review.

When preparing career-marketing communications to send to employers, those aspiring to the CMO role should emphasize these qualities:

  • Grasp of IT and analytics
  • Business, marketing, and legal knowledge
  • Ability to manage culture change
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills to recruit, engage, mentor, and align physicians, as well as liaise between administration and medical staff
  • Clinical risk-management skills
  • Exemplary written and verbal communication skills
  • Advocacy for the highest standard of medical care for patients
  • Ability to inspire physician performance
  • Expertise in healthcare regulations and safety standards
  • Innovation skills to improve clinical services
  • Budgeting skills
  • Effective leadership and management skills
  • Vision and ability to set goals

Level-Up Tips

Here are a few suggestions for those seeking to break into the CMO role, expand their horizons in an existing CMO role, or even rise beyond the CMO role:

  • Consider a supplemental degree. Though medical school is a huge commitment, prospective CMOs can make themselves even more marketable with a Master of Health Administration (MHA), Master of Public Health (MPH), or Master of Business Administration (MBA).
  • Lighten the current CMO’s load. On the Becker’s Hospital Review site, Laura Dyrda reports on survey results in which 86 percent of surveyed CMOs cited a desire to “offload responsibilities to other leaders, most likely medical staff tasks,” so they can focus on their top priorities. If you are not yet a CMO, boost your learning and visibility by asking what you can do to assist.
  • Turn to artificial intelligence and machine learning. These days, nearly every executive role is advised to deploy these emerging technologies. “Technology can help support clinicians and researchers by analyzing massive amounts of information, machine reading, and applying learning heuristics that support the decision-making process,” says Microsoft’s David Rhew, as quoted by Bill Siwicki in Healthcare IT News.
  • Become adept with clinical strategy. When Manoj Pawar talked with CEOs to identify what these top officers want to see in the CMOs who report to them, he learned that CEOs have “an increasing desire for closer collaboration between the CMO and the Chief Strategy Officer,” which may involve “identifying potential new partners, managing external relationships, managing key external groups for engagement and performance, and creating new venues for participative management around value.” CEOs also told Pawar they are looking for CMOs to lead collaboration around clinically relevant cost management and manage the clinical value proposition.
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Outlook for the Chief Administrative Officer Role

What You Need to Know Right Now to Level Up as a CAO

The C-Suite’s closest cousin to the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) is the Chief Operating Officer, and indeed, the titles are sometimes used interchangeably. A common role for the CAO is to serve as an intermediary between the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and department heads, overseeing functions such as finance, sales, human resources, and marketing. The Chief Administrative Officer monitors departmental performance and reports back to the CEO.

One motivation for hiring a CAO is the underperformance of one or more departments. The CAO in that scenario will likely get involved in setting success metrics, analyzing progress toward goals, and keeping the CEO up to speed with the department’s quest for success. The CAO will also often collaborate with departments that lack a C-Suite presence. Because of their intricate departmental knowledge, CAOs are C-Suite influencers with insider expertise.

In a case study about bringing on a CAO, executive-search firm Helbing & Associates, Inc., shared its client’s motivation for hiring this role: “[A] multi-billion dollar contractor, and longstanding partner of Helbling, sought to secure a Chief Administrative Officer who would provide additional depth to their C-suite, create a unified corporate service culture, and develop a long-term operational strategy.” The client company sought to collapse six corporate service areas – human resources, information technology, safety, risk management, legal, and compliance – into a single unit, thus “creating the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) role [that] would provide structural relief to the CEO’s reporting structure and allow a new leader to dedicate themselves full-time to those six areas.” The selected candidate had been a Chief Operating Officer of a similar firm who offered the client’s desired “combination of operational, strategic leadership, profit/loss management, and corporate service experience and knowledge.”

The case study noted that talent pool was shallow for the CAO role. Aon Hewitt reports that, across all industries, just 20 percent of businesses have a CAO role. Insurance firms are the most likely (35 percent) to have CAOs, with the retail and financial sectors following, and the manufacturing sector having the fewest CAOs. Other industries include physician practices, law firms, universities, and municipal agencies.

