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What does it take to be a successful chief strategy officer?

Updated: Jul 6, 2023

In the third quarter of 2018, EY strategy in Canada conducted a survey of senior strategy leaders from Canadian companies in various industries to gain insight into the role of the Chief Strategy Officer (CSO).

This comes at a time when strategy has never been more important to Canadian companies than it’s today. Today’s business environment is increasingly complex and dynamic, as technology, the geopolitical climate, a changing workforce, and consumer demand have intersected for radical disruption in many industries.

According to the survey, most Canadian respondents consider the “upstream” side of strategy - planning and development - to be key contributor to their success. In comparison, strategy execution was on the bottom of their radar, since it was seen as something that was the responsibility of other groups, including other leaders, business units and functions.

To combat the increasing threats of tomorrow and meet the increased demand for an adaptable and coherent strategy, businesses must have a senior leader who’s focused on strategic direction: the CSO. For smaller organizations that don’t have a CSO, the CEO would be responsible for those complexities.

Our new report The DNA of the Chief Strategy Officer reveals key insights and provides strategic guidance that will position the CSO to successfully tackle the challenges of this increasingly complex world.


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