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Credit by Deloitte

1. Can CEOs be un-disruptable?

Chief Executives have traditionally sat at the intersection of the external environment and the internal organization, observing chaos and translating it into clear and actionable instructions. At this “nerve center” for essen-tial information, our popular perception of the “undisruptable”CEO is of a rigid, impenetrable figure, successfully staring down external adversity. Whether this image ever truly matched reality is debatable, but we know one thing for sure: It definitely no longer applies. To be undisruptable today requires much more than steering companies through singular (if monumental) events, it demands that leaders navigate constant turbulence, continuously adjusting their actions accordingly.

Accelerating market forces and increasing environmental complexity mean companies

often getting no warning before chaos, and no recovery period afterward. Against this backdrop, leadership is about more than just translating order into chaos. Today’s CEOs seem required to maintain constant pressure to transform their organizations by cultivating

a high tolerance, if not a passion, for ambiguity and to infuse others with the same mind-set. In a volatile world, today’s leaders need flexibility, agility, and a willingness to extend their organization’s capabilities into new and, sometimes, unexpected areas to keep ahead

of relentless competition.

2. Eight powerful truths about diversity and inclusion

In this article, we draw upon the findings of seven major research studies that cut into new

ground, covering topics such as diversity of thinking, inclusive leadership, and customer diversity. Our aim is to inspire leaders with possibilities and to close the gap between aspiration and reality.

  • Diversity of thinking is the new frontier

  • Diversity without inclusion is not enough

  • Inclusive leaders cast a long shadow

  • Middle managers matter

  • Rewire the system to rewire behaviors

  • Tangible goals make ambitions real

  • Match the inside and the outside

  • Perform a culture reset, not a tick-the-box program

3. Redefining the CMO

Where should CMOs start? Based on our research, three areas stand out:

3.1. Relentlessly pursue customer expertise.

By positioning themselves as customer experts and bringing the benefits of that expertise to

other functions in the organization—CMOs can trade tactical responsibilities for enterprise-

wide strategic influence.

3.2. Make marketing make sense.

CMOs can make their voice heard by translating marketing insights into the language of their C-suite peers, be it financial, strategic, sales-oriented, or talent-related.

3.3. Establish a “center-brain” mentality.

Much has been said about the increasing need for strong data-analytics capabilities in marketing, and rightly so. Yet this should not tempt CMOs to undervalue the creative, right-brain skills that marketers have more traditionally valued. Only by marrying the two can CMOs bring insight and actionable guidance to organizations, and it requires a forward-thinking, strategic mind-set.



“The most critical capability of the CMO is to have a profound, deep understanding of customers and their needs and know how to engage with and serve them. This of course involves knowledge of data and analytics.”
_ Jamie Moldafsky, CMO, Wells Fargo

If the customer sits at the center of the organization, then so should marketing in fact as well as in expectation. Fortunately, this is where CMOs typically have the means to excel. CMOs wishing to transform their role can take advantage of their unique position to elevate themselves as the customer expert with stakeholders across the enterprise. And the more fragmented the organization, often the greater the organization’s need and the CMO’s opportunity. “The bigger an organization gets, the more silos it has, and the less people have an overarching view of the customer,” BMW Group’s vice president of digital business and customer experience says. “The most important role marketing can play is to be the voice of the customer, walk in their shoes, and bring that to the rest of the organization.”

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