Key Competencies for the CAO Role

The CAO role requires a synthesis of analytics, process, and strategy. A bachelor’s degree is the basic educational requirement; an MBA is an extra selling point.

When preparing career-marketing communications to send to employers, those aspiring to the CAO role should emphasize these qualities:

  • Solid managerial experience
  • Working knowledge of government businesses regulations
  • Excellent written, interpersonal, and verbal communication skills, including facility with briefing CEO on departmental progress
  • Strong leadership and team working abilities
  • Decision-making skills
  • On-time/on-budget project management.
  • Ability to deliver instructional leadership to department managers
  • Ability to contribute to developing and implementing strategic plan
  • Administrative policy-making; evaluating and updating company policies as needed
  • Budget planning and development
  • Ability to establish success metrics and analyzing department data against goals

Level-Up Tips

Here are a few suggestions for those seeking to break into the CAO role, expand their horizons in an existing CAO role, or even rise beyond the CAO role:

  • Be sure the CEO is involved in hiring. If you’re under consideration for a CAO role, ask about how you will interact with the CEO. Rapport between CEO and CAO is important. “Because of the great deal of collaboration that will likely happen between the CEO and the CAO,” reports Study.com, “the CEO should always be on board when a CAO is chosen for the company.”
  • You could be next. “CAO is considered one of the key stepping stones to the CEO position,” notes Alicia Betz. Since the CAO is often the CEO’s right-hand person, this succession scheme is natural in some organizations.
  • Demonstrate your ability to make high-level/high-complexity decisions. Fast Company’s Jared Lindzon notes that CEOs are increasingly delegating tasks to their C-Suite executives, and “chief administrative officers will help relieve CEOs and COOs of some of their day-to-day tasks, allowing them to put their time and effort towards critical, big-picture decisions.”
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Outlook for the Chief Legal Officer Role

What You Need to Know Right Now to Level Up as a Chief Legal Officer

What’s the difference between a Chief Legal Officer (CLO) and a General Counsel (GC)? The primary difference is that most Chief Legal Officers report directly to the CEO while a General Counsel does not. While not all CLOs report to the CEO, however, in Fortune 500 companies, 93 percent of Chief Legal Officers have a direct reporting line to the CEO. CLO is the newer and more contemporary title of the two. In Europe, the CLO often serves as an advisor to the executive committee instead of being part of the C-Suite, notes Piet Hein Meeter, global managing director of Deloitte Legal, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

Frequently a publicly traded company’s most powerful legal executive, the (CLO) is a leader whose expertise helps an organization minimize its legal risks by advising officers and board members on significant legal and regulatory issues the company faces, such as litigation risks. Up until recently, this mandate has been roughly the same for both GCs and CLOs.

But the roles are diverging. As Steve Feyer notes on the blog of Apttus, a firm that helps companies modernize their revenue and legal operations, “the GC may concern himself or herself only with the legal matters of the organization, while the CLO is concerned with connecting those legal matters to the broader objectives of the organization.”

Indeed, recent research shows that CLOs highly value being well positioned to influence corporate strategy. The 2019 ACC Chief Legal Officers Survey reported that …

  • CLOs who report to the CEO are more often sought for their input on business decisions than those who do not.
  • CLOs who report to the CEO are more likely to frequently attend board meetings.
  • CLOs have a strong track record in leading compliance efforts, as noted later in this article.

A real-life illustration about how this wholistic approach can play out can be seen in an interview with Ritu Vig, Chief Legal Officer at SP+, who reveals this turning point in her corporate-law career: “Ultimately, I realized what I am passionate about is using the legal function to drive growth in a business. The traditional mindset is that the law department is a cost center to mitigate risk. But it’s a lot more than that, and there’s an opportunity to understand the business in a unique way.”

