Time to appoint a CAO, a Chief Analogue Officer!

By Anders Björklund

Time to appoint a CAO, a Chief Analogue Officer!

Now is the time to create a role for all companies to appoint the manager of everything that is starting to get antiquated. It's time to nominate a CAO, your Chief Analogue Officer!

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The responsibility will be to take care of the few and unique customers that always want to:

  • Have long and pointless meetings.
  • Eat late and long dinners (preferably with lots of alcohol).
  • Look at endless bullet lists in everlasting slide decks.
  • Have everything stored and catalogued in physical formats.
  • Visit random trade shows several weeks each month without any apparent purpose.

To meet the demand of these rare customers and colleagues, unique skills are needed. But, for once there is no need to complicate the recruitment process. Today, too many companies are focusing on how to attract and retain top talent. Only a handful of organisations seem to have realised that it's not about people, rather it's about preserving the analogue routines and processes.

When it comes to the recruitment of the CAO, keep it simple and hire the first applicant you find. Ideally, someone that shows up unannounced to interrupt your work and prevent you from accomplishing whatever it was that you were doing.   

What should a CAO do?

The CAO is driving the force behind everything that could be analogue. They need to convince others that the slow way is the right way. It is their task to make sure analogue routines are implemented in the core business model. 

As a natural consequence, being a CAO can be tough. Most likely, they will be encountered by resistance, especially by innovators who want to renew, develop and digitalise the business. Therefore, it is important that the CAO receives full support from top management, and reports directly to the CEO. 

CAO's main responsibilities will be to:

  • Map analogue capabilities to strategic priorities. It's important to unify all employees around the notion that being analogue is critical for any future success.
  • The measure lost efficiencies and capital expenditure. Do you remember the time, when everything was analogue? To be honest, me neither. Let's see if the CAO’s can find the ROI from that golden era.
  • Replacing digital processes with old technology. It doesn't matter if it's about external or internal communication, everything should be handled analogously.
  • Develop and administer the analogue product portfolio. Together with product owners, the responsibility is to develop analogue solutions to every customer's problem.
  • Make sure everything is printed and stored physically in the office so that employees barely can access any information.

Does every company need a CAO?

Well, now that is for you to decide. If you - somehow - are convinced that you need a CAO, we have compiled a job description that you are free to use in your next job posting. However, please make sure to print it and store it in physical format once you have downloaded.

Job description for a CAO, Chief Analogue Officer 

Anders Björklund
Founder, CEO & Strategist since 2001. Anders provides thoughts and reflections about how to think about onlinification and digitalisation in B2B.
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