I’m not one for spotting trends, but if I had to wager on the next big thing in corporate C-suite recruitment it would be for the Chief Impact Officer.
I’m still less one for coining phrases, but let’s call them “CImpO”, in order to differentiate from the various other CIO roles out there. (I’m not sure it will stick, though.)
Currently, scans of Google, LinkedIn and job sites reveal very few CImpO roles, and a “Chief Impact Officer” LinkedIn group with a membership of only three people.
I suspect that will change fast now, particularly in light of the new Statement of the Purpose of a Corporation from Business Roundtable – a CImpO will be a key guardian of stakeholder interests.
Here’s what I think, after time spent myself as a freelance CImpO, the brief might include:
I suspect that sort of role is currently filled, if at all, by a Chief Sustainability Officer, Human Resources Director, Company Secretary and/or General Counsel or even CEO.
Here are some of the reasons I can imagine a dedicated role being necessary:
In the investor community, impact has been moving out of its bubble and into the mainstream for 12 months or more. The Business Roundtable statement makes it clear that the corporate community is following close behind.
Getting impact right is a topic of increasing relevance to all businesses and those who don’t think it applies to them could, before too long, be in for a nasty shock.
Image credit: Clay Banks/Unsplash
Thomas is a commercial lawyer by background with several years’ experience running small businesses. He is founder of Greenheart Consulting, a boutique strategic consultancy firm with a strong focus on social and environmental impact. He has worked with a number of companies to measure, manage and improve their ESG performance and has a particular interest in the role of corporate governance in enabling impact. He is an ambassador for the UK community of B Corporations, as well as a trustee of the Soil Association - the UK’s leading charity promoting healthy and sustainable food, farming and land use.
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