My Preferred Role: Chief Digital Officer #CDO

Those of us who follow, and perhaps instigate, “social technology” trends and practices experience a fair deal of angst. Nobody ‘gets‘ us. There is no preferred language around which we can create a movement (of change) – hence my use of ” ” around social / technology. We keep saying this is the year, then wonder when the tipping point will (ever?) happen.

So, I am always looking for insight into how to define the change and the role required to make it happen. Because that role – the one that makes organizations and teams and people go BOOM! – that’s the role for me.

cdoThe latest definition that resonates with me is Chief Digital Officer.

Digital goes full circle every decade – from flashy lights and early adopter tendency through the new normal and out again as meaningless prefix jargon to crappy products / ideas.

Right now, it feels it is somewhere between beginning and middle of the cycle. A couple of thought leaders have been articulating this. Stowe Boyd recently pontificated, eloquently as always, on his gigaom channel:

Organizations need more CEO, board-level, and line-of-business engagement to grasp technology-driven market change and set resultant corporate and technology strategies.

Yes, they do, and there is a role there to put this strategies in play – a CDO.

Dion Hinchcliffe is in similar vein beseeching business to play a bigger game in marrying community-driven opportunities with strategic intent:

Are communities an adjunct to a specific function under certain conditions, such as customer service communities or product development/innovation communities when existing traditional processes underperform? Are communities to be the primary delivery model, or a secondary? My belief is that this thinking is now too incremental.

Instead, I believe businesses should now focus directly on moving to community-led business structures and processes as a first class citizen. The force multiplier of social technology here has simply proven far too great not to put at the core of our businesses, and not doing so has begun to have significant competitive and sustainability implications.

To get there, we need to talk about digital communities and business in new ways that explain their new relation to the enterprise much better than we do today.

We need more thought leadership in this; we need more practitioners driving change in our organizations; we need tool blenders and network weavers to lead the way. That is the opportunity of the Chief Digital Officer. That is the role for me.

←This Much We Know.→

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