Week One at Cheil

Today marks the beginning of my first full week as chief digital officer at Cheil Worldwide. I arrived in Seoul last week and have been getting settled into my new role, meeting the teams resident at headquarters and starting to plan forward.

As word got out last week regarding my change of scenery, I appreciated all of the kind words and mentions on the interwebs. Now the hard work begins.

Digital division office

So what exactly is the role of a chief digital officer? Broadly speaking, this executive’s charter should include formulating digital strategy, implementing operational initiatives, and managing organizational transformation, all with a particular focus on emerging technologies. In a service-based company like Cheil, a top priority for a CDO like me is to expand our digital proficiency across the global network in order to deliver innovative client work. A related goal is to harness the inherent talent, creativity, and curiosity of our people and give them pathways to bring great ideas to life.

For further exploration on the role of a chief digital officer, you can request a copy of a related report I wrote for Constellation Research.

I’ll continue to publish thoughts here as we build, change, and explore the future of digital ideas that move.

The Case for the Chief Digital Officer

I’ve just published new research with Constellation focusing on the role of the Chief Digital Officer (CDO). CDOs are relatively new and many organizations desperately need them to help build capabilities and competitiveness.

In summary:

Digital disruption has affected every industry around the globe, bar none. Emerging technology has shifted the balance of power from long-standing institutions to newly formed entities that have been designed to capitalize specifically on the contemporary operating environment.

Constellation’s PESTEL (political, economic, societal, technological, environmental, and legislative) framework helps identify the major elements of the shift to digital, but today’s brands are not staffed or structured properly to succeed in this transformation.

A Chief Digital Officer is the leader to help companies navigate successfully through the current era of digital disruption. The CDO charter includes formulating digital business strategy, activating operational initiatives, and managing organizational transformation.

But the roles of CDOs are not one-size-fits-all; brands should hire and focus this executive on a critical set of industry-specific challenges.

The responsibilities of a Chief Digital Officer vary based on industry and company need; I’ve identified three major types of CDO segmented by business model and customer value proposition.

To download a summary of the report, click here.

For additional perspective, see Beyond the CIO/CMO – The Rise of the Chief Digital Officer from my former colleague Dion Hinchcliffe.