Technology’s advances are making TRON seem like a very distinct possibility in the near future. While digitizing humans has yet to happen, jobs are certainly going digital. While companies respond to the growing need for strong digital strategy, they’re hiring Chief Digital Officers (CDOs) to take the lead. And you are one of those newly hired CDOs to lead your company into the shiny digital future. Before you start lopping off heads like Henry VIII, read these three things you need to do in your new position first.


You are now a C-Suite executive of your company. Almost everyone reports to you and you’ve known for a good long time just what does and what doesn’t work. However, before you roll those heads like bowling balls and institute sweeping departmental changes, enjoy the view. Your new vantage point is much higher, so you can see that much more.

Fill your first few weeks with observation, documentation, and benchmarks of the current state of affairs. To understand the nature of the organization one must be a CDO, and to understand the nature of the CDO, one must be of the organization. A clear understanding of what the current challenges are gives you a better vision of how to apply digital to solve them.

Furthermore, the benchmarks you establish will enable you to measure the success of your initiatives when you implement them. Set up metric goals across key areas such as people, processes, and systems. Every layer counts in ensuring the health of your digital programs.


After a thorough assessment and actionable steps, you should next assign your projects to the right people. Finding the “right people”, though, is more than just who is good at their job. You’ll need to balance their strengths with their interests and their career goals. Having a well-architected team will make a big difference in the long run — eventually, one of your biggest responsibilities as CDO will be to delegate.

This isn’t to say that your in-house talent pool needs to be pristine and full at the outset. When possible, work cross-departmentally and use vendors to hit the high water mark you’ve set for your department. These priorities will need to be measured and weighed by importance (e.g. what’s more important internal digital projects or consumer initiatives and what are the experiences for each).


You’ll want to put together a plan of action and assign to tasks and initiatives. With clear objectives and goals, your team will be able to follow through on their tasks and will ultimately be more productive. As the CDO, you’ll be expected to practice your practice. Using digital tools internally can drive change within the organization. Having a custom dashboard to monitor your progress and organize communications could make or break a digital program.

A lot of your role will be constant communication with the right internal resources, and getting buy-in for major decisions. As the premier digital expert at your firm, what you recommend matters. Staying on top the latest digital trends, innovations, and disruption, needs to rank high on your list of priorities.