Chief Corporate Officer (CCO): the global figure needed by organizations

In complex and uncertain times, organizations require a cross-cutting role that will broaden and enhance the perspective of the Chief Communications Officer in the management of intangible assets.

Ángel Alloza

Today more than ever, society has a critical and demanding attitude towards the activity of organizations. In the wake of crises caused by the pandemic, inflation, the increase in energy prices, the war in Ukraine, and the fall of several banks on the stock market, credibility and trust in institutions hangs on their immediate actions in both familiar and less familiar territory.  

Citizens expect companies to be capable of bringing value to the communities with which they interact, but their demands go far beyond mere gestures. According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, 82% of people say that business leaders should participate in social debate on subjects related with public policies, such as employment and the economy, technology and automation, income inequality and the climate emergency. 

When strategic decisions are made, account must be taken not only of economic factors, but also of the social value they bring

Therefore, responsible leadership becomes an imperative for organizations. When strategic decisions are made, account must be taken not only of economic factors, but also of the value brought to the communities in which the organization operates, improving the lives of people and their environment.  

In the report Approaching the Future 2022. Trends in Reputation and Intangible Asset Management, produced by Corporate Excellence - Centre for Reputation Leadership and Canvas Estrategias Sostenibles, we could already see that the drive for responsible leadership, together with the activation and implementation of the corporate purpose, was highest on the list of priorities. Furthermore, 42.3% of organizations said they were working on defining more responsible leadership models.  

A figure for uncertain times 

Despite everything, there is no leadership without leaders who are able to manage complexity and uncertainty, be this in a context of opportunities or resilience. A good leader must have a global, transversal vision of organizations, both on an internal and an external level.  

This is why, for some years now, the figure of the Chief Communications Officer (CCO) has been key to defining the functions to be performed in corporations in intangible asset management. In view of this reality, more than 10 years ago, we created one of the most important programs in the professional environment: The Global CCO. Management of Reputation, Brand, Communication and ESG, supported at all times by an unbeatable academic and professional team. 

The Chief Corporate Officer broadens and enhances the perspective of the person responsible for intangibles, giving them a corporate viewpoint 

However, in this context of uncertainty and constant change, the function of communication is enriched and evolves towards a role with a more holistic vision of the matters of strategic importance for the present and future of organizations. Aspects such as corporate affairs, purpose, brand, reputation, communication, sustainability, the map of relationships with stakeholders, among others, are areas that call for cross-cutting and integrated corporate management. 

Thus, the Chief Communications Officer extends their area of influence and action, and is more aptly named the Chief Corporate Officer, a new leadership function which enhances the perspective of the person responsible for intangibles on the corporate agenda, thereby guaranteeing the cross-cutting approach that the management of these demands.  

This new appraisal of this function underlines the need for integral management of intangible assets and resources. This is a leader who is able to read the context and manage an organization's ecosystem of relationships; who, when making strategic decisions, takes account of the evolving social expectations and needs of the stakeholders, as well as corporate priorities.  

Excellence and new perspectives 

Being a "force for good" through entrepreneurial action is a responsible commitment that is only within the reach of organizations with the very best professionals. It is important to review the roles and the functions that contribute to the success of organizations, in order to adapt these to the new social, economic and business needs.  

To do so, organizations need to incorporate a new cross-cutting and integrating corporate perspective. The Chief Corporate Officer is this connecting leader with whom organizations can go one step further and confidently advance towards the excellent management of their intangible assets and resources. If you are interested in learning more, the ebook Evolution of the Chief Communications Officer to Chief Corporate Officer. A new role, for a new world offers key insights into this new role. 

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