Enterprise Roles

The Enterprise Holon refers to a company that has grown so large - usually by a combination of internal growth, mergers, and acquisitions - that it has multiple Lines of Business, Product Families, and Technology Platforms. Companies of this size frequently struggle with maintaining alignment across all of their teams and organizations, and are susceptible to falling into a siloed structure. This is a challenge we see across the industry, particularly in larger enterprises. Information does not flow freely from silo to silo, planning cadences are often not aligned, and each silo looks to optimize for their needs as opposed to optimizing for the whole enterprise. Breaking the silos is the most important and also the most challenging endeavor an enterprise can take. This involves reorganizing around the flow of customer centric value necessitating the dissolution of some organizations, and the removal and reinvention of many roles.

Values & Goals
Clear Enterprise vision
Accountability to my team
Agile mindset
Willing to learn & grow
Flexibility
Committed to vision
Attention to results
Customer focused
Adaptable
Accountable, responsible
Environmental Responsibility
Product & Impact
Enterprise purpose
3 Year OKRs
Rolling 3 year roadmap
Market feedback loops
Market Share growth plans
Enterprise dashboard
Executive working agreement
Share price
Profitability
Leadership & Culture
Enterprise Values & Culture
Shared vision/goals
Market Perception
Trust, transparency & safety
Servant leadership culture
Conscious Leadership culture
Continuous improvement culture
Listen to all perspectives
Clear communication of goals
Top to bottom and back collaboration
Development of future leaders
Accountable to the board
Shareholder perception
Portfolio health & collaboration
Executive coaching/mentorship
Sense & Response culture
Markets & Environment
Portfolio health
Roles & Responsibilities
Effective Lean processes
Enterprise Organizational architecture
Collaboration space
Collaboration tools
Unified Enterprise process
Enterprise Lean budgeting
Enterprise structure
Aligned incentive structure
Global Legal, Compliance & Regulatory
Acquisition/Divestiture opportunities
Environmental and Humanitarian Impact

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Enterprise Coach

Enterprise CoachEnterprise coaches in this context are different from the legion of Linked In profiles that bear that role description. This is a coach who works directly with the C-Suite team, their direct reports, and potentially the board. While they should have a Lean/Agile mindset, and will advise on decisions such as the best fit in terms of Agile methodologies and tooling, their main objective is to facilitate an environment of trust, transparency, safety, alignment, and accountability. They help the leaders of the enterprise to clarify their objectives, develop implementation and communication plans, and monitor feedback loops enabling any necessary pivots to happen quickly and effectively. The creation of a healthy corporate culture depends on a healthy leadership team that is connected to what is actually happening on the ground, and can respond to employee needs. In order to command the attention and gain the trust of the very accomplished people likely to be in these leadership roles, this individual needs to be equally accomplished, a strong leader, and have excellent communication and listening skills.

Values & Goals
Powerful leader
Servant Leader Mindset
Coach, Enabler
Agile expertise
Adaptable & flexible
Proactive problem solver
Highly Organized
Negotiation/Conflict resolution
Responsible, accountable
Charismatic
Active listener
Product & Impact
Helps create clarity around objectives/vision etc.
Empirical Observation of progress & improvement
Leads by example
Documentation outlining choices and recommendations
Creates educational tools
Leadership & Culture
Creates trust relationships with leaders
- Safe, Collaborative environment
- Accountability & Integrity
Facilitates OKRs
Motivates & inspires
Promotes collaboration
Creates alignment towards common purpose
Helps create a healthy culture
Promotes good communication
Helps set cultural norms for the enterprise
Markets & Environment
Advise on the best use of Agile methodologies
Facilitates/sets up workshops & offsites
Value Stream/Impact Mapping
Systemic transparency
Helps promote flow
Critical thinking tools (systems thinking, etc.

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CEO

CEO

The CEO is arguably the most difficult role to fill in any enterprise. The combination of intrinsic skills and personality qualities combined with just the right life experience (including failures), combined with being just the right fit for the company is a daunting endeavor to say the least. The Harvard Business Review suggests that there are 4 main behaviors that are key to choosing a successful CEO.  

