If you ride in on your white unicorn shooting trust arrows and sprinkling culture glitter, are you the magical Chief Culture Officer?

Probably not — someone will call security or dial 911, and you’ll be hauled away quicker than most of your management colleagues can tell you how poorly you’ve been collaborating and knowledge-sharing, both of which contribute to quality workplace cultures.

And, unfortunately, that means HR folks are the not-so-magical professionals in whom management folks usually place responsibility for cultural onboarding – from recruiting, to hiring. to training, to retaining. And yet, according to a recent study by global business consultants The Hackett Group, 79% of executives were dissatisfied with HR’s collaboration and knowledge-sharing.

That was just one of many criticisms of HR, the best of the worst coming from recruiting colleagues who said their HR leaders were kinda okay, but not really. What surprises me about all of this is that organizations have decimated the people management and development budgets of the past five years, with little or no support being given to the growing number of progressive HR leaders and other executives who actually want to better facilitate cultures of trust, sharing, collaboration and learning (sans the unicorn, arrows and glitter).

Most of us in talent acquisition and management know that culture and trust fuel productivity, retention and unified business growth. And even if you don’t buy the culture line, if I don’t have anything beyond short-term affinity, then productivity will wane quickly, killing business growth.

Think about organizations today — the greater cultural ecosystem of the business is made up of full-time employees, part-time employees, flex-time employees, temporary employees, contractors, vendors, service providers, alumni, new applicants — and let’s not forget the customers. This morning on Facebook my friend Bryan Wempen, from DriveThruHR, wrote:

Just pointing out that social networking is powerful; the two way conversation is happening WITH or without you corporate america. American Airlines did a great job today being in the conversation, very nice. I always try to balance my bitchin’ and compliments about 20/80 if possible. Just kidding….LOL

Kidding aside he then shared the Twitter exchange between himself and American Airlines. Today businesses are big, messy melting pots of talent communities that spill over onto one another constantly — true talent communities in every sense of the words, offering professionals and organizations the ability to connect, communicate and collaborate.

All three activities take place not just around employer brands for the sake of branding and marketing, but also around customer service exchanges, relevant learning and developing opportunities for an organization’s entire cultural ecosystem. The bulk of it helps to elevate the 21st-century value of long-tail engagement, learning and all different kinds of growth — again, with cultures of trust fueling productivity, retention and unified business growth.

Let’s give back the tools, resources, the quivers of arrows and, yes, the glitter to the Chief Culture Officers, HR, executive management and anybody and everybody who executes on cultures of trust and fuels team-slash-work learning and loyalty. Again, thank you, Matt Monge, for your guest moderation of this important topic on #TChat. Already, we can barely wait for next week’s #TChat World of Work. Check out the slideshow below of your tweets from yesterday. Did you miss the preview? Go here.

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

 

