When to Hire a Chief Strategy Officer

Your chief executive officer might be having trouble staying on top of strategy and innovation since he or she is responsible for many other things. If you believe your organization is struggling to create effective strategies then this is when to hire a chief of strategy. Keep reading to learn more about the CSO hiring process.

How to Hire a Chief Strategy Officer

Before Anything: Define Your Standards

Before you begin your search, understand what the job is going to entail and what you’re looking for in your next CSO. The best way to figure out what you’re looking for is to have your team of strategists talk amongst each other to define the role and qualities they would like to see in the chief of strategy. Also, you can ask important questions like, do you need someone who is more of a creative thinker or someone who can see the limitations of the organization?

Likewise, look into your company’s culture and see what it will take for someone to fit in. You don’t want someone that won’t mesh well with your employees, so make sure to take that into account. No matter what, though, the position will involve developing and implementing strategic plans, so you’re going to want someone with a proven track record of successfully implementing strategies.

Determine Your Needs

Sometimes businesses believe they do not need a CSO, but their role is extremely important to the success of the organization. A chief strategy officer is responsible for spearheading the development of your organization’s future plan, and ensuring the right steps are taken to achieve that plan.

Additionally, they analyze market dynamics, market share changes and product line performance to create the best strategy for success. The person that you are looking for might not come from a traditional career path, so make sure you do not have a closed mind when looking for candidates.

Chief Strategy Officer Job Description: What to Include

Reviewing the Strategy

Since strategic initiatives are technically in the CEO’s job description, the goals should already be established. But chief executive officers have a wide range of other responsibilities that might hinder them from reviewing the strategy as often as they should.

That being said, the first step for a new chief strategy officer is to review the current strategy to fully understand what is working and what is not. After this, a good CSO will analyze that data and then develop ideas for better ideas on achieving the organization’s future goals.

Developing and Updating the Strategy

Some current strategies might not align with the company’s values, standards, or culture. Hiring a chief strategy officer can mitigate that risk and make sure the company’s initiatives are in alignment. After reviewing the current methods, a great CSO will further develop the steps that must be taken to reach the organization’s goals or alter the strategies altogether.

Updating the strategy to be an inclusive plan for every member of the organization is key, and a good CSO will recognize this. Without a current and updated strategy, it is tough for a company to stay relevant and keep innovating. Since CEOs can become busy, it pays off to have an officer solely devoted to ensuring future success.

Leading the Company

Since the new CSO will be guiding the organization towards strategic success, it’s important that they possess communication and leadership skills. If you feel that your organization’s members aren’t fully onboard with the company’s strategy, a new CSO can be the driving force for that development.

Additionally, since the CSO will be working in such close contact with the CEO, they must get along well and be on the same page regarding the company’s strategy. Adding a new member to an organization’s leadership team can shift the dynamic and actually decrease the chances of success, if not done properly.

Is the Time Right?

CSOs can significantly reduce the CEOs workload, enabling both members of your organization to do their jobs more effectively. If you believe the time has come to hire a chief strategy officer, you will want to do so as soon as possible.

Ensuring your organization has a well-defined strategy with clear steps on how to achieve it is vital to its success. A great CSO is the first step in doing so if you believe your organization needs a clear plan to stay innovative.

For more information about when to hire a chief strategy officer, reach out to Y Scouts today. Their team of expert recruiters can help you decide if the time is right as well as find the right candidate to fill your open position.


Y Scouts is a purpose-based, performance-proven leadership search and development firm focused on transforming how people and organizations connect to work that matters. They have a proven track record of hiring long-term efficient leaders. When you’re ready to hire a new leader, Contact Y Scouts. If you are looking for your next leadership role within a purpose-driven, performance-focused organization, please join the Y Scouts Leadership Community.

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