In an attempt to clarify the difference between the CLO and GC roles, the Association of Corporate Counsel gathered opinions from members of its subgroups. Echoing the emphasis on strategy throughout the whole organization, one respondent said, “the CLO title signals a focus on the role of the legal department’s top lawyer to lead a team or set a tone that focuses on providing business solutions to problems, rather than just legal analysis.” Another respondent speculated that the Chief Legal Officer title is especially used in companies that are subject to regulatory language that specifically mentions “Chief Legal Officer.”

A Deloitte report, The four faces of the chief legal officer, identifies the Chief Legal Officer’s role as Catalyst, Strategist, Guardian, and Operator. Ken Avery, director of Deloitte’s CLO Program, describes today’s CLO as “more than accomplished attorneys; they have a broad view of the business, industry, and company strategy, and manage a staff of senior attorneys that is expected to take that same broad view.”

Key Competencies for the Chief Legal Officer Role

The CLO role typically requires a law degree, obtained after earning a bachelor’s degree in business law or pre-law studies. Undergrad coursework recommendations to prepare today’s CLO from the site Legal Career Path include cyber law, international law, argumentation theory, public speaking, communication courses, communication law, symbolic logic, and an introductory course to legal practice. The site also suggests pursuing internships during undergraduate coursework to gain experience in the field.

Once in law school, the best focus area for the CLO path is corporate law; Legal Career Path advises courses in intellectual property law, corporate governance, corporate finance, public company disclosure, corporate professional responsibility, and advanced corporate transactions.

In your career-marketing communications, showcase the Chief Legal Officer competencies and characteristics on this list you possess:

  • Effective verbal and written communication
  • Exceptional leadership skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Exemplary negotiation skills
  • Problem-solving skill
  • Advocacy aptitude and experience
  • Business acumen
  • Corporate governance expertise
  • Crisis-management ability
  • Integrity and sound ethics
  • Management skills (including coordinating internal and external resources)

Level-Up Tips

Here are a few suggestions for those seeking to break into the Chief Legal Officer role, expand their horizons in an existing Chief Legal Officer role, or even rise beyond the Chief Legal Officer role:

  • Emphasize the compliance track record for CLOs: The 2019 ACC Chief Legal Officers Survey cites a study that found that companies whose CLOs are among the top five compensated officers have a 50 percent reduction in compliance failures compared with companies where CLOs were not among the top five compensated officers.
  • Connect metrics to key corporate objectives. On trend with the concept of CLO as whole-organization strategists, CLOs are advised to use metrics to tout their team’s performance.
  • Go for the “hot” areas. Areas of corporate law that are especially in demand and could position you well as a CLO include privacy, compliance, and regulatory affairs. “Chief legal officers are become increasingly valuable to companies throughout the world amid growing concerns about new regulations,” says the 2019 Association of Corporate Counsel CLO Survey. Of issues most likely to influence company decisions, CLO survey respondents cited regulation more than any other issue. Beefing up technology skills can’t hurt either. “Lawyers have a reputation for being technology-averse,” notes the writer of the Apttus blog, “but this often is not true – and it certainly should not be true for a CLO. Embrace all the value-added technologies available to you and promote the positive effect they have on your organization.”
  • Take the initiative. In a Deloitte report entitled “Own your space: Leadership advice from a trailblazing Chief Legal Officer,” retired CLO Susan Blount advises going beyond the requirements of one’s job to the point of “anticipating questions, adjusting strategies, and identifying opportunities for cost savings and client education without being asked.” This process of “owning your space,” as Blount calls it, shows that the “rising leader is adding value to his or her organization beyond technical legal skills and is personally taking charge of his or her career.”

Chief Legal Officer Trends to Watch

  • CLOs are being asked to do more with less. “Legal departments are being asked by the business to become more global, counsel leadership about new developments, and be more transparent about the value they deliver to the organization,” Deloitte’s Meeter asserts, noting that the departments are simultaneously mandated to be more efficient and reduce costs.
  • Not just cost-saving, but revenue-producing. Deloitte’s Avery observes that CLOs are finding their departments are not just being asked to reduce costs, “but in some sectors, legal departments are expected to be more than a cost center.” Avery points, for example, to monetization of intellectual property “to generate revenue and contribute to an organization’s overall financial results.”
  • Sustainability is an emerging area of concern for CLOs. CLOs and their teams are playing increasingly significant roles in sustainability – and even leading sustainability efforts, reports the 2019 ACC Chief Legal Officers Survey. “CLOs outpace the CFO and chief operating officer (COO) when it comes to direct oversight of sustainability teams or individuals,” the report states.
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Outlook for the Chief Branding Officer Role:

