Career Definition of a Chief Strategy Officer
A chief strategy officer specializes in creating and implementing an organization's short-term and long-range strategic goals and change management activities. They can work for a variety of organizations, including healthcare agencies and professional services firms. Chief strategy officers are usually employed full-time and work in an office environment.
Specific job duties for chief strategy officers can vary depending on the focus of their role. Some chief strategy officers are hired from within to act as an internal consultant or a change agent. Other chief strategy officers are external personnel hired for their particular expertise in areas like mergers and acquisitions or government lobbying. No matter the focus of the role, a primary duty is working with an organization's executive management team to identify needs, develop action plans, and oversee the implementation and monitoring of plans. Other job responsibilities may include ensuring that an organization's executive management team is aligned on strategic goals and evaluating and determining ways to gain market share. Chief strategy officers may join professional, civic, or social organizations in support of achieving an organization's strategic goals.
|Educational Requirements||Master's degree|
|Job Skills||Excellent communication skills, strong analytical abilities, and project management skills|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$165,077|
|Job Outlook (2014-2014)**||-3% (chief executives)|
Sources:*PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Individuals will need a master's degree, probably an MBA, to work as a chief strategy officer. Relevant work experience overseeing business development or strategic initiatives will be beneficial. Interested individuals can pursue membership in a professional organization like the Association for Strategic Planning. The organization focuses on encouraging ideas and utilization of strategic management practices in organizations.
Excellent communication skills are an essential asset for chief strategy officers as they are responsible for collaborating with an organization's executive team and other managers on strategic initiatives. Chief strategy officers must be able to foster relationships among various internal departments and clearly communicate an organization's goals. They should have strong analytical abilities in order to identify an organization's strengths and weaknesses and determine areas for improvement and growth. Chief strategy officers should also have strong project management skills in order to oversee the execution of initiatives, either independently or in conjunction with a team, and manage personnel. However, the most important skills Chief Strategists should have revolve around business, market, and research, as they will need to be able to understand business needs, market trends, and analyze competitors and data.
Career Outlook and Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not collect statistics on chief strategy officers; however, they project a slight job decline of -3% during 2016-2026 for all chief executives due largely to a slowed rate of new firm creation and concentration of employment in large, established companies. In October 2017, PayScale.com reported an annual median salary of $165,077 for chief strategy officers.
Individuals considering a career as a chief strategy officer might also be interested in one of the related careers profiled below. They offer candidates the opportunity to utilize their skills in other strategic executive positions.