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The 4 Traits of Successful Chief Transformation Officers

Because up to 70% of transformations fall short of their goals, many organizations have come to rely on chief transformation officers (CTOs) to improve the odds of success. But simply having a CTO on staff isn’t a panacea.

Since transformations are relatively rare, most people who lead them are likely to have managed only a handful, so their experience is limited. In fact, the CTO role is often seen as a development opportunity for junior-level corporate leaders. Moreover, the position is by its nature not a permanent one, so there’s less opportunity to gain experience on the job. And CTOs tend to lack not just experience but training.

The traits that we identified can help CTOs overcome these challenges and increase the odds that the transformations they lead will flourish.

- Success Trait #1 : Persistence

- Success Trait #2 : Hypervigilance

- Success Trait #3 : Flexibility

- Success Trait #4 : A role model for change

Organizations must take care in their choice of whom to appoint and then provide the resources, support, and encouragement necessary to succeed.

  • Pick transformation leaders who have not only relevant past experience but the capacity to be persistent, hypervigilant, flexible, and a role model.

  • Offer the CTO personal coaching and guidance as well as support from the C-suite.

  • Give transformation leaders room to fail, which can help them learn from mistakes and wind up with better processes as a result.

  • Provide them with a transformation office and a team that’s experienced and dedicated to working solely on change-related projects.

To read the full BCG article, please click here.

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