Hon’ble Prime Minister, how about a chief Strategy Officer for your team


The CEO is the boss of the company. He has a vision, a plan and a strategy and the power to execute those decisions. But the CEO is often bogged down with work load and meetings. Therefore besides the CEO big companies hire a Chief Strategy Officer or CSO who can walk into any office of the company and can yell without fear “What we’ve been doing isn’t in line with the company’s strategy—and we need to fix that.” sparking some sort of transformation. (https://hbr.org/2007/10/the-chief-strategy-officer) .
Unlike the CFO, cto, ..the role of a CSO is quite different. CSO do exists in large companies
It appears that Narendra Modi might just need the equivalent of the CSO, a pointman who can spearhead all the executions and make sure that the grand vision and policies planned by the PM gets executed timely and without hurdles.
All though the Prime Minister is the CEO and has his own office along with cabinet secretary, Principal secretary, Additional Principal secretary, Private secretary all of his own choice and competent. We also have Niti Aayoga who is trusted with the job of overseeing policy issues.
But all these competent officers are highly constrained even though endowed with abundant power. There are protocols and some senior minister may take umbrage to it.
Than there is the party president who is confident of he PM but has to look at the organization or the elections.

There may be someone or other who may be doing the job of CSO at least partially, but the need is to make it more formal and dedicated. so, who is a perfect CSO ?
Who is a CSO:
As explained above the CEO of a private company has a CSO with him who can wield the powers of CEO. and still occupy number two position. A CEO needs an executive near at hand to share the load and maintain—or regain—control of a process that constantly threatens to become chaotic. The successful creation and execution of strategy requires not only good processes but also the ability to make quick decisions.
CSOs are, in many ways, as diverse as the titles they hold. They do not emerge from predictable backgrounds with easy-to-map career paths or aspirations, and their skills, experiences, best practices, and preferences run the gamut. Yet, deeper exploration revealed many common traits in these individuals—characteristics that, taken together, help define a consistent, although often unfamiliar or misunderstood, role. Fundamentally, these are people who wield the authority, and have the complex range of skills, to make strategy happen. To borrow a term from French cinema, they act as réalisateurs. (https://hbr.org/2007/10/the-chief-strategy-officer) .

The CSO can also act as a bridge between ministries and PMO. He can talk informally and take decisions. The focus always being work and performance without involving bureaucracy and or ego’s in between. It has to be a seamless joint that connects the PM to work.
Most top strategy executives are star players more so than professional coaches. They instruct others and serve as mentors, certainly. But most CSOs consider themselves doers first, with the mandate, credentials, and desire to act as well as advise. Most important, they understand how to focus the organization on executing today, not just on planning for tomorrow.
The CSO can still be one of the high powered secretary inside the PMO or can be hired externally as PS to the Prime Minister. It could be one of the state ministers also who can be given an executive role to get things on track and done. It could be anyone as long as one enjoys the full confidence of the PM, has a spotless integrity and honesty and has the basic skills. One must be laced with above mentioned qualities, has to tread on unchartered territory and must possess distinct execution skills. The CSO can build his own team with good professionals to oversee various projects. Will it create frictions and overlap ? Yes and no depending upon who is the CSO and how he manages the high profile job and responsibility.

Looking to the fact that more than two years of the government is over and the green shoots that are visible in certain sectors and have gone bust in some others, the geo politcal situation will be more demanding and challenging as we go in future , with inflation, terrorism etc looking to stare back the Prime Minister will certainly be bogged down and may just need the chief Strategy Officer or CSO to win the next elections.

Asheesh Shah
Author: Asheesh Shah

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