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#TCHAT RECAP: THE CHIEF CULTURE OFFICER, ONBOARDING & BEYOND

Storified by TalentCulture · Wed, Aug 15 2012 17:37:58

Snapshot of the #Tchat talk about the CCO today, via @SayZu @MattMonge @MeghanMBiro @Grant27 http://pic.twitter.com/m4tj2XMKAvi Lambert
RT @TalentCulture: .@MattMonge is moderating #TChat today at 7pmET – Who’s excited?! http://pic.twitter.com/i2gkLWyI Preview: http://su.pr/AG6XnVCathryn Perfetti
Q1: What is a Chief Culture Officer? Do they exist? If so, what is their role & why? #tchatMatt Monge
A1: CEO is de facto CCO if nobody else is appointed. Prob spreads that job too thin and disservice to org. #TChatTom Bolt
A1: It must be an incognito role meshed w/ HR Business Partner, etc. I’d like to see that advertised though! #tchatPlatinum Resource
A1 I think the CCO has to exist somewhere in the middle of HR and the C-Suite- The role cannot exclusively belong to one or the other #TChatJanine Truitt
A1 Manage message, inside/out; deep understanding of business mission, product and people; overlay on policy, assure consistency. #TChatMary E. Wright
A1: CEO of Evernote, @plibin says culture is directly tied into how the product is made and used internally #TChatSean Charles
A1 Every company has a CCO but does not necessarily go by that title. #TChatRedge
A1: The CCO bridges creative, IT and finance : the role is a master of finding patterns in the chaos of fast and slow culture #TchatAvi Lambert
A1: A CCO would be somewhat useless without a CEO/Founders and Leaders that embodies the principles/values/etc #tchatGeorge LaRocque
A1: The CCO has to be someone with power and influence. #TchatRobert Rojo
A1. Every employee should also work to keep a positive culture. #TChatInsperity Jobs
#TChat A1: Love what u r doing here. My version of CCO concentrates on culture outside the corp. U r working on culture inside? Combine em?Grant McCracken
A1 Think Google does have a CCO – responsible for various employee-centered programs. #TchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A1: Jim Senegal, CEO of Costco. Excellent example of CEO and CCO. #TchatCatherine Chambers
Q1: What is a Chief Culture Officer? A1: A person who drives and owns the culture of an organisation, combo of HR and IC #tchatAdobe Careers APAC
A1 Culture is driven from the top – shared values. Positive or negative, it starts with the CEO #tchatMargaret Ruvoldt
A1. Hopefully someone who takes the time to listen to employees at all levels to determine what culture track would work for the co #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A1: Where there’s culture, there’s someone “chief”ly responsible for it; CCO exists everywhere, officially or not. #TChatBrent Skinner
YOU are the Chief Culture Officer behind everything you say online & off. Take responsibility for your words & actions #tchat a1Garick Chan
a1. Couldn’t anyone in the org be the Cheif Culture Officer? #Tchat #JustSayingDave Ryan, SPHR
A1: Ideally, CCO responsibilities should be shared by all within an org. More of a behaviour than a position. #tchatCatherine Chambers
A1 Judging by the gross injustices that go on in orgs there should be many more CCO’s to make sure orgs are doing right by their EE’s #TChatJanine Truitt
A1: Chief Culture Officer is responsible for setting tone, behaviors and attitudes for the organization #TChatSean Charles
A1. CCO makes sure your cultural “fabric” is strong and helps the company’s culture shift with change. #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A1. Agreed, the CEO should definitely be the culture champion of the company. #TChatInsperity Jobs
A1 Instigator, facilitator and regulator of the living ecosystem of values, beliefs & behaviours we call org culture #tchatSalima Nathoo
A1: Whilst CCO sounds like the top of the tree; ultimately everyone in an org is a Chief Culture Officer #tchatMelissa Bowden
A1: Culture starts with the CEO/Founders – whether they like it or not. IMO culture should be a concern for leaders in a company #tchatGeorge LaRocque
A1: The individual or collective responsible for recruiting, hiring and retaining, baby. Could be C, VP or D. But better be. #tchatKevin W. Grossman
A1: Chief Culture Officer as a “Vulnerable Visionary” or no? We are still defining! Exciting. #leadership #TChatMeghan M. Biro
A1: CCO do exist, in larger orgs, generally they are the CEO who sets the culture who is the source. #tchatJen Olney
A1. Yes they do exist, I wished more companies realized their importance though. I just spoke to a friend who dealt with bad culture. #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A1: The culture is set by the person at the top. #tchatRob McGahen
A1: Head of HR should be CCO w/ or w/o that title. Culture is the means by which talent gets business results. #tchatJon Tveten
A1: I think the CEO is the Chief Culture Officer #TChatChina Gorman
Here’s Q2! How should the CCO facilitate and maintain employee connections, communications & collaborations from day 1? #tchatMatt Monge
