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The 2022 Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) Survey

Corporate strategists look to fuel growth amidst continued uncertainty

How can we strategize for what comes next under so much uncertainty and volatility? The past 24 months have taught us to expect the unexpected and have highlighted the importance of adapting with agility. Throughout the pandemic, consumer behaviors have shifted, global supply chains were disrupted, and the battle for talent has intensified. In addition, the business landscape continues to evolve with advanced technologies enabling incredible new strategic possibilities, and with corporate Purpose becoming a top-of-the-stack management issue in boardrooms all around the world.

To better understand how Chief Strategy Officers (CSOs) have been helping their organizations address near-term challenges while positioning their businesses for longterm success, Monitor Deloitte, the Strategy practice of Deloitte Consulting, surveyed 230 senior Strategy executives from 35 countries globally, of which several from Belgium, representing organizations of different sizes and ownership structures across various industries. By assessing the differences in CSO feedback between companies that have flourished during the past year compared to those that have underperformed in the same period, we have gained insights into how CSOs have been the most effective in driving tangible impact.

Here are the main themes coming out of this year’s Chief Strategy Officer Survey:

  • Growing during the pandemic:

Navigating near-term challenges while seeding long-term opportunity—CSOs are generally bullish about their company’s ability to drive revenue and profitability growth in 2022. However, while much of the growth generated in 2021 was driven by investments in Core products and services (66% of total current investment), CSOs expect to shift focus towards growing beyond the Core, particularly targeting new offerings, channels, and categories (50% of total future investment).

  • Digital transformation:

The convergence of technology and enterprise strategy—Eighty-four percent of CSOs agree that advanced technologies play a fundamental role as a strategic enabler to their businesses, unlocking new possibilities and driving an improvement in business performance. Yet, the majority of CSOs still see their companies as lacking maturity in effectively leveraging such technologies to their full potential.

  • Strategy with Purpose:

Doing well while doing good—Corporate Purpose has gained much attention in the past few years and is gradually becoming an integral part of the CSO mandate. But there is work to be done. CSOs can become Purpose champions within their organizations and embed Purpose in the Core of enterprise and business strategies. Even further, Purpose presents CSOs an opportunity to drive and shape growth, strengthening long-term value and resilience.

Every decision needs to be a Purpose-driven decision. Our decisions need to be congruent with our Purpose so that…we demonstrate that our Purpose is real.

—C-suite executive, Fortune 500 financial services company

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