What You Need to Know Right Now to Level Up as a CBO

A Chief Branding (or Brand) Officer “is solely responsible for owning a brand or family of brands,” writes marketing expert Debbie Laskey. The lines between Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Communications Officer, and Chief Brand Officer (CBO), however, are said to be thin, with CBO as a relatively new C-Suite role. Why do some companies (most of the Fortune 100) have CBOs and others CMOs? The branding company Ideon sums up the difference as a focus on brand growth by the CBO: “The planning of the company’s image and direction is not in a CMO’s wheelhouse. Crafting and reinforcing your story and design requires a new or repositioned role focused solely around how the brand grows.” The scope of the CMO is inadequate for some firms, Ideon suggests: “While CMOs are well-equipped to propagate ideas, it is beyond the scope of the marketer to decide what these ideas should be.”

Robert Jones, author of Branding: A Very Short Introduction, notes that “the scope of branding in many organizations is much less clear-cut than it was 20 years ago.” Thus, Jones asserts, CBOs must keep reminding their CEOs of the value of investing in the brand. Jones identifies the roles a CBO plays as philosopher, coach, scientist, and creative director.

Others echo the theme of marketing’s limited scope. “The system of experiences that define brands and create value extend well beyond the limits of the typical marketing organization,” writes Paul Worthington on LinkedIn. Strategist Gerard Hoff notes that when a brand reaches a certain level of importance and impacts an organization across all departments, “its care cannot be left to the marketing department alone.”

Key Competencies for the CBO Role

A bachelor’s degree is the minimum educational requirement for Chief Branding Officer; an MBA can boost this qualification. Typical majors include business, advertising and marketing, economics, and engineering. Consulting experience is also helpful for would-be CBOs.

When preparing career-marketing communications to send to employers, those aspiring to the CBO role should emphasize these qualities:

  • Strong communication skills
  • Interpersonal and relationship-management skills
  • Brand awareness and brand passion
  • Results orientation
  • Business acumen
  • Analytical skills
  • Curiosity
  • Persuasive influence
  • Whole-brain thinking

Level-Up Tips

Here are a few suggestions for those seeking to break into the CBO role or expand their horizons in an existing CBO role:

  • Have a vision and ensure your team understands how that vision drives results. So advises Leanne Fremar, CBO at JP Morgan Chase. “A vision for where you and the organization are going is crucial,” Fremar says. “True leaders embody and define a brand vision and culture, which must be shared and cultivated to exist,” Lorraine Carter echoes, adding that the brand leader should be able to express the brand succinctly and authentically, communicate it to all stakeholders, and change it to adapt to changing times.
  • Cultivate brand advocacy. “Since all employees are brand advocates,” Laskey posits, “take the time to educate employees about your brand’s strengths during the onboarding phase and also re-train on a regular basis.” Such advocacy requires a consistent brand story across departments. Customers, of course, can also be relied on as advocates. In January 2020, Audible, the audiobook branch of Amazon, launched a members group on Facebook that took off immediately, with members singing Audible’s praises and recommending books to listen to that other members promptly purchased or placed on their wish lists.
  • Take ownership. “Take ownership of your role by delivering terrific results, building a strong network and being a great person to work with,” Fremar advises, adding that taking ownership means knowing the customer, the product, and the goal you seek to achieve. “These are qualities companies look for in their future leaders,” she states.