A2 Think of what you want to say then what you actually tweet. Now apply the same rule to your site. #TChatRedge
A2: On Day One, #leadbyexample loudly & appropriately. Then, engage with & exercise respect for org’s employees. #TChatBrent Skinner
A2: Ensuring that employees feel like their contributions count #tchatAdobe Careers APAC
A2. CCOs should welcome employees that speak up and challenge things. Be willing to consider a change for the better. #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A2 Culture is multi-dimensional – not always healthy. CCO would have a challenging role. #TchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A2 There needs to be a directive that the CCO is to report any red flags in the culture no matter what. No politics or smoke screens. #TChatJanine Truitt
A2 I can teach you anything, except culture fit. Find employees who share your values and passion. #tchatMargaret Ruvoldt
A2: Leadership that is open, engaged, passionate, interested, and available will spread culture like wildfire. #tchatMark Salke
A2: Measure and communicate the impact of engagement. Make sure people know how their input has influenced outcomes. #tchatCatherine Chambers
A2 Part of the job might be monitoring the culture for changes in culture “momentum”. #TchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A2. Hire people that are passionate about your company, culture, and/or product/service. They’ll MAKE and RETAIN positive environment #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
#Tchat A2 Combine social listening with cultural buy-in from the C-Suite 2 enable employees to be social, and respond authentically @Grant27Avi Lambert
A2 CCO’s would support the intended vision& be sure that HR can bring in new employees that would meld with the “vibe”. #TchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A2 Be present, engage directly (walk & talk), meetings, news letters, web site #TChatRedge
A2. Stick to what you say: vision and mission. Its frustrating and confusing when a co says one thing and then does something else. #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A2 Hold “real” town halls with the EE’s that are designed to elicit info about the state of affairs in the org. Then take action! #TChatJanine Truitt
A2 Speak with a genuine and original voice. G. Stein praised community with a “There” to it. CCO comm foster community build. #TChatMary E. Wright
A2: Lead by example, actively engage everyday and reward positive behaviors #TChatSean Charles
A2-by deeply understanding the organization and it’s contributors. that, and by being brilliant. #TChatFrank Zupan
A2 I believe the “founder” / top leaders persona and work ethic are integral to the culture – Welch, Gates, Jobs #TChat .Redge
A2: Culture is chiseled out of raw marble of peoples’ collective ambition, innovation and communication. #TChatTom Bolt
A2 Transparency in communicating. Let people make mistakes. Listen, listen, listen. #tchatMargaret Ruvoldt
A2: Facilitate employee engagement – doesn’t need to be formal, informal groups and interactions work best and probably better #tchatJen Olney
@MattMonge A2: Ask for feedback. It is all about communication and it goes both ways. Oh and LISTEN #TChatLori King
A2. Absolutely a day 1 strategy. Can be very to chg cultures (esp bad 2 better). Start right foot is key. #TChatJeremy Schmidt
A2: CCO is the silo buster! Using mission/customer as the tie that binds across functions & promoting collaboration on their behalf #tchatJon Tveten
A2 A holistic onboarding program focused on engaging, aligning & socializing new EEs #tchatcfactor Works Inc.
A2 Promote an environment where communication is wide open. Nothing kills morale more quickly than fear of saying what you know. #tchatMark Salke
A2. I also am a big believer in participative leadership style- it really opens up two-way communication #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
@MattMonge A2: Be out there. Engage. Open dialogue. Take feedback! Make things happen. #tchatChristoph Trappe
A2 Mantra: How does this communication express the culture and affect the brand. #TChatMary E. Wright
A2 The CCO has to spend a lot of time in the trenches getting to know the EE’s and understanding the culture from their perspective #TChatJanine Truitt
A2 Actions speak louder than words! #TchatDave Ryan, SPHR
A2: By leaving their office, interacting with everyone, asking questions, but more importantly, listening to the answers. #TchatRobert Rojo
A2: keep the conversation going. don’t let the “honeymoon” period end, & keep ppl engaged #tchatPlatinum Resource
A2: I think it’s as simple as communicating through all mediums: email, web, intranet, internet, social media, in person. #tchatMelissa Fairman
A2: Build trust, be genuine, LISTEN, provide structure (but not pressure), eliminate ambiguity, clarify decision making framework. #tchatKatelin Holloway
A2: By actually facilitating emp connections, communications & collaborations from day 1 formally and informally. To know is to do. #tchatKevin W. Grossman
@MattMonge A2: empower their employees and allow them to take ownership #tchatMelissa Bowden
