Member Craig Sardella Speaks: You’ve Been Promoted to Chief Dreaming Officer

The Challenge:

The case at hand was brought by a CEO in the process of developing a 20-year plan. He was challenging his fellow Alliance CEOs with how to best propel his business into the future and enhance prospects of long-term value creation.

If you were in this situation, what would you do?

With the solid support system you have in place, I wouldn’t hesitate to free yourself from the day-to-day burdens of business management and focus on pioneering innovations that will maintain dynamic edge in the market.

From what you’ve shared with us, I must conclude that your business is on the firmest of footing. Not only has growth been consistent, but you have a lifelong relationship with your CFO (who is extremely financially responsible) and CTO (who is brilliant in technical follow-through). If I were in your shoes, I’d ask what the role of a CEO can be when the ship is already under such steady sail. I would respectfully tender that you give yourself a promotion from Chief Executive Officer to Chief Dreaming Officer. In an era where technology is outmoded after 24 months, companies must innovate. Becoming free of the day-to-day concerns of the business, creates space to dream of the next big innovation.

Crucially, your executive support system will be brutally honest with the ideas you bring to the table. Therefore, whatever innovations your company seizes on will have already passed muster with proven financial and technical minds. Moreover, as the company expands, a unique opportunity presents itself to hire millennials who operate beyond the status quo and can help fuel the dreaming. In a symbiotic flow, you can both sell them the dream and absorb cutting-edge innovations that they can provide. In my experience growing companies, I’ve always been the innovation guy. If you’re lucky enough to be able to decouple from the day-to-day, take my word, the promotion to Chief Dream Officer is one you won’t want to pass up.