If culture eats strategy for breakfast, why do organizations have Chief Strategy Officers, but no Chief Culture Officers?
An organization’s culture is the intangible product of its employee’s experiences, beliefs and actions. It is hard to measure, and what you cannot measure, you cannot manage.
Yet, despite culture being hard to manage, it is of utmost importance to the organization’s leadership. Seth Godin defines culture with the catchphrase ‘people like us do things like this’. Within an organization, it is the leaders that people emulate. The things that leaders do automatically turn into the organization’s culture.
What the leaders do control are the experiences that people in their organization have. These experiences crystallize into beliefs. These beliefs inform the employees’ actions. These actions achieve what the organization values the most – results. Therefore, an organization’s culture is the consequence of the experiences that its leaders help create on a daily basis.
Perhaps there is no single ‘Chief Culture Officer’ because every leader needs to assume that role.