The Roles of C-Suite Execs in Value Creation

High expectations from investors and customers and the ever-evolving criteria for evaluating company performance contribute to the complexity of the business. C-suite executives play a significant role in delivering value in this challenging environment, especially when complex organizations want to ramp up their processes and transform into high-performance, value-driven companies.

Is Value Creation Purely Financial?

While several value creation metrics focus on finances, the overall context is much broader: value creation is about people, culture, progress towards a company’s goal, and overall performance.

The term value creation has become broader and more complex. C-suite executives need to deliver value for their companies beyond mere profit. Companies and executives are scrutinized for dealing with their employees, local communities, the environment, security, corruption, etc. Therefore, C-suite execs expand their agendas to match the metrics by which shareholders, board of directors, customers, and society as a whole measure them.

Research offers proof that high organizational performance is connected with strong senior executive teams.

The Role of C-Suite Executive Teams and Value Creation

Engaged Leadership

C-Suite executives who are committed to their teams and inspire action provide resources and remove barriers to the smooth functioning of their teams. They hold each team member of the team accountable for shared team goals. They never mandate the team’s purpose; instead, they involve team members in defining that purpose. They stay informed and connected with team members by consistently communicating with them. C-suite executives strive to empower their team by maintaining clarity regarding decision-making authority. They constantly inspire the team members to give the best of their functional and business unit knowledge.

Disciplined Focus and Efficient Decision Making

Decisions impact what problems get attention, time, and financial support; therefore, a C-suite executive carries significant responsibility for their decisions. To benefit the organization and its stakeholders, and effective, emotionally intelligent executive:

  • Makes high-quality decisions.
  • Provides the right inputs.
  • Balances quality and speed to enable efficient action.

Influential C-suite executives focus on matters necessary for the organization, its functions, the business units they lead. They endeavor to ensure their teams remain consistently productive. They take complete responsibility for utilizing the team’s skills and talents. They never delegate the agenda and ensure that it is flexible enough to fulfill multiple projects’ structure and execution requirements.

They take care to provide team members ample time to address all aspects of the agenda’s charter. They track planning outcomes and keep a keen eye on the performance of the problem-solving space. They ensure the team does not lose focus on important tasks when doing curiosity-based research. Instead, they assign unsuitable agendas to fact-finding committees or ad-hoc teams.

C-suite execs track their decision-making process and continually work towards upgrading it. They design one-on-one or group interactions based on the knowledge they accumulate by exploring facts, narrowing down their options, and following up.

They also enforce behavioral norms, such as an organization-first mindset, sharing of information, and transparency among the team members to ensure better decision-making throughout the corporate hierarchy.

Building Strategic Momentum

Effective C-suite executives know that a strategic review will give them a realistic perspective and a clear-eyed view of the company’s weaknesses and strengths. This understanding guides their strategic steps to effective change within the company.

They assimilate flexibility into their strategic and business planning processes to better manage unpredictability. They stay connected to external market trends and educate their team members about the same while exposing the team’s normal functioning.

They define what innovation means for the organization, business unit, or even a business function. They devise business processes and cultural systems to incorporate innovation into everything the employees do.

They remove barriers to strategy execution and implement processes to connect the team to the organization.

Conducting Periodic Reviews

C-suite executives have the information to know how the business can grow. A strategic review is a key to planning forward strategy, and C-suite executives use it to map out actions and initiatives to drive a change of direction for the company. An extensive and thorough strategic review will provide answers to questions like:

  1. Where is the business currently?
  2. How can the business grow?
  3. Where should we aim for growth?
  4. How can the business reach the desired goal?

Each stage of the strategic review builds on the preceding steps.

The first step establishes a baseline on what the C-suite executives should do and why. The second step helps them identify strategic possibilities. In the third step, execs choose all or some of these possibilities for action. In the last step, they develop a working plan to implement those action items.

C-suite executives set targets using this information and define the metrics to measure success.

Shape Growth-oriented Vision

The tone from the top affects how well senior leaders communicate their embodiment of the organization’s ideals. By sharing their vision, they lead and translate it into action, inspiring employees and motivating them to work towards a shared purpose, vision, and goal.

C-suite executives communicate their vivid belief in the company’s future in the form of a long-term leadership strategy. So, when asked how the business can grow, the vision of the organization answers.

Build a Culture for Future

Each company has its operational parameters, and any buyer interested in acquiring the company conducts a thorough and rigorous review to make an informed decision. C-suite executives set the tone that defines the company’s culture and organizational balance.

If effective, their model defines the behavioral and operational norms early and engages all the team members in the process. They also create mechanisms for upward feedback on the behavior of senior team members.

C-suite execs and their team members give constructive feedback to each other, never differentiate overpower and hierarchy, handle conflicts openly, directly, and timely, and share information.

Related: Involve Your Executive Team in Value Creation. 

Summing Up

C-suite executives serve their employers as performance generators, performance developers, and value creators for the organization. Good executives are capable facilitators who ensure transparent and good communication between the team members and senior leadership.

With the high complexity of today’s business environment, C-suite executives need to balance both short-term goals and long-term initiatives while ensuring the satisfaction of different internal and external stakeholders.

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Author Summary:
Dan Doran

Dan Doran

Is the Founder of Value Scout, Quantive and the 2019 Exit Planner of the Year. He is a recognized expert and speaks frequently about M&A, valuations, and developing more deliberate value creation strategies.

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