Chapter summary

This chapter focuses on senior functional executives tasked with being Chief Strategy Officers (CSOs) or Strategy Directors (SDs) – defined as senior board level (non CEO) executives whose very job is about the strategy of the firm. It seems we have little idea about their role and purpose – a particularly pertinent issue if everyone else is now a strategist. What distinctive role does the Strategy Director perform and what specific capabilities do they bring to the organization? With the spread of strategy to other functional areas, is there a need for Strategy Directors? Are they now obsolete or do they carry out a critical and largely unsung function? This chapter aims to provide answers for these questions and focuses upon the role of strategists in firms and how they are involved in the connectedness of strategy. These CSOs, defined as senior board level (non-CEO) executives whose very job is about the strategy of the business, ought to be closely involved with the connectedness of strategy in all its aspects and yet we know very little about their role, activities and purpose. Overall, in this chapter we briefly review the limited empirical studies on Chief Strategy Officers, from the established strategic decision-making literature to the CEO-Adviser model and then present insights into the practices of Chief Strategy Officers using the 3P (practitioners, practices and praxis) framework.

Keywords: chief strategy officers; connectedness of strategy; connecting up strategy; strategy directors; strategy function.