@MattMonge A2-As a brand ambassador its important that culture is clearly defined&communicated 2me so I can convey as spokesperson #tchatEmily Kaufman
A2. CCO = Chief Conversation Officer. Ignite the conversation to influence sustainable behaviour & engagement. Let’s talk people. #tchatSalima Nathoo
#tchat A2 Business leaders should leave their desks and wonder around so they can not only catch people doing things right but also LISTEN!Bruno Coelho
A2 With sincerity. Be honest with yourself about the culture you’ve created. #tchatMargaret Ruvoldt
Q3: Cultural ecosystems of biz = employees, contractors, vendors, service providers, alumni, new applicants. True or False? #tchatMatt Monge
A3) And culture is how founder’s vision stays intact once co grows and he/she deligates control to others #tchatJonathan Kreindler
A3 Agreed. Cant be “directed” Nor constantly in committee. Created internally, by vested, talented ppl managed by smaller grp #TChatMary E. Wright
Makes sense. Then, when u think about it, makes LOTS of sense @MRGottschalk: A3 You can learn a lot about ur culture from a customer. #tchatBrent Skinner
A3) culture is the glue that controls the chaos and ensures everyone is striving for the same goal. #tchatJonathan Kreindler
#Tchat A3 The CCO and the CIO work closely together, so too with the head of HR and the CMO – Culture broadly affects the C-SuiteAvi Lambert
A3 That ecosystem has a hand in promoting your org. If it’s great they’ll champion your company and if not here comes the bad PR #tChatJanine Truitt
@avilambert @grant27 #Tchat, A3: its that inbetweenness that makes the CCO so good at employee engagement. We can speak all the languagesGrant McCracken
#Tchat A3 via @Grant27 ” The CCO’s job is to insinuate cultural knowledge into the CEO’s head.” Advancing social and digital collaborationAvi Lambert
A3: Cultural ecosystem is what you make it. Inspire your EE’s and your culture will spill over to the rest #TChatSean Charles
A3 One of our team goals was to become an employer of choice! Got problems hiring? Need to change o/s perceptions. #TChatRedge
A3) and also customers, advocates, brand champions, and influencers. #TChatFreshTransition
A3: I say True. No organization is completely self-reliant. #tchatMark Salke
#Tchat A3 via @Grant27 the CCO is an innovation agent embedded in the org, engaging slow and fast cultures, mainstream and avant-gardeAvi Lambert
A3 You can learn a lot about your culture from a customer. #TchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A3 TRUE, I want people who visit in any capacity to wish they worked here! #TChatRedge
A3: Employees, contractors, vendors, service providers, alumni, new applicants all have an impact on the culture. #TchatRobert Rojo
A3 True! Everyone of those stakeholders affect the biz & their exp w/ the org good bad or indifferent can shatter the orgs reputation #tChatJanine Truitt
A3. I hate these T/F answers I always get them wrong (F) #TchatDave Ryan, SPHR
A3: True. Healthy high-performing culture fosters relationships, internal and external, that help get great things done #tchatJon Tveten
A3. True. Each element is important for business survival. #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A3: T And I would add customers, prospective customers, etc. #tchatGeorge LaRocque
A3: I’m not sure I would include external biz as part of internal cultural ecosystem… #tchatTL Frasqueri-Molina
A3: Customers as well part of the ecosystems – very true. All are connected to culture #tchatJen Olney
A3 Absolutely – all groups contribute to the eco system. #TchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A3 More true words were never spoken. #tchatMargaret Ruvoldt
A3: Can it be true and false? Culture is stirred up internally (employees) but usually spills out into the environment. #TChatTom Bolt
#tchat A3. Sure there are subcultures around the company’s context. It’s what connects everyone inside that context.Bruno Coelho
A3: True #TchatRobert Rojo
A3. It’s the present & potential. Every connection an organization has with the community is a reflection of culture in some form. #tchatSalima Nathoo
A3: Yes. #TChatTom Bolt
Q4: Who should the CCO report to & why? Who should report to them? #tchatMatt Monge
A4: The CCO reports to *everyone*. #TChatBrent Skinner
A4 The ROI for a CCO would hopefully be decreased turnover, improved morale and maybe more loyalty towards the company. #winning #tChatJanine Truitt
A4: Whatever technology keeps communication channels open, honest, interactive, and flowing! #TChatJon M
A4 I think anyone who touches employee issues or complaints needs to report into the CCO. Catch issues before the exit interview… #tChatJanine Truitt
A4 Reports to Board. Works with Dir Level HR, Mktg, R&D. Dotted line rpts are Recruiting, Marketing, HR staff Outside PR/Mkt ven
dor #TChatMary E. Wright
A4: 2 be effective CCO should report 2 the board with oversight over everyone 2 include CEO. If he reports 2 CEO might be influenced. #TchatRobert Rojo
A4. To the CEO. Why is it less important than finance, legal or comms? #tchatSelena Cameron
