Deloitte Consulting director John Hagel and Suketu Gandhi, the firm’s marketing head, co-authored an article with Forbes contributor Giovanni Rodriguez that takes a look into the merit of the CEO-less organization. This is a proposition that has gained a lot of traction thanks to social media-powered events such as Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring; but, as the executives pointed out, it doesn’t have to contradict the role of the chief executive.
First, they highlight some of the key drivers that led up to the current circumstances. Hagel, Gandhi and Rodriguez pinpointed four specific causes:
One is mounting complexity, driven by shifts in technical infrastructures and growing amounts of data and other factors. It’s coupled by a pressure to deliver better results more on par with the new market standards, set forth by peers that implement new technologies and properly adopt their business models.
This pressure builds up yet another trend that helps change the traditional mindset. Tech CEOs are expected to deliver short-term results, and as a result find themselves in a no-win situation where they either compromise on R&D or face a chided response from stakeholders.
The authors also name uncertainty as a big contributor to this phenomenon. The leader of a company is expected to make predictions that will determine the faith of her organization, but the aforementioned complexity is proving to be a bigger and bigger barrier. This coincides with the rise of analytics, but not every company can afford or have the required skill set to implement a big data strategy.
In spite of all this, there’s also a flip side the coin. The CEO’s job is indeed getting much more complicated, but he or she is in the position to enable the collective influence that the leaderless institution dogma is touting. New platforms and technological tools can empower workers to achieve more, while also propelling an organization to find its place in the IT ecosystem.