Wednesday, May 23, 2018
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Do You Have A Chief Culture Officer?

By Jonathan Jones

Life can be difficult for many people, so having a positive, cohesive culture is a significant competitive advantage. Employees face challenges at home, and even when things are going well, most experience stress. Having a workplace that people want to be a part of helps employees be productive and live a happier, more balanced life.

While I believe strongly in leaders taking responsibility for their culture, I suggest that all business owners need a chief culture officer (CCO). This is the employee who possesses empathy, emotional intelligence and genuine compassion for his or her workmates.    

One of my more driven clients tried to ignore this “extra” role. After assessing her team and the varying types of personalities, strengths, tendencies and needs, I knew there needed to be a CCO to keep an eye out for those who may be struggling or have a challenge and to simply be “aware” of life events.

I said she needed a CCO and described the concept. My client proudly said, “Oh, no, that’s me.”     I explained that it would be someone who was compassionate and “in touch” with the team.     Again, she said, “Oh, yeah, got that in the bag … I know what is going on with everyone.” I paused, put my diplomatic hat on and said, “What we really need is someone that has the pulse of the organization.”

Light bulb slowly turned on. “You mean that isn’t me?” I explained it was better left to someone in the trenches who really knew what was going on and could keep tabs on the team. She got it. And she wasn’t it!

She created the position, and now her culture has a guardian who has helped smooth some of the speed bumps of life that may have cost productivity and balance.

Jonathan Jones (Jonathan.jones@vistagechair.com or 314-608-0783) is a CEO peer group chair/coach for Vistage International.
Submitted 1 years 116 days ago
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