CBO Trends to Watch

  • Consumers embrace brands that give back, are socially responsible, and whose purpose/mission goes beyond profit. Studies show that consumers – especially millennials – will spend more on brands that are sustainable or that support charitable causes. “Modern-day customers care about and support mission-driven brands,” Jia Wertz writes for Forbes. In a collection of branding trends for 2020, market analyst Louie Andre concurs: “Consumers no longer see products as mere commodities – each one is now a statement. This is why purpose-driven brands have more appeal to modern shoppers.”
  • Brands get humanized. “If you want [consumers] to do business with you, you must humanize your brand,” exhorts Andre, who points to the Sprout Social Index’s findings that consumers like brands that are friendly, honest, and helpful – and to a lesser extent, brands that are funny, trendy, politically correct, or snarky. Andre cites Old Spice as a brand that has successfully humanized itself. Humanness is also seen as a counterpoint to algorithms. “The world still needs human curators and concierges to guide us,” writes Derrick Daye of Brand Strategy Insider. “This is why brands matter,” Daye says. “They are these curators and concierges.”
  • Branding is deployed to lure talent. “Companies need to begin thinking of branding as a way to not only attract customers, but also as a way to entice qualified job seekers to join their teams,” Wertz writes, pointing to research showing that companies with strong work cultures see revenue-growth increases.
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Outlook for the Chief Restructuring Officer Role

What You Need to Know Right Now to Level Up as a CRO

Once known as “company doctors,” Chief Restructuring Officers broke into the C-Suite in the 1990s. CROs (Chief Risk Officers and Chief Revenue Officers share the same acronym) are unique among top-executive roles in that they are typically brought in when the company faces major challenges, and their role may be temporary and filled by someone from outside the organization. Bankruptcy attorney Kenneth A. Rosen notes that “CROs are often hired to allow other executives to focus on the business” (though he observes that separating the CRO from financial, operational, or executive matters may be difficult). An alternate to bringing in a CRO is engaging a restructuring consulting firm.

Tony Horvat of the American Bankruptcy Institute describes the kind of scenario into which a Chief Restructuring Officer is recruited:

When a company’s financial resources are dwindling, delays and missteps in reacting to a corporate crisis trigger a domino effect: Falling revenue and weakening cash flow worsen liquidity, exacerbate supply-chain problems and increase employee turnover. The symptoms are common and quickly become life-threatening for the organization. If management lacks the resources and depth to adequately handle the problem, the board should consider the use of a CRO.

The larger and more complex the needed restructuring, the greater the need for a CRO, assert Bob Rajan, Jan Dettbarn, and Steffen Kroner of consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal. The authors point out that a CRO may come from a large “restructuring boutique firm.” Another permutation is the CRO who is retired and now working as an independent consultant. Rajan, Dettbarn, and Kroner note that this independent consultant “must rely on the distressed company’s workforce to deliver and implement the turnaround plan.” The authors also sum up the primary reason for the kind of failure that warrants CRO intervention – poor management. Not unexpectedly, firms look to CROs who have successfully engineered a turnaround to provide credibility.  The CRO needs to be a distressed-business specialist and grasp such processes as liquidity management and bankruptcy preparation.

Two primary types of CRO exist, asserts Sheon Karol of the Turnaround Management Association. A Turnaround (or traditional) CRO is charged with restructuring operations or the balance sheet, while the increasingly common Sale CRO is “primarily called upon to shepherd an asset efficiently though a sale process.”

Key Competencies for the CRO Role

“A CRO is someone with broad operational experience as an executive in a large-sized company who has experience of driving a restructuring process,” state Rick van Dommelen and Edwin van Wijngaarden of PWC, whose article details critical success factors for the Chief Restructuring Officer. CROs generally bring a background in finance, law, or operations. Experience in the industry in which the firm resides is helpful, but a lower priority than turnaround experience.

When preparing career-marketing communications to send to employers, those aspiring to the CRO role should emphasize these qualities:

  • Strategic, operational, and financial expertise
  • Stakeholder management; ability to attain buy-in
  • Ability to manage divestiture of excess assets
  • Objectivity
  • Authority and accountability
  • Ability to maintain liquidity
  • Change-management skills
  • Flexibility
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Negotiation
  • Ability to improve employee morale
  • Urgency; ability to execute quickly

Level-Up Tips

Here are a few suggestions for those seeking to break into the CRO role, expand their horizons in an existing CRO role, or even rise beyond the CRO role:

  • Discover where you fit best. Noting that one size doesn’t fit all in hiring CROs,  Deloitte separates the role into Strategic CROs, Operational CROs, Financial CROs, and Crisis-Management CROs. Each has a different skillset. Research restructuring needs at firms to learn where your skills are the best fit.
  • Get a leg-up as a restructuring consultant. As we’ve seen, CROs need to have a proven track record; joining a restructuring consultancy is a way to build that record. A unidentified restructuring consultant interviewed by Brian DeChesare, founder of Mergers & Inquisitions, told DeChesare that consultants in his company come from backgrounds that include Big 4 transaction services/accounting/valuation; investment banking; corporate-finance roles, such as GE’s Financial Management program or financial planning and analysis at large companies. Some of the jobs consultants at his firm moved on to included restructuring groups at banks, corporate- and business-development at Fortune 500 companies, distressed and restructuring private equity; and client companies.
  • Look for bankruptcy and restructuring “hot” industries. These include retail, energy, real estate, and highly regulated industries, such as health care and skilled-nursing facilities, report Lex Suvanto and Nicole Briguet.
  • Find the “diamonds in the rough.” Once in a CRO position, marshal the workforce in the restructuring process, suggests Raoul Heredia. “Employees of troubled companies can be motivated to tremendous achievements if given the proper guidance, leadership and management,” Heredia writes. He proposes seeking out employees with problem-specific technical skills “who are eager to take up the challenge as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rapidly ascend the ladder of experience. “

CRO Trends to Watch

  • Opportunity is increasing. Suvanto and Briguet point to “a rapid rise in corporate restructurings, insolvency issues and bankruptcies, as more than 60,000 corporate bonds with an S&P rating of BBB or below mature in 2020 and 2021, according to Bloomberg data.”
  • Restructuring may begin to take a backseat to Corporate Performance Programs. The German consultancy Roland Berger’s 2017 CRO study explains that Corporate Performance Programs are implemented after a company has entered a strategic crisis in which management has not taken action once a revenue crisis occurs and earnings shrink. In contrast, restructuring is typically not implemented until the company faces a liquidity crisis. “The focus of transformation activities is shifting;” the study reports, “they often begin early on, during the revenue crisis.”
  • Younger workers want to be involved in restructuring. The Roland Berger CRO study notes that “instead of submitting to a restructuring plan, Generation Y strives to help shape change processes through a collaborative approach.” The study attributes this trend to Gen Y’s tendency to attach “significantly more value to actively participating in their career development than their predecessors.”
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Outlook for the Chief Visionary Officer Role

What You Need to Know Right Now to Level Up as a CVO

Vision- chief visionary officer

The emerging C-Suite title Chief Visionary Officer is not yet well defined and is sometimes used to characterize a function rather than an actual title. Simon Sinek, for example, asserts that CEOs should function as Chief Visionary Officers. Infogalactic.com reports that “CVO” is sometimes added to the CEO title, as in CEO/CVO status, especially when the CEO is also the founder. In other cases, CVO is a title given to someone in a high-level advisory position or even an individual ranking higher than the CEO.

The closest cousin to the CVO role is Chief Strategy Officer, and the functions of these roles may overlap. Like some other roles in the C-Suite, CVO is often added in the face of accelerating change that might overwhelm the CEO. “CVO is typically a high-ranking executive who performs executive duties,” writes Shea Hoffman, “but with added responsibilities of creating a forward vision for the company, especially if they are operating in a fairly new industry.”

Key Competencies for the CVO Role

The Chief Visionary Officer role does not yet have enough of a track record to be accompanied by a standard set of critical skills and traits and thus must include the core-competencies and business acumen of every executive, but descriptions of what various CVOs are doing provide an overview of applicable competencies. Obviously, the ability to imagine and visualize a successful future for the organization is key. CVOs are typically charged with creating a corporate vision, business strategy, and plan for execution.

