2021 Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) Survey 

Corporate strategists unlock four new paths to growth

What is our strategy now? That’s the ask of chief strategy officers as a once-in-a-century challenge has placed some companies in survival mode while others have accelerated their growth agendas.

The 2021 Deloitte Global Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) Survey report uncovers four pathways that strategy functions can embrace to lead their companies into the future, expanding their roles into non-traditional domains, such as technology fluency, a 360-degree view of strategy, digital transformation, and corporate purpose.

While the corporate strategy function is typically tasked with long-range strategic visioning and planning, in 2020, Chief Strategy Officers (CSOs) found themselves rolling up their sleeves to help solve a series of short-term mission-critical challenges, from keeping plants running and the supply chain flowing to protecting cash positions and ensuring business continuity. For the corporate Strategy function, this dichotomy between short-term firefighting and long-term sentinel thinking has played out as one of the most critical dynamics to manage during the pandemic.

Now, as we enter the post-pandemic period and beyond, the 2021 Chief Strategy Officer Survey findings show how the CSOs of today and tomorrow have expanded their typical areas of focus within their organizations, and how they have started to think about enhancing their capabilities in four non-traditional domains—technology fluency, a 360-degree view of strategy, digital transformation, and corporate purpose—to lead their companies into the future.

About this survey

To better understand the evolving role of the Strategy function, Monitor Deloitte, the Strategy practice of Deloitte Consulting LLP, and the Kellogg School of Management joined forces to conduct a survey of more than 250 CSOs and other senior Strategy executives. We surveyed executives from large and midsize companies, both public and privately owned, across a wide range of industries, in North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Latin America.

Deloitte hosts the New Zealand Chief Strategy Officer Forum, a network for senior leaders of strategy across the private and public sector. Contact Cassandra Favager for further information.

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