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Chief Culture Officer: How to Create a Living, Breathing Corporation Paperback – May 10, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“The title of this book is a lie. It's not merely for companies that decide they need a Chief Culture Officer, or even just for those who aspire to that job. It's for you. Right now. If your job involves marketing, inventing, selling or simply investing in companies that make stuff, this book is a must read.”
John Deighton, Brierley Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
“For those who are open to its thrall, Chief Culture Officer will change the trajectory of their lives.”
Faris Yakob, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Strategist, McCann Erickson New York
“In Chief Culture Officer, Grant McCracken highlights the increasing importance of cultural understanding for brands that wish to remain relevant—and profitable—in the protean flux of the modern marketplace, as he carves out a new role for the 21st century corporation. The best marketers can hope for is to create something that resonates so strongly it becomes part of our cultural fabric. This book is an indispensable tool for achieving that goal.”
Tyler Cowen, author of Create Your Own Economy
“I have deep admiration and respect for Grant McCracken, a nimble thinker who combines a mastery of marketing, culture, anthropology, and modern business practice. Chief Culture Officer has many lessons for anyone interested in understanding how to run a successful business in the early 21st century. It will prove one of the most stimulating books of the year.”
Philip Kotler, author of Chaotics: The Business of Managing and Marketing in the Age of Turbulence
“Marketing gets failing grades when it comes to understanding and using culture. In Chief Culture Officer—a delectable cultural soup that is sure to stir your taste buds—Grant McCracken makes a compelling case that culture will be marketing’s next silver bullet. I whole-heartedly endorse his call for bringing culture-thinking into the company.”
Ben Casnocha, author of My Start-Up Life: What a (Very) Young CEO Learned on His Journey through Silicon Valley
“This is a marvel of a business book: highly entertaining, original, and provocative. Entrepreneurs who want to understand their customers, target market, and the cultural dynamics that shape the business world—which is to say all entrepreneurs—need to read it.”
Richard Grefé, CEO, AIGA | the professional association for design
“Grant McCracken, once again, sees clearly the patterns in which innovation, enterprise, and smart people can influence change, create value, and respond to popular culture, where real people experience choice. The book is terrific and spot on.”
Marian Salzman, partner and chief marketing officer, Porter Novelli
“Grant McCracken has cracked the holy grail of what’s next to blend talent management, corporate strategy, and trendspotting, and his storytelling style captivates and educates. I am blown away.”
Henry Jenkins, author of Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide
“Building on decades of eye-opening research into the culture of consumption, Grant McCracken demonstrates why many companies get blindsided by cultural factors that were hidden in plain view, and offers a compelling argument for why they need to bring cultural expertise into their executive suite. Here's hoping more corporate executives hear his call.”
Top Customer Reviews
My main problem with this book is it seems to take too defensive of a stance. If you are convinced a CCO is a good idea after the first couple chapters (or before you buy the book), the rest of the book is basically filler. I would have much preferred a far shorter book with far fewer examples and more about two-way relationships between corporations/business and culture.
My message here is not "don't buy it", but that some may not need the whole book.
If, like me, you've seen some of your best work poisoned by "death by committee" than you'll enjoy reading this book. You'll learn how some CEOs have managed to liberate good ideas from bureaucracy.
If, like me, you think you have to do something in your company to grant there is a methodical approach in culture understanding and leveraging , than this book is going to be a great companion for your journey. You'll learn how your company can minimize risks by embracing culture as a vital piece of a business model design.
To Grant McCracken I can simply say: Thank You!
Chief Culture Officer does not have the kind of material Grant McCracken writes when he's been insightful. Instead, it's filled with embarrassing ideas that appear to have been made off-the-cuff.
Actually, that's just the kind of flippant approach to business that McCracken suggests in this book that a Chief Culture Officer ought to be following. He suggests that watching reality TV shows like Real Housewives is a good form of ethnographic research. He advocates for the blind groupthink of brainstorming that Christian Madsbjerg and Mikkel B. Rasmussen deftly exposed in their more recent book The Moment of Clarity.
In the closing pages of Chief Culture Officer, McCracken disparages academic anthropologists who have, as a culture, adopted the practice of writing more like irrelevant philosophers than observers of culture. His criticism is right on target, but in this book he has largely over-reacted to anthropology's academic rhetoric of nonsense by embracing the careless style of the worst business writers.
As an alternative to academic anthropological writing, McCracken suggests that people investigating the culture of consumption try to express ideas that are just barely good enough for the moment, but can be easily thrown away. He uses the metaphor of Thor Heyerdahl barely keeping Kon Tiki afloat, and then throwing it away as soon as he makes landfall.
That's not the kind of material that an enduring brand will be made from.Read more ›
Just as Dave Ulrich has been an advocate for several years of adding a chief human resources officer (CHRO) to an organization's management team, McCracken is determined to add another. As he explains, "That's what I want to do with this book [Chief Culture Officer]: invent an office and an officer - the Chief Culture Officer, the person who knows the culture, both its fads and fashions, and its deep, enduring structure. I hope this book will be read by two groups: people inside the corporation who want to make the corporation more intelligent, strategic, and responsive, and people outside the corporation who want to turn their knowledge of culture into a profession and a career."
Years ago, Southwest Airlines' then chairman and CEO, Herb Kelleher, explained the importance of culture to its success: "Maintaining excellent customer services involves a process of getting people to understand the importance of it to them in their daily lives as well as in others'. We were a little concerned as we got bigger that maybe some of our early culture might be lost so we set up a culture committee whose only purpose is to keep the Southwest Airlines culture alive. Before people knew how to make fire, there was a fire watcher. Cave dwellers may have found a tree hit by lightning and brought fire back to the cave.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great read, insightful stuff for the aspiring corporate cultural architect. The book includes meaningful examples and good ingredients for a success recipe. Read morePublished 15 months ago by K. Aguilar
This is a fantastic ready. The author demonstrates how great companies/organizations are created by leaders who build a positive culture.Published on August 17, 2013 by Bior
After reading this book I asked myself if I really believed a company needed a CCO. The answer was: not based on the arguments presented here. Read morePublished on December 21, 2012 by aplayer2
The book Chief Cultural Officer is something that should have been written at least 10 years ago. In today's fast changing society, it is unimaginable not to take into account... Read morePublished on April 5, 2012 by sherinmary
Books are always better when you find unexpectedly find yourself in the acknowledgments. That being said, Chief Culture Officer is very good. Read morePublished on March 24, 2012 by Ryan C. Holiday
Great case studies and interesting perspectives on "slow culture" and pop culture, hiring the right, intuitive people to balance out the office quotient of sometimes over practical... Read morePublished on July 19, 2011 by Juliana Loh
After reading Chief Culture Officer, you will never again see the marketplace in quite the same light. Read morePublished on November 22, 2010 by Tom Asacker
For my whole career in publishing as a writer, editor and now editor in chief I've wondered...What the hell am I? This book answers THAT question. I'm a CCO... Read morePublished on March 15, 2010 by J. J Spina