Summary of Four Profiles of Successful Digital Executives

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Four Profiles of Successful Digital Executives summary
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“Many roads lead to Rome – that is, to a successful digital transformation,” explain the authors of this MIT Sloan Management Review article. Indeed, four types of chief digital officer (CDO) can be effective at your firm. However, each type performs best within certain business contexts or scenarios, so consider this analysis a primer to making the most of your firm’s CDO. 

About the Authors

Fabian Reck is a doctoral candidate at the University of Bamberg, where Alexander Fliaster is a professor and chair of innovation management.



More and more companies are embarking on digital transformations, shining a spotlight on the role of chief digital officers (CDOs). Such “transformers in chief” are digital visionaries, strategists and promoters who drive creativity and change. Four types of CDO populate the business world, and each excels in certain contexts:

  1. “Networker and Catalyzer” – This brand of digital executive nurtures a creative workplace and shows enthusiasm for the firm’s other digital innovators. Wielding social skills, emotional intelligence and persuasive power, these CDOs network diversely, both internally and externally. They harness resources, help innovative people or teams to clear internal hurdles, and ensure that creative ideas...

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