The corporate affairs director: a creative change agent
Communication Director published a bylined article, “The corporate affairs director: a creative change agent,” authored by Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Chantal Tregear. She explains the natural characteristics of corporate affairs directors and what they should work on to improve going forward. The article is excerpted below.
As part of its wider research into executive leadership and what it takes to rise to the C-Suite, executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates in partnership with psychometric research firm Hogan Assessments have created a new profile for today’s corporate affairs directors and chief communications officers, a profile centered on being risk-takers, challengers and change agents.
Transformation, transparency of purpose and operational excellence are the new norm – societal expectations, greater competition and rapid globalisation are all contributing factors to how organisations need to be progressive and open to new ideas and new ways of working.
The importance of building a collaborative and inclusive corporate culture has never been more pressing as a means to engage meaningfully with all stakeholders. In this demanding environment, where brand and reputation are critical components of an organisation’s integrity and licence to operate, the corporate affairs director/chief communications officer (for reasons of space, we’ll refer to the former as CAD throughout this article) may be one of the most valuable members of an executive team.
Our research shows that the typical characteristics of a CAD are those of change agents – comfortable taking risks and prepared to challenge established procedures. These traits feature as distinctive. They are hungry to make a difference, very comfortable with ambiguity and confident about finding creative solutions to problems.
A smart CEO will welcome these strengths – recognising the benefit of what may often be a lone voice at the executive table, the “corporate conscience,” someone willing to bring the outside in and not necessarily be a “yes” person. CADs bring a unique skill set to the modern C-suite and can enhance corporate strategy significantly, particularly by being “in the tent” from the beginning.
To read the full article, click here.