The EY-Oxford research shows that success requires us to lean into very human emotions and actions: we must lead, inspire, care, empower, build and collaborate. And, perhaps even more important, the research shows that putting these human-centered actions at the core of a transformation effort can increase the likelihood of transformation success by 2.6 times. CEOs and boards would be well served to look to their chief marketing officers (CMOs) to play a broader role in organizational transformations to reduce risk, given their natural alignment to success factors.
For CMOs, the attributes of success are skills they practice regularly and can be readily applied to cross-functional transformations, capturing broader value across the organization and perhaps elevating influence. But these same skills — the CMO’s superpowers — are often underleveraged organizationally and in the context of their ability to contribute to large-scale transformation. If we understand what drives success in transformation and how it aligns to the leadership talents of CMOs, we can unleash their leadership and accelerate value creation.
Six ideas for unleashing the leadership of CMOs in transformation
Based on the EY-Oxford research, here are six ideas for how to better leverage CMOs’ unique experience and talent to drive greater success in transformation:
1. Collaborate: Unlock the power of CMOs as Chief Dot Connectors
The success of a transformation hinges on prioritizing the collective good across the organization. More than half (52%) of respondents in high-performing transformations say leaders made decisions that are best for the whole organization, not just their areas of responsibilities compared to 31% in low-performing transformations.