Find Your Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) Jedi Powers

Challenging, the Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) role is. Use multi-axis alignment, you must.” – Master Yoda, probably.

Don’t worry, CSOs. We’re not here just to talk about Star Wars. Not yet, anyway.

*Although we highly recommend reading the story first for contextualizing the information, you can dive into the encyclopedia of content at the bottom of the page.

Multi-Axis alignment

As the Chief Strategy Officer, you hold a responsibility that lives and breathes coordination and collaboration. Unfortunately, you might be in an organization that stresses coordination and collaboration but makes them FAR from easy to achieve.  

Enter multi-axis alignment, an alignment practice that is both vertical and horizontal, respectively. You’re the CSO. We don’t have to tell you about traditional vertical alignment. 

However, horizontal alignment is critical for effective OKRs. 

CSO’s are typically expected to strategize around an arbitrary top-of-funnel goal that’s tone-deaf at best. Instead, horizontal alignment encourages individuals and teams to organize around customer and company (or other stakeholders’) priorities. The actual goal. 

You, the CSO, are a Jedi. Jedis are knowledgeable, disciplined professionals who can strategize several steps ahead. Jedis need their lightsabers — a weapon of choice powered by “The Force.” Objectives and Key Results methodology (OKRs) is your lightsaber. OKRs empowers you, the Jedi CSO, to align people and work toward strategic objectives. Your lightsaber, OKRs, is one of your most impactful and important superpowers. 

How do you, the CSO, get your lightsaber in the form of OKRs? What is “The Force” that makes your lightsaber powerful? Multi-axis alignment.  

No multi-axis alignment = ineffective OKRs = stress as a Chief Strategy Officer

No Force = No Lightsaber = Poor Jedi

Star Wars references aside, multi-axis alignment could be the best system you’re not using. Not only is the horizontal alignment component necessary for effective OKRs, and thus strategy, but it can transform how your organization collaborates. CSOs have a rare opportunity to drive more impact by making their jobs less overwhelming through multi-axis alignment.  

Luckily, you are not alone if you dare to take on the great journey of multi-axis alignment. 

May the Force (multi-axis alignment) be with you. Each of the resources provides a unique learning perspective on OKRs, strategy execution best-practices, and alignment. We hope you find them useful, fellow CSO Jedi.    

Resources for CSOs

How the Chief Strategy Officer Drives Multi-Axis Alignment

📝 Whitepaper

Great if you’re looking for:

  • An in-depth blueprint on driving horizontal alignment, in contrast to vertical-only models
  • Technical breakdowns on why traditional alignment systems fail
  • Collaboration best-practices that promote the horizontal alignment

The Horizontal Thinkers Roundtable: CSO Edition (recording)

📽️ Video recording

Great if you’re looking for:

  • Real feedback from CSOs who are challenged with multi-axis alignment
  • A conversational take on strategy best-practices from industry leaders

CSOs, Empower Strategy and Employees with OKRs (recording) 

 📽️ Webinar 

Great if you’re looking for: 

  • How to overcome the repression and dysfunction of organizational silos.
  • Methods to empower strategy deployment and execution for the enterprise.
  • Hard benefits of OKRs: employee motivation and engagement for higher productivity.
  • How to convert motivation for maximum effectiveness with alignment and focus.

Alignment for Adaptive Strategy Execution 

📜 Blog Post 

Great if you’re looking for: 

  • The breakdown on what traditional alignment and strategy practices are
  • Why we say traditional alignment is outdated and hurting your organization

CSO, Drive Engagement and Profit for Your Enterprise Using OKRs 

📜 Blog Post 

Great if you’re looking for: 

  • How to deconstruct rigid, locally optimized silos to increase cross-collaboration
  • Why modern employees are disengaged and how organizational priorities play a role
  • How OKRs contribute to increased employee motivation and bottom-line impact

Benchmark Assessment: Chief Strategy Officer

📋 Survey

What this does for you:

  • Compares your strategic approach to your peers
  • Assesses strategy through the lens of organizational agility, cross-functional effectiveness and outcome-orientation

Gtmhub Marketplace: OKRs for Strategy 

🖇️ OKR template

What this does for you:

  • Gives you a templated OKR specific to your role for you to adapt

CSO Alignment tree

 CSO Alignment — Visualized Example 

CSO Alignment – visualized example

What this does for you:

  • Demonstrates how to aligned your OKR with the rest of your organization’s OKRs

On the Recipe for Unleashing Enterprise Value 

📻 Podcast episode

Great if you’re looking for:

  • A discussion on the foundational ingredients necessary for unlocking enterprise value
  • Practical and, at times, prescriptive advice for CSOs
  • Feedback from a strategy executor — Dan Weikart, Director and Enterprise Agile Coach at Cprime

Funny (but weirdly accurate) Star Wars references aside, multi-axis alignment could be the best system you’re not using. Not only is the horizontal alignment component necessary for effective OKRs, and thus strategy, but it can transform how your organization collaborates as a whole. CSOs have a rare opportunity to drive more impact by making their jobs less overwhelming through multi-axis alignment.

We hope you find these resources useful, fellow CSO Jedi.

May the Force (multi-axis alignment) be with you.