The future is today!
A quick search shows at least four people who have held this title:
- Lloyd Walker at Human Code (featured in the article above)
- Todd Farrell at the University of British Columbia
- Marjorie Smelstor at Truman Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri
- Timothy Harlin at Denver Health.
There are some who are advocating for recasting the Chief Information Officers as Chief Acceleration Officers too.
Lloyd was responsible for accelerating code development and Todd for accelerating entrepreneuring at the university. Those are both narrow applications of acceleration. Marjorie was responsible for wide-ranging changes in the Truman Medical Center organization, but, as the comments to the above article mention, left without delivering results. Only Timothy is still in his position, and he only received it in January 2015.
These were all noble attempts at creating a definition of a Chief Acceleration Officer, but they all miss the full scope of what a position like this, filled with a capable officer, could achieve for the 99% of organizations struggling to deal with the rate of change today.
Why am I qualified to define this role? Because I have been living on the leading edge of change implementation for the past 10 years. In 2010, John Kotter, said of my work leading the Guiding Coalition at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, that,
Only 15 percent of all organizations are really trying to understand how to live with and respond to the rate of change. Of the organizations, 15 percent are trying to move in a direction that they know works, 14 of the 15 percent are struggling because of the culture or environment that drives them. Only 1 percent of the organizations in the world are making progress; they are doing what you all are doing.”
Since then I’ve been pushing the limits beyond this compliment into higher success percentage results, shorter team launch times, and great global and organizational reach. All of that has prepared me to define the Chief Acceleration Officer from the perspective of someone who could actually deliver on the promise of the position.
My bold claim is that this is the Chief Acceleration Officer that every organization will soon want:
Chief Acceleration Officer
Reporting Structure: Reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer and partners with officers across the organization.
The Chief Acceleration Officer (CAO) is the catalyst for organizational change. She partners with thriving leaders at all levels to architect systems and solutions that accelerate results and delight customers now and for years to come.
The CAO understands the recipes for change management and delivers the capability beyond change management, change leadership. While other organizations struggle to achieve even 50% success with change, a CAO delivers improved organizational outcomes more than 75% of the time. While other organizations create 3 to 5 year plans for change implementation, the CAO enables her organization to shrink implementation times by 50% or more.
The CAO models the organizational changes and clears the obstacles for the organization, suppliers, and customers to follow. She will drive change, not people, creating accelerated results and sustainable success.
The CAO would have a working knowledge of human resources, finance, business development, engineering, manufacturing, and operations with a depth of knowledge in change implementation principles essential for today’s rapidly accelerating markets.
The CAO is also responsible for creating change implementation capability across the workforce, developing and sustaining leadership ability to accelerate change within functions and across the organization. Investing in a CAO today produces results for decades to come.
Who’s ready for a true Chief Acceleration Officer? Why not try?
I’ll enable you.
After 31 July 2016, I’m available for hire either as Chief Acceleration Officer or an executive mentor to your Chief Acceleration Officer.
Send your requests to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Engagement dates and opportunities are filling up fast. Contact me today.