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What is a CDO?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 01 December 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2016
    Conjecture Corporation
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Any organization that wishes to expand their offerings of goods and services while maintaining current and perhaps enhancing current offerings realizes that the life blood for this organization is found in maximizing the growth of available assets. In order to be effective, the strategies employed to maximize the use of available resources needs to be intentional, focused, and with specific goals in mind for increasing the bottom line and how to use what is on hand already. To reach these goals, there has to be a point person who excels in resource management and transfer risk. That is where a CDO, or Chief Development Officer, comes in handy.

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The Chief Development Officer has the task of making sure everyone involved with the organization is on board with the goals and purposes for the operation. In a corporation created to make a profit, that means being involved with every employee classification within the structure. For non-profit organizations, the CDO will also take into consideration volunteer labor as well. In order to lay the foundation for this type of culture within the office, the CDO will work closely with the Chief Executive Officer and often various members of the Board of Directors to implement specific operating structures and procedures that help to foster this sort of approach. The operating structure should be one that allows the best possible use of the abilities of all members of the full-time staff, finding niche roles that can be filled competently by volunteers, and making sure that available resources are being utilized to best advantage.

The CDO will also work very closely with the finance officer for the organization, primarily in the task of understanding the current structured finance outlook for the company. Together, they will look at ways to increase fund generation by evaluating all current methodology as it relates to operating structure. They will also look at current marketing and sales efforts and how effective current procedures in those areas happen to be.

In addition to addressing the overall operation structure and the outreach efforts, the CDO will also be looking closely as the finance sector of the company. What is being done with the net profit currently generated by the organization? How can this the principle of risk transfer be utilized to increase the net profit within the organization as it stands today? What minor changes can be accomplished over the next sixty to ninety days to increase the bottom line?

While working with the officers of the company, the CDO will often be called upon to take the rather broad goals that are on the minds of upper management and the executive structure and turn them into measurable action items that are geared toward achieving those goals. As part of that process, the CDO will interact with others to narrow the focus of the goals, then look at each process within the operating structure. At each level of process, there will be something that can contribute to meeting those goals. The CDO will identify those steps, prepare the procedures for each level of company involvement, and then make sure they are understood and implemented.

The use of the word "development" in the CDO title is the real key to the tasks involved with this position. Always looking to making the organization bigger and better, while also helping to ensure that company is operating as efficiently as possible, especially in the area of utilizing resources, the CDO makes a real difference in how successful the organization will be in the years to come.

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