From CPO to CEO

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From CPO to CEO: Do organisations know where their bread is buttered?


Organisations are now forced to recognise their people as determining factors behind their success or failure.

Management consultants’ reports on ‘human capital’ and the impact of Great Resignation clearly demonstrate the role of the individual. These individuals create IP, deliver the desired customer experience, generate the revenue and are typically the bulk of the cost. Clearly, they are the heartbeat of the organisation.

The creation of the Chief People Officer, as opposed to ‘Head of Human Resources’, highlights a culture shift – people are seen as more than just a resource.

STR’s valued client DHL Express have shown how a strong culture of engagement and recognition can create a unified workforce across 220 countries. Common DHL Express values are now shared across all roles and countries, so employees can think global and respect local. A reduction in silo mentality and a push toward greater innovation has enabled the group to change quickly, moving as one. Results back up the process: DHL Express won No.1 best workplace in 2021.

Leadership must put people at the centre of the organisation if the DHL Express people-focused success is to be replicated.

After the pandemic, talent retention and management will be key to multi-generational organisations. The CPO is a key driver here, but success will still be predicated on a culture driven down from the CEO. These CEOs must create a clear path to senior leadership for business-aware CPOs, as opposed to the more traditional CFO route.

STR has a strong track record in putting people front and centre of our assessment and development programmes. 

Find out how by visiting our website at or send us a message.

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