Are Portfolio Managers the Next Chief Strategy Officers?

A relatively new but increasingly important role is emerging: the chief strategy officer (CSO). From Starbucks to Siemens, many organizations now have a designated CSO.
A CSO can be defined as an executive responsible for assisting the CEO with identifying, communicating, executing and sustaining strategic initiatives — basically, what a portfolio manager does.
And I would argue that the next CSOs will come through the portfolio management ranks.
Strategy itself is about renewal, and renewal is achieved through transformation. Therefore, a key part of strategy is innovation. That’s not just technical or product innovation. It’s also managerial, organizational and process innovation implemented through portfolios (and of course, the corresponding projects and programs).
As with a portfolio manager, the core responsibilities of a CSO include translating strategy into execution:
  • Enabling and sustaining large-scale organizational change — preparing the organization to accept the change
  • Communicating and implementing a company’s strategy internally and externally so all employees, partners, suppliers and constituents understand the strategic plan and how it carries out the organization’s overall goals
  • Driving decision-making that creates medium- and long-term improvements through the execution of portfolios, programs and projects
  • Ensuring the portfolio is delivering measurable outcomes, identifying growth and innovation opportunities, as well as monitoring the competitive landscape
There are four main types of CSOs:
  1. Change Enablerchange agent to facilitate cross-organizational initiatives or portfolios
  2. Consultant: a strategic planner and adviser; the formulator of strategy
  3. Specialist: may be focused on a specific type of strategic initiative or portfolio, such as mergers & acquisition
  4. Coach: facilitates the strategy development, consensus-building and translation into execution
What do you think? Are portfolio managers the next chief strategy officers?

The views expressed within the PMI Voices on Project Management blog are contributed from external sources and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of PMI.

Article source: http://blogs.pmi.org/blog/voices_on_project_management/2014/07/are-portfolio-managers-the-nex.html

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