Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Introducing the CNO Position into Large Corporations

Smaller companies and start-ups can get the biggest, most-immediate impact by adding a CNO. The smaller and the more flexible the organization is in order to adopt a new leadership style, the better it is for a CNO position to be quickly deployed at the early stages.

However, it does not mean that it cannot be done in more complex, mature and global corporations. It certainly can. As a matter of fact, it very much depends on the leadership level of that specific organization at that moment.

On the one hand, if the leadership is old-fashioned and typically top-down with a “just-do-it-or-you-are-fired” style, then it is better not even investing that much given that this kind of company may not survive in the long run, regardless of how well positioned they are today. Unless, a dramatic change in top management could happen.

On the other hand, if the company has been preparing new leaders, already providing coaching to key managers, and moving from a conservative management approach to a more modern “management from within,” then this company is a serious candidate to implement the CNO concept and Business Networks Management methodology successfully.

Interesting enough, based on our experience so far, everything starts with who I call “the shining eyes executive.” Normally, this professional has been around for a while, knows the organization fairly well, he/she is respected by his/her peers and is a “out-of-box” thinker. He/she reads some articles about CNOs and thought to him/herself “I am a naturally born CNO but I have never realized it until now”. Of course, the CNO position is quite unique in the world and the corporate environment is not completely aware of it....yet.

Normally, this professional comes out of the human / business area, i.e., marketing, sales, business development, international business, strategic alliances and the likes. Then, this professional approach HR staff requesting for this type of training. We can start very light with just 90-minute speaking to a large audience. It this case, the idea is to identify potential CNOs and Business Networks Managers who will react very positively to this invitation. Alternatively, we can organize two-day workshops with a small team of 10-20 executives. The training can be presented both ways: face-to-face or virtually.

Depending on the size of the organization, some additional training and/or coaching sessions must be considered, mainly if there is a need for regional roll-out. Internal communication of all achievements is a key success factor in the quick adoption and healthy deployment of this methodology across the whole corporation. It's an ongoing process in which the senior executives will always coach their junior colleagues in order to be seamlessly aligned in the corporate value, vision, mission and business principles.

Enjoy the road!

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