A4 More importantly they have to understand that they work for the employees. Not even HR can say they do this consistently. #tChatJanine Truitt
A4: CCO reports to CEO due to impact of culture across all metrics of company #tchatJen Olney
If culture is not cared about at the Board table, isn’t it just gossip? @TalentCulture: @GuyDavis02 A4 Report to the CEO #TChatEmily Gayle Aitken
A4 – CCO should report to the workforce, the dept Execs should report to the CCO #tchatcfactor Works Inc.
A4: CCO reports to #Business #Leadership and everybody else executes on the culture of trust and reports via team/work loyalty. #tchatKevin W. Grossman
A4 There is that component of remaining neutral that seems important to the role of CCO. #TchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A4: if a distinct role – to the CEO #tchatGeorge LaRocque
A4: Everyone and Everyone #TChatSean Charles
A4 The CCO should report to the CEO. Together they must have a vested interest in creating/preserving a healthy & productive culture #TChatJanine Truitt
A4: If CCO = head of HR, then reports to CEO and manages HR dept, but influence should far outweigh reporting relationships #TChatJon Tveten
A4 Such a tricky question. Almost seems a CCO should be a conservator. Independent somehow. #TchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A4: CCO absolutely MUST have seat at the table [forgive me for that] so should have knowledge of CEO’s thoughts, dreams & nightmares #TChatTom Bolt
A4. Certain HR prof, L&D, Org. Dev, dept. managers, and leaders should report to CCO #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A4: CCO report to: CEO! #TChatJon M
A4 Report to the CEO because all depts make up the culture of the org #TchatGuy Davis
A4: The “CCO” (#CEO in my example) should report to the board. #TChatFrank Zupan
a4 Everyone in the organization #TchatDave Ryan, SPHR
Q5: What social HR technologies should the CCO implement to their cultural ecosystems & why? #tchatMatt Monge
A5: #SoMe tech will add horsepower to a culture that’s already good, but won’t conjure culture from scratch. #TChatBrent Skinner
A5 Simple internal comm. platform can assist w engaging ee’s The issue is getting ee’s to engage when their voice has been dismissed #tChatJanine Truitt
A5: products in the new “work management” category that drive collaboration and are truly social would be a great place to start #tchatGeorge LaRocque
A5: An electronic scorecard/impact map. Something that facilitates dialogue in addition to reporting. #tchatCatherine Chambers
A5 For me it’s less about the tech and more about the environment. Stick me with smart people who energize and watch what happens. #tchatAJ Fournier
A5 Where r UR E/Es? What has multiuse (text, media, sound, art) capabilities? Ppl integrate info differently. Need adaptable tech #TChatMary E. Wright
A5 I think it’s always about the people, before choosing tech/social platforms, and purpose/goals. Are you innovating, collaborating? #TchatCathryn Hrudicka
A5: Stop the roadblocks and embrace tech, so many cos are fearful of tech as a distraction embrace it not fear it #tchatJen Olney
A5: Mobile social technology for maximum engagement with your people. #TChatSean Charles
A5: Enterprise Social Media to promote and support cultural diffusion. #tchatMark Salke
A5: With so many to choose from, ensure that it is a platform that all if not most, employees are willing to engage in #tchatMelissa Bowden
A5: Social Gamification for sure. An #HRTech engagement helper. #TChatMeghan M. Biro
A5. I like co’s that are set up to be mobile & have different/interesting workspaces. it can really open up communication #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A5: Tech that open pathway to clear communication, and keep the conversations flowing without interruptions. Collaborative tech #tchatJen Olney
A5 : Stronger social media referral programs 4 employees. So many untapped “talent pools” People are attracted to like minded people #TchatMichael!
A5: Social recognition and internal social media tech 100% #TChatSean Charles
A5: Start “simple” with collaboration and communication platforms/tools.. social is foundation of that #tchatGeorge LaRocque
A5: Social for collaboration and BigDataAnalytics for monitoring/managing org performance #tchatJon Tveten
A5 I think the CCO should implement #culturechat once a week as a place for open honest convo keep the compny/org real #TchatGuy Davis
A5. Go where your employees are already. #tchatJustin Mass
A5. Events or alternative workspaces to allow employees to easily come together cross-departmentally and talk to one another #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A5 True #TchatDave Ryan, SPHR
A5. Tech such as workplace social media and gamification #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
Hashtag I Love You #TChat http://pic.twitter.com/l5cwvD2u [Pic]SocialMediaSean
**WAVES** to all you #TChat-ers out there! http://pic.twitter.com/PqlIca0ZTalentCulture

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