C-Suite Intelligence 7th May 2020

Winmark's C-Suite Intelligence service providing news, content and research to help leaders across all C-Suite functions address the exceptional business planning and management challenges they are facing.

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C-Suite roles and responsibility for cybersecurity
In an era when cyberthreats are constantly evolving, every member of the C-Suite plays an important part in ensuring organisations are protected. Security isn't a project, it is an ongoing commitment to the business and its stakeholders.

Winmark’s upcoming webinar, “How to get the best out of the chief information security officer (CISO)” (see panel on the right) highlights how working effectively with the CISO role is critical to protecting your business.

The specific part each C-Suite member plays in  achieving this goal, as identified in a recent Raconteur article, is outlined below:


Cybersecurity is only important to an organisation if the CEO and board make it so. CEOs must create a culture of security within the business. They must ensure they are kept up to date with critical cybersecurity concerns and are knowledgeable of the issues and associated opportunities.


COOs are at the heart of a business and therefore need to play a central role in ensuring it is protected from threats. The COO needs to be asking the hard questions and recognising that unquantifiable cybersecurity risk is negligence. They need to incorporate new and innovative approaches and move proactively to embed security principles into processes.   

The COO should work with different leaders across the company to ensure all parts of the business are working together, not only protecting the business from damaging threats, but also building positive differentiation from its competitors.


CFOs must be aware of the financial risks associated with the ever-increasing number of cyberthreats. The importance of this is emphasised by the harsh penalties which can potentially be given as a result of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) non-compliance: up to €20 million or 4 per cent of annual global turnover.

CFOs should work closely with cybersecurity professionals to understand the risks, ensure that any proposals take into account cybersecurity implications and lend all reasonable support to any initiatives aimed at protecting the business. 


The role of CMOs is rapidly changing and technology is becoming more deeply embedded in their responsibilities. Therefore, it is essential they fully understand the ongoing dangers of cybersecurity and GDPR. The rise of marketing technology has seen emerging innovation, including social media, design, email marketing and automation apps, become the norm for marketing campaigns, which presents an opportunity to hackers.
To read the full Raconteur article click here.
You can register for the Winmark webinar here or see the side panel for details.


Back to work
Returning to work does not mean returning to the old ways of doing things. How can leadership teams build on experience to bring back a stronger, more focused, more resilient company? How can they win in the new world?
For leadership teams, the recovery will mean restarting operations in an unstable world of shifting conditions. The leading companies will be defined by their ability to balance resilience, adaptability and prediction.
Getting back to work away from home is the first step in recovery, once companies have taken critical actions to protect the business. The return to work also sets the stage for retooling the business for a different future.

But this recovery won’t follow a straight line, so executives should get used to thinking about it dynamically.
  • How should they track demand as it ebbs and flows to quickly serve customers when and where they show up?
  • Are there sound actions to stimulate demand?
  • How can they ensure value chains are viable while implementing resourceful workarounds?
On these and other critical issues, leaders can’t wait to have most of the facts; instead, they’ll make hard decisions and commit to learning by doing - developing a pragmatic campaign for returning to work and getting started. The plan of action for recovery should be: advance, retreat, adapt, repeat.
The companies that can protect their people and build the most experience with real agility will create a competitive advantage and accelerate faster out of the downturn. 
Find out more here.
Practical ways for CIOs to manage IT costs through the COVID-19 crisis
McKinsey & Company
While CIOs are currently focusing on coping with the operational challenges of the crisis, their attentions are already squarely on prudent IT cost management. These cost-management efforts, however, have traditionally fallen far short of what’s possible. The following steps will help you to develop a full arsenal of cost-reduction options and plan for how best to implement them: 
  • Establish a baseline of all IT costs, including shadow IT and separate digital initiatives. Determine the drivers for each cost category, how much they each contribute to overall costs, and how much of this cost base scales up or down with demand.
  • Develop a view of the full savings potential based on the IT cost analysis, and define the necessary measures to reach the bare minimum of services and capabilities needed to run IT.
  • Cluster the measures into implementation waves based on feasibility, value, “reversibility” (How easy is it to reverse the measure taken?), and business impact. Then define the optimal sequencing of the implementation of the clusters, based on business priorities and dependencies.
  • Tailor the sequencing of cost-reduction clusters to business scenarios that reflect how the environment could change during the downturn. This might range from “full implementation of all waves in parallel” for companies in dire economic distress to “simple measures only” where the situation is less critical.
  • Prepare for the implementation of each measure by identifying necessary skills, staff, cost, and ways to proactively mitigate risks for operations and customer perception. Typically, these plans need to be tightly aligned with the crisis plans of each business, with respect to both target and approach to minimize disruptions. 
For full details and case studies read here
Revealing leaders’ blind spots
Strategy + Business
Senior executives, accustomed to annual performance reviews and 360-degree assessments, can be quick to acknowledge that certain aspects of their leadership style need more work. These might include having better time management skills, being more empathetic with co-workers, or focusing more on their team. Reviews represent an exercise in self-awareness that most leaders perform believing they can accurately figure out the areas in which they need to improve.
But what happens when you ask the members of their team what they think the boss should work on to be a more effective leader?
These survey results are both unexpected and revelatory, and have implications not only for a leader’s performance but also for that of his or her company.
For full details read here.

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