Leadership for a Networked World
I started this initiative to address a challenge that virtually every leader and organization will face: How do you achieve breakthrough growth in outcomes and value?
This challenging question is an urgent area of focus for executives participating in my leadership sessions at Harvard University. The innovators, disruptors, and executives from organizations as varied as global corporations, governments, social enterprises, healthcare, policing, and many others realize that to solve the world’s most pressing challenges and deliver the most promising future, basic innovation and change management aren’t enough – what’s needed is the capacity to deliver transformational growth. And this work requires a Chief Growth Officer.
A Chief Growth Officer isn’t necessarily one person, a team, or a structure: it’s a mindset to realize the enormous potential of the future. As you’re reading this, we’re looking squarely at what I refer to as the Outcomes Economy – an environment in which institutions, firms, and organizations will increasingly be measured by the outcomes and impact they generate. The Outcomes Economy will be driven in large part by the most ferocious social, technological, and economic convergence humans have seen. The coming “4th Industrial Revolution,” with its artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation, will meld and mingle with genomics and molecular biology to bring unprecedented change to humanity and society. Hovering over all of this is the existential crisis in our planet’s climate, and the seismic moves we will have to make to build viable and sustainable firms, institutions, and communities.
Through this work at Harvard, we have learned that successful transformation hinges on a leader’s ability to harmonize growth of outcomes, growth in organizational capacity, and growth in the purpose and identity of people doing the work. In essence, delivering the future of outcomes and value means dynamically changing what we do, how we do it, and who we are.
To help you on your journey to achieve breakthrough growth, this initiative curates not only insights from research, but also ideas from iconic executives and thinkers that illuminate the art of the possible. As you dig into this content, I hope you embrace the challenge of leading organizations, institutions, communities – and yourself – into new levels of growth.
The world needs Chief Growth Officers more than ever. Why not you?
Dr. Antonio M. Oftelie
Fellow, Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard
Executive Director, Leadership for a Networked World
Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences