Company culture changes as startups grow and expand. Does your business need a chief culture officer to ensure that it continues to innovate?
“Culture, you could argue, drives everything a business does,” says Shelley DuBois in this article for Fortune, and “cracks in an otherwise sound culture can lead to big, expensive mistakes.” Google was a pioneer in developing a concrete corporate culture, and in enforcing it – the search giant added Chief Culture Officer to the title of its HR department head in 2006. The CCO’s role there was to ensure “Google’s scrappy, open-source cultural core” was maintained as the company grew into a massive multinational.
DuBois writes that companies in older industries, including finance, are also creating chief culture officer positions. Messaging isn’t enough, however, and companies need to enact operational changes to encourage positive behaviors. “Insidious changes rarely happen during times of crisis,” DuBois points out, so every chief culture officer needs to be particularly watchful of slow, creeping changes to a business’ culture and attitude. If a CCO helps keep your expansion-stage company lean, mean, and innovative as it grows, then that’s an executive who’s worth every penny of her salary.