We are continually exploring open business models that use a new, agile, networked ways of working. Extrapolating forwards, we keep on coming back to the question, what might a truely Open Enterprise look like? Where does it start and where does it end? How does it function? And crucially, for the purposes of this post, what roles are required in such a business to embed openness across all functions?

As a starter for 10 we would like to introduce the following characters:

  • CEOpen – Those responsible for hosting the conversations and building the relationships required for the emergent strategy of the business. They seek to build open innovation is a core capability and differentiator.
  • CTOpen – By building platforms not products, these individuals use open source as enabler to leverage the creativity and talents of all, both inside and outside of the organisation.
  • CMOpen – Literally the pourous boundary between inside and out – interacting continuously with customers and partners – and responsible for co-creating insights and shared experiences.
  • COOpen – As a means to operate most effectively, they are responsible for building an open culture and systems across the organisation. They mentor and corral volunteers as opposed to managing conscripts.
  • CFOpen – Those looking to always create more value than they take, these ‘data-geeks’ are responsible for building and leveraging open data and using analytics and networks as an strategic asset.

In each case, there may be one, or several, or possibly thousands of people in each roles. But basically we believe that the Open Enterprise touches upon every aspect of the business and so needs CXOpen’s across every function and at all levels.

So we’d be really interested to know what you think a CXOpen is or should be? Perhaps you know one, or even are one already. Either way, we’d love to hear from you as we are in the process of co-creating an Open Book with a view of launch/publish next year with associated activities and events. More on that shortly but do let us know if you are interested in participating or have a view on any of the above.

PS. Inspired by recent conversations with David Rajan


  1. I guess this would be a new sort of role but drawing from marketing, R&D, IT and HR skills. Anyone responsible for networks whether internal or external. You could argue that this should in fact be the CEO (Chief Executive Opener?!)

  2. Hi Roland

    I’m exploring this at the University of Chester, under my Green Chester brand. I’ve been presenting my agenda as driving solutions to sustainability challenges at the University, from staff and students and the wider community, through a platform that is being developed. Often people want to talk about the heat, light and recycling facilities available to them, because that’s what is important to their everyday lives, which I understand. There is lots of enthusiasm to harness, I just hope I can concentrate it!


  3. Thanks David. Yes I guess the main point that emerged for me was that open innovation touches upon all aspects of the business and therefore ought to be embedded across it, else just becomes another silo to climb out of.

    Hi Alice. Good to hear from you and interesting to hear about what you are up to in Chester. And yes, people often focus on the ‘what’ but less so on the ‘how’, ‘who’ and ‘why’. Good luck with the project and let us know if we can help in any way.


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