A Digital Role Cheat Sheet

Here’s a handy translation guide for anyone struggling to keep up with the “digital” business zeitgeist.

Common themes seem to be the creation of new hybrid roles that combine existing roles to break down silos such as “Marketing” and “IT” into roles with common goals and focus, and the use of synonyms of the word “delivery” to convey much more focus on “impact” than in the past.

Growth Hacker

A really interesting new role coined by Sean Ellis in 2010. It tends to imply the use of a broad range of skills across coding, social/traditional marketing, product, and analytics all with a single-minded focus on growth. The word hacking is used to imply that boundaries will be pushed and the status quo will be challenged. (The most famous example of this was Airbnb who in their early days built a feature that allowed their customers to automatically list a property on Craigslist. Craigslist were not amused and prevented it).

CDO

Chief Digital Officer. A new hybrid role at the intersection of Product, Technology and “Business”. Tending to imply the leadership of Digital Transformation initiatives using the word “Digital” as a differentiator.

Head Coach

A C-level title mostly synonymous with CTO/CIO but used to convey the desire for a more collaborative and less hierarchical/directive approach to leadership than was common in the past. Mostly used in “Agile” environments where independent self organising cross-functional teams come together to deliver business impact.

Squad Leader

Similar to Head Coach but usually referring to the leadership of a single “agile” team. It can imply a mixing of the Product Lead and Scrum Master roles common in Scrum Teams over the last few years.

Digital Deliverer

Usually referring to a member of an agile cross functional team. Implies a healthy focus on valuing business impact rather than possession of particular skill sets.

Please feel free to comment with any I’ve missed out.

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