  • Speed in decision making
  • Engaging authentically to gain buy-in
  • Proactively adapting
  • Reliably delivering results


In addition to those 4 behaviors, we’re seeing the ability to assess and navigate deep, lasting cultural change is a prominent need as companies transition to a new way of working. Company culture has been listed as the top impediment to scaling Agile transformations for the past several years according to the annual State of Agile Report, and as we know, culture starts at the top. Creating and partnering with a healthy C-Suite Team in order to get a full picture of enterprise needs and executing on those needs with the right feedback loops in place is what’s needed to create an environment of success.

Values & Goals
Visionary
Purpose driven
Inspirational Leader
Result Oriented
Decisive
Collaborative
Systems thinker
Embody the brand
Incorporates all perspectives
Resilient
Self aware
Optimistic
Courageous
Lifelong learner
Approachable
High emotional intelligence
Charismatic
Product & Impact
Approves product strategy
Sets business targets
Define the Vision/Mission
Owns Business results
Sets long term strategy
Sets strategic deadlines
Partnerships & Acquisitions
Owns Profit and Loss
Leads by example
Rapid decision making
Leadership & Culture
Speaks his/her mind
Understands when to be vulnerable and when to show strength
Knows when to ask for help
Open relationship with the board
Public & political perception
Inspires confidence
Embodies enterprise culture & values
Socially savvy
Networks and creates partnerships
Markets & Environment
Understands impact of their actions
Full understanding of internal and external systemic patterns
Environmental responsibility
Fosters diversity & inclusion

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CTO/CIO

CTO/CIO

This function performed here is usually done by the CTO, but in some cases, it is carried out by the CIO or a partnership between the two. If the CEO owns the visionary direction, the CTO/CIO would own the implementation strategy both internally and externally, requiring technical expertise and understanding of the movements of the market. This involves things like:

  • Connecting technology to business & market needs
  • Choice of technology frameworks
  • System architecture & choice of hardware
  • Data capture strategy
  • Strategic partnerships

 

The primary point of collaboration here is to decide which technologies best suit the business needs, now and in the future, and aligning them to proposed product strategies for competitive advantage. 
An example is Apple’s decision to create their own M1 chip.  This potentially risky strategy turned out to be very successful as a business enabler. 

In order to maintain ongoing system health while supporting innovation, the CIO/CTO  must establish teams of architects and subject matter experts across the enterprise to both evolve and support their technological and strategic decisions.
 

Values & Goals
Result Oriented
Rapid decision making
Collaborative
Inspirational Leader
Visionary Creative Motivator
Value/Impact mindset
Systemic design thinker
Flexible
Root cause focused
Product & Impact
 
Leadership & Culture
Aligns with business objectives
Speaks his/her mind
Knows when to delegate
Open relationship with the board
Inspires confidence
Embodies enterprise culture & values
Networks and creates partnerships
Markets & Environment
Identifies Market Needs
Determines competitive strategy
Owns Development Value Stream strategy
Owns Service Management
Allows freedom within guard rails
Sets Talent allocation/strategy
Defines uplift strategy
Sets Technical strategy
Negotiates technical contractual obligations
Responsible for compliance/regulatory
Markets enterprise technical vision

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CFO

CFOThe CFO, as the guardian of shareholder value often has the unenviable and thankless task of being the “adult in the room.” The importance of this role cannot be understated, a strong, trustable CFO who is aligned with the enterprise purpose can boost the creativity of their team and drive increased innovation. This involves understanding that healthy financials are a means to an end, not the end goal in of themselves. A CFO who has the full trust of their team to be the final voice of reason allows her/his team to push the envelope as far as they like. The team trusts that if they get into unrealistic scenarios, or  take on too much risk, the CFO will keep them grounded.

 

Additionally, the CFO has a role to play in establishing a healthy financial culture by not only looking at “did you get results,” but “how did you get those results?” It’s easy to say NO, but encouraging the kind of collaboration described above across the entire enterprise, can transform how products are brought to the market. People in financial roles who have enough awareness of the market and business goals can help the business add fiscal responsibility to ideas that might not otherwise make the cut.