When preparing career-marketing communications to send to employers, those aspiring to the CVO role should emphasize these qualities:

    • Visionary mindset and ideation that sets the strategic course and moves the organization forward
    • Ability to oversee high-growth initiatives
    • Disruptive change management
    • Skilled in collaboration and strategic partnering
    • Competent at fostering employee engagement
    • Strategic
    • Skilled at business transformation
    • Trust-building
    • Ability to execute

Level-Up Tips

Here are a few suggestions for those seeking to break into the CVO role, expand their horizons in an existing CVO role, or even rise beyond the CVO role:

  • Apply your entrepreneurial background. As noted, Chief Visionary Officers are often also founders of startups. What could be more visionary than starting your own company? Emphasize this background when pursuing a CVO role. “I think the startup environment or mindset accelerates your understanding of business,” says Bryon Beilman, CEO of Iuvo Technologies, “because you are not siloed, and everyone is focused on getting the product or service to market.”
  • Propose the position. Chief Visionary Officer appears to be a position that is not often advertised (searches on LinkedIn and Indeed for this post produced zero results); thus, the opportunity to propose that a company create the position (for you to fill) is open. If the organization you’re in – or an external organization you’ve researched – seems especially in need of strategy and vision, why not build a case for yourself as Chief Visionary Officer? Smaller, newer companies may be especially in need of a CVO.
  • Look for opportunities to be the CEO’s right hand. Given that CVOs often take on the strategic challenges that overwhelm the CEO, research situations, both with your current employer and outside employers, where the CEO might need this kind of support.
  • Polish your communication skills. “It doesn’t matter how great you are at getting your job done if you can’t speak about accomplishments, your vision for the company, and communicate fresh, new ideas effectively,” notes company co-founder Victoria Bogner.
  • Take the lead during company changes. Change comes rapidly and frequently in business and is closely tied to the vision component. Step up to participate in change initiatives to show your visionary and change-management qualities. Volunteer for the toughest assignments.

 

 

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Outlook for the Chief Executive Officer Role

What You Need to Know Right Now to Level Up as a CEO

CEO tile squares

The role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) presents several paradoxes. Though it is seen as a strategic role, most individuals hired into the role have operational backgrounds. A study of 130 CEOs by Russell Reynolds Associates reveals CEOs to be thick-skinned, but not insensitive. The research further indicates that CEOs are capable of both including others in decision-making and making them independently.

A Chief Executive Officer is, of course, usually the highest-ranking person in a company or organization, the ultimate authority for making managerial decisions. The CEO oversees the organization’s success and monitors risk. While no uniform roster of CEO roles and responsibilities exists, CEOs typically communicate on behalf of the organization to internal and external stakeholders. They lead the charge on the organization’s mission, vision, and social responsibility, as well as helm strategy development. Other C-Suite leaders report to the CEO, who evaluates their performance.

Major CEO concerns as we leave the 2010s include climate change, disruptive technology, and economic nationalism, 2019 research from KPMG reveals.

Key Competencies for the CEO Role

After studying 222 CEOs from 18 companies that survived for 100+ years, Christian Stadler summarized back in 2015 for Forbes the typical path to the CEO role: Obtaining an engineering degree, getting a few years of work experience, earning an MBA at a prestigious university (preferably Harvard), gaining a management-consulting role (especially at McKinsey), gaining employment in the company the would-be CEO wants to lead someday and gaining operational and finance chops, as well as international experience. An undergrad degree is still essential to become a CEO, and a significant proportion of top leaders also hold MBAs. While internal candidates comprised 79 percent of CEO hires when Stadler did his study, external hires have increased in recent years. Leaders reach the CEO role, on average, 24 years into their careers.

