As organisations embrace or are forced to adopt change, the need for senior leadership roles to blend together will increase. Over a number of conversations in the closing months of 2015 and already in 2016 it is becoming clear to me that C-level roles are no longer silos of operation and that the most successful in these roles and therefore successful organisations will see roles and responsibilities blend. Just as technology has blended and blurred a myriad range of boundaries, so too the zephyr of change will blend and blur leadership.
As the host of many debates on Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD), I often heard speakers talk of work being something you do, not somewhere you go and discussions on the new work life balance that technology affords. So it is inevitable that leadership will reshape. Collaboration, whether well done or not, has been one of the most significant changes that technology has enabled. Organisations today must collaborate in order to succeed; and not only at the shop floor. With so many pressures on the organisation and its leadership teams, a collaborative nature is essential at the very top of the organisation.
Meeting the needs to be innovative, to serve customers across multiple channels; research and embrace new revenue streams and business models cannot be the domain of one single person in the leadership team. I recall in many of the debates I host people talking of CIO meaning Chief Innovation Officer, which some highly innovative CIOs always, and rightly, shot down straight away. GLH Hotels CTO Chris Hewertson is responsible for product development, delivering services to the organisation’s customers; and in doing so working closely with his peers. Hewertson recently told Mark Samuels about his dual role as CIO and CTO and how the roles are blending together because a CIO can no longer just be responsible for the modernisation of standard technologies like SAP and Windows. To be a part of the organisation’s innovation they have to be blending run and operate with the overall journey of change the organisation is on. Elsewhere former CIOs are taking on COO roles with a responsibility for IT and digital strategy, CTOs in retail are taking on the CIO role too and blending them together. The combination of roles will continue as the need to innovate continues and the technologies and business models they enable continue to arise on the horizon.