2013 Chief Strategy Officer Survey – Part 3

Part 3/4: Are Your Strategic Growth Responsibilities Balanced?

The Innovation Enterprise, an independent B2B multi channel media brand focused on the information needs of Senior Executives, and The Growth Strategy Co., the leading provider of growth-focused research, consulting and cloud-based software solutions, conducted a joint survey of the attendees at the Chief Strategy Officer Summit.   The objective of the survey was to establish the current state and future projections related to the practice of strategy and innovation.   The joint effort reinforces the commitment of both companies to equip executives with the tools and insights needed to increase the value and integration of strategy, innovation and growth-focused disciplines into the broader corporate framework.

The 2013 Chief Strategy Officer Survey are presented in a four-part series:
Part 1:  Strategic Growth Outlook
Part 2:  Strategic Growth Organizations
Part 3:  Strategic Growth Responsibilities
Part 4:  Strategic Growth Accountability

In addition to the four-part series, a full interactive dashboard presenting survey analysis, key insights and best practice recommendations will be available on The Growth Strategy Co. website beginning March 2013. Part 3 Preface

A new business environment full of uncertainty, complexity and change, has left strategists to challenge their traditional assumptions and priorities. Based on historical data points, strategists have engaged in traditional strategic planning activities that were largely focused on supporting annual budget and resource allocation cycles, removing costs, and improving efficiency. Within this traditional set of activities, strategists consistently faced two major, interrelated challenges: 1) getting organizational buy-in; and 2) linking strategy to execution. Overcoming these two obstacles is largely related to organizational culture and change management, and is the key to strategy implementation, adoption and execution.

Despite the presence of those two cultural obstacles, the 2013 Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) Survey affirms that culture change remains a low priority relative to the actual practice of strategy development. Of course, the challenge for modern strategists is to balance the technical dimensions of strategy (budgeting, resource allocation, etc), with the need to push the organization’s ambitions and drive organizational change. In this dual capacity, the CSO must expand upon their traditional role as a strategic planning practitioner to also include activities that engage all levels of their organization, develop and diffuse knowledge, and build the organizational capacity needed to continuously generate strategic growth outcomes and strengthen future growth prospects.

Key Findings:  Part 3 – Strategic Growth Responsibilities

In Part 3 of the 2013 Chief Strategy Officer Survey, Chief Strategy Officers and other strategy-focused leaders were asked about their responsibilities around strategic growth.  From the results, several key findings emerged:

  • The practice of strategy development is the highest priority. With 43% of their time spent on strategic planning and development, influencing the annual corporate planning and resource allocation process is the highest priority for strategists. While the data is not conclusive, this finding may indicate that a significant amount of strategist’s time may be spent on internally focused budget and compliance activities, and lesser time being spent on activities that are directly accretive to generating strategic growth outcomes.
  • Culture change remains on the back burner in strategy. The relatively low (8%) of strategist’s time being spent on cultural change signals the potential for continued challenges in strategy adoption, and the alignment of strategy-execution. Further, the data suggests a potential accountability gap between the need to develop strategy and the organization’s readiness to adopt and implement those strategies.

To learn more, join us at the
Chief Strategy Officer Summit
San Francisco, CA
May 23-24, 2013

image credits: growthstrategy.com

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Growth Thinking - Emerging Markets and GPIWayne 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.

Growth Thinking - Emerging Markets and GPIKeary 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.

Wayne Simmons and Keary Crawford




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