Organizations usually have a different flavor in their C-Level management suite. Some are more influenced by their Chief Sales and Marketing Officers; some are more driven by their Operations Officers, while many are heavily influenced by their Chief Financial Officers. What is the right approach?
Sales and Marketing officers are usually closest to markets and are very outwardly oriented due to their continuous interactions with customers. They tend to be more optimistic as compared to other C-level execs but this sense of optimism can sometimes backfire if it was not grounded on sound business fundamentals.
Operations officers tend to be very process oriented since they deal with how things needs to get done on a daily basis. They tend to emphasize resource availabilities and efficiency measures, so in a sense they tend to operate in the opposite side of Sales and Marketing execs.
Financial executives tend to fall somewhere between their Sales and Operations colleagues. They tend to have a good grasp of the past since their primary objective in many organizations is to ensure accurate capture and reporting of past data and less concerned with non-accounting related measures. As such, CFOs might fall into the trap of relying too heavily on historical data as a basis of future decision making and miss out on new business opportunities.This is where a Chief Executive Officer comes in. A skilled CEO realizes natural characteristics and biases that Sales, Operations and Finance executives bring to the table and is able to blend their approaches in an artful fashion to shape an effective strategy for the organization. History has proven that companies primarily dominated by a Sales, Operations or Finance culture might only achieve success in the short term but you will need a blend of all three that changes in response to business conditions in order to ensure a sustainable success over the long haul.