While CEO skills can be summarized as leading people, leading change, communicating and building coalitions, exercising business judgment, and being results-driven, experts have cited specific niche CEO competencies. When preparing career-marketing communications to send to employers, those aspiring to the CEO role should emphasize these qualities:

    • Forward thinking
    • Fearlessness
    • Calculated risk-taking
    • Team- and coalition-building
    • Thoughtful action- and execution-orientation
    • Strong strategic skills
    • Good operational skills
    • Optimism
    • Business judgment
    • Keen ability to read people
    • Results orientation
    • Ability to maintain close customer connections and anticipate customer needs

Level-Up Tips

Here are a few suggestions for those seeking to break into the CEO role or expand their horizons in an existing CEO role:

  • Significant past mistakes may not rule you out as a CEO. In the KMPG report, 74 percent of CEOs said that they had a significant misstep early in their career. CEO Genome Project research similarly cites 45 percent of studied CEOs who had had at least one major career blowup that ended a job or was extremely costly to the business. The key is that they learned from their experiences. Be sure to explicate your learning if you are asked to discuss mistakes from your career.
  • Demonstrate your ability to make rapid decisions with conviction. This decision-making competency is one of four behaviors that Harvard Business Review says sets CEOs apart. “High-performing CEOs do not necessarily stand out for making great decisions all the time; rather, they stand out for being more decisive. They make decisions earlier, faster, and with greater conviction,” writes Elena Botelho, Kim Powell, Stephen Kincaid, and Dina Wang. After interviewing several CEOs, Devin Pickell concurs: “Having confidence in your decision-making skills is one of the most important qualities of any CEO candidate.” (The other three distinguishing behaviors in the Harvard Business Review study are attaining buy-in by driving for performance and aligning team members around the goal of value creation, adapting proactively to a rapidly changing environment, and reliably producing results.)
  • Plan a career path with breadth, depth, and height. That’s how two of the authors – Botelho and Powell – of the Harvard Business Review study on distinguishing CEO behaviors characterize the ideal career path to CEO: Broad experience as the ultimate generalist in the first eight career years, going deep to attain measurable results in years 9 to 16, and soaring to new heights as enterprise leaders in years 17-24.
  • Be willing to drive change and accept “productive failure.” An acceptance of new ideas, even those that fail, is the new mandate for Chief Executive Officers. “[CEOs] must lead a fundamental transformation of their operating models, building an agile, customer-focused and connected enterprise by combining advanced technologies with operating redesign,” notes the KMPG report.
  • Introversion need not count you out as a CEO. As the 10-year study CEO Genome Project discovered, “while boards often gravitate toward charismatic extroverts, introverts are slightly more likely to surpass the expectations of their boards and investors,” as reported in Harvard Business Review.

CEO Trends to Watch

  • Diversity, inclusion and belonging will become a differentiator. CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion is leading this charge, stating on it site: “Recognizing that change starts at the executive level, more than 800 CEOs of the world’s leading companies and business organizations, are leveraging their individual and collective voices to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace.” The organization has created the CEO Pledge.
  • Top concerns focus on talent issues. The Employer Associations of America’s 2020 National Business Trends Survey reports that top challenges to business executives include talent acquisition and retention, ability to pay competitive wages/salaries, and ability to pay for benefit costs.
  • Accelerated disruption calls for adaptive leadership. “The challenges businesses face are adaptive,” writes Maureen Metcalf in Forbes, “Leaders need to change themselves and their organizations.” Metcalf points to the work of Harvard’s Dr. Ron Heifetz, who describes adaptive leadership as a “practical leadership framework that helps individuals and organizations adapt to changing environments so they can effectively respond to recurring problems.”
  • Experts call for resilience. Resilience is a strong theme in the KPMG report, which states, “CEOs need to build resilience within their organizations by driving change.” Forbes’s Metcalf concurs: “The people who make change possible hit a point of diminishing performance that impacts their ability to deliver. Employers must provide work environments that maximize employee performance.”

The final paragraph of the KMPG research nicely summarizes the current milieu and upcoming trends for CEOs:

“The modern CEO needs to accept and embrace the fact that they have more to do and less time to do it in. They need to become internal disruptors of their own businesses, challenging management dogma and entrenched practices. They will need to forge stronger links with their customers, accepting the need to anticipate their requirements through insights gleaned from data-driven analysis. They must also create an environment where new ideas can be tested without prejudice and in which willingness to change is recognized as a strength, not a weakness.”

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