The CCO as Pacesetter – Roger Bolton, Aedhmar Hynes & Jon Iwata, Page

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On this edition of The New CCO, we welcome Roger Bolton, Aedhmar Hynes and Jon Iwata, leaders of Page’s latest research report, The CCO as Pacesetter, to discuss the findings and recommendations that will define the CCO role for the foreseeable future.

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Nearly two years ago, Page set out to frame the state of the CCO, the drivers of change and how those changes are reflected in the role. The result of this work is our new report, The CCO as Pacesetter, our most exhaustive research to date. It reflects input from 200+ CCOs and a global survey of 171 senior communications leaders. 

On this edition of The New CCO, we take you inside the new research with those who conducted it: Roger Bolton, Page president; Aedhmar Hynes, Page chair and Jon Iwata, Page thought leadership chair and executive in residence at Yale University. 

Our research identifies widespread transformation agendas at the top of CEOs’ wishlists as a response to disruption, not simply technologically, but also to their business models. As a result, these companies are often redefining their entire reason for being and how they create value in the world. CCOs have an opportunity to step up and facilitate this transformation in a few key areas. 

The first is CommTech, a new approach to stakeholder engagement that leverages new technology and teaming structures like Agile to drive performance, or outcome-based, communications. The other three dimensions revolve around Corporate Character. The first is corporate brand stewardship, which has traditionally resided within marketing’s domain. However, our research found nearly two-thirds of CCOs now own the corporate brand. The second is corporate culture. Increasingly, CEOs find the greatest impediment to transformation is the corporate culture and are turning to new partners like the CCO for help. The third is societal value creation, which ranges from corporate purpose and the unique value the enterprise creates through its products and services, to “brands taking stands” and social activism. 

Perhaps the most important aspect of this new research is the new ways communications leaders can consume it. We have developed Progression Paths, or practical guides through each dimension of CCO leadership. Moving forward, we will supplement the Progression Paths with case studies from members doing leading-edge work on each of the four dimensions as well. 

Do you have a story to tell? Share it with us. Please reach out to Justin Pallenik at jpallenik@page.org with your CCO story.

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