Values & Goals
Organized
Strong Analytical skills
Discipled dynamic and flexible
Adaptable
Value/Impact mindset
Systemic mindset
Proactive communicator
Global political & economic awareness
Product & Impact
Owns Financial plan
Rapid decision making
Public Financial reporting
Leadership & Culture
Speaks his/her mind
Keeps team financially responsible
Knows when to ask for help
Open relationship with the board
Inspires confidence
Embodies enterprise culture & values
Investor & auditor relationships
Knows when to delegate
Markets & Environment
Profit and Loss control
Enterprise Investment Strategy
Financial system oversight
Sets budgets for portfolios
Compliance obligations
Contractual obligations
Sets financial and legal standards
Efficiency and process improvement
Stays ahead of new regulations
Mergers & Acquisitions
Accounting Policies
Manages business risks

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CPO/CHRO

CPO/CHROSuccessful Agile transformations require a re-imagining of roles, career paths and incentive structures, this is where the Chief People Officer or Chief Human Resources Officer plays a key role. What is the career path for Scrum Masters and internal coaches? How can we change role definitions to better fit the Agile mindset? Do current incentive structures promote individual success over the success of the organization as a whole? Do current cultural norms support aspirational values needed to sustain the transformation? Without these structural changes, any process improvements will be undermined as habitual ways of working and relating re-establish themselves within the legacy culture.

Values & Goals
Compassionate
Strategic
Excellent communicator
Problem solver
Aligned to strategy/vision
Knowledge of the business
Strong decision maker
Aware of silo pain
Product & Impact
Owns performance KPIs
Handles ethics violations
Training
Leadership & Culture
Works with other leaders to understand needs
Recruiting
Handles complaints
Interviewing
Transmit company values
Ensures a respectful, professional workplace
Build community
Awareness of current culture (steward)
Facilitates business transformation
Markets & Environment
Defines & updates roles
Owns compensation/reward systems
Sets salary standards
Defines career path
Onboarding
Defines benefits (medical, vacation etc.)
Defines job portal
Defines behavioral norms
Manages internal budget
Owns personal development tracks
Payroll, etc. (administration)

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C-Suite Team

C-Suite TeamThe C-Suite Team sets the tone and cadence for the entire enterprise. Their full commitment and investment in Enterprise Agility and the tough choices necessary to evoke lasting change is critical to a successful transformation. Making those choices may require putting one’s own agenda aside for the benefit of the enterprise as a whole, such as cutting the CTO’s technology budget, or slowing down the CEO’s business growth plan. Building the kind of trust and collaboration in this team that allows for that kind of give and take relies both on choosing the right person for each role, and ongoing commitment and accountability. Choosing the highest performing or best well known people can be tempting, but rarely results in a harmonious team. Selecting diverse perspectives, strengths, and personality types will be more likely to create a balanced team that checks and supports each other. The creation of a healthy corporate culture depends on a healthy leadership team that is connected to what is actually happening on the ground and can respond to employee needs.

Values & Goals
Committed to the enterprise vision
Demonstrates commitment & responsibility
Proactively acts & communicates
Willing to learn & grow
Economic & Customer focused
Conscious Leader
Leads by example & mentorship
Subject matter expertise
Fiduciary responsibility
Thought leader
Expert negotiations
Product & Impact
Enterprise OKRs
Enterprise roadmaps
Financial Performance reporting
Internal communication artifacts
Advertisements
Prioritization
Investment strategies
Leadership & Culture
Shares responsibility toward enterprise goal
Promotes healthy Culture
Creates a feeling of safety
Defines best practices
Innovation & Growth culture
Business & tech partnership
Supports emerging needs
Empowers and enables
Transparent, overcommunication
Seeks collaboration
Creates external strategic partnerships
Enterprise communications
Public communications & appearances
Markets & Environment
Budget allocation
Re-imagines Status quo
Vendor approval
Mergers & acquisitions
Sets enterprise standards
Enterprise value streams
Organizational structure
Enables optimal flow
Evolves roles & responsibilities
Impact on market(s)
Incentivizes performance & collaboration
Systemic innovation
Marketing
Brand promotion