If Your Company Has A Chief Digital Officer, You're Doing It Wrong
from the this-is-a-mistake dept
Nearly five years ago, we warned that media companies were making a big mistake in hiring “Chief Digital Officers.” The problem is that, these days, especially in the media world, thinking digitally isn’t a separate silo or a separate job function. It needs to be the thinking throughout the organization. Just setting up a position of “Chief Digital Officer” is all about shunting digital thinking off into a silo. Even for companies who claim that the Chief Digital Officer’s role is to get everyone thinking digitally, it doesn’t really work. The chains of commands are not structured correctly. You’re asking “everyone” to pay attention to someone who they don’t really report to.
For a little while, it had seemed like media companies had moved away from such positions — and I had hoped it was a sign that they had realized what a mistake it was. Instead, it seems like the concept was merely lying dormant. AdAge reports that the role of the Chief Digital Officer is making a comeback within media companies. Thankfully, the AdAge article at least suggests that the new rush to hire such positions often indicates that a company “is behind.” Of course, what it doesn’t really acknowledge is that hiring a “Chief Digital Officer” probably isn’t going to solve the problem. It’s more of a sign that the business isn’t really thinking digitally at all.