The Chief Culture Officer

Culture Overview and Metrics
Changing an organization’s culture is one of the most difficult leadership challenges. That’s because an organization’s culture comprises an interlocking set of goals, roles, processes, values, communication practices, attitudes and assumptions.

Utilities in particular face a steep challenge. The core of foundational performance enabling is the transformation of the enterprise from an entitlement culture to a performance culture.
• When asked which elements of workplace commitment most benefits daily operations, companies ranked culture at 80 percent and recruitment/retention at 70 percent. – Harvard Business Review

• Research suggests that between 66 percent and 75 percent of organizational culture change efforts fail. – Center for Creative Leadership

• An effective culture can account for 20-30 percent of the differential in corporate performance when compared with “culturally unremarkable” competitors. – Harvard Business Review
Why a Chief Culture Officer?
“Corporations live or die by their connection to culture.”₁
“Culture matters – it can make or break your company.”₂
“Fixing the culture is the most critical – and most difficult – part of a corporate transformation.”₃
“If you get the culture right, most of the other stuff will just take care of itself.”₄
“Your organization’s culture determines your results, and the results you want should largely determine the kind of culture you need.” ₅
Role Objectives

The CCO is responsible for supporting the Chief Executive Officer and President in aligning the culture with the espoused values of the company, with particular emphasis on espousing and promoting the culture needed to improve the current environment.

The CCO is responsible for helping the Chief Executive Officer, President, and other key officers maintain awareness of all aspects of the culture, and to identify and address cultural issues and concerns.

The CCO must demonstrate deep business acumen for industry and market trends in the energy industry as well as across other business sectors.
Role Responsibilities
• Serve as the subject matter expert both to senior management as well as management within the business units in the area of corporate culture, developing strategies to strengthen a culture based around SCE’s core values
• Make cultural awareness and development an integral part of YOUR COMPANY leadership philosophy by establishing education and assessment metrics for management
• Develop a strategy to align culture with YOUR COMPANY business objectives
• Establish cross-organizational networks of culture change agents to promote and advance the desired cultural norms and behaviours through both formal and informal channels
• Create channels and communities to gather information and input from employees, and feedback about culture and culture change efforts
• Identify cultural and sub-culture norms which support and conflict with YOUR COMPANY’s strategy and business objectives

1. Chief Culture Officer – Grant McCracken
2. A Perspective on Organizational Culture – The Katzenbach Center at Booz & Company
3. Lou Gertsner – Retired CEO of IBM​

The Curse of the Effective Manager

On your worst days, you will question if you are a misguided utopian or in need of a sanity assessment.

It is an unfortunate reality, but you will meet few people who are willing to challenge the status quo, even when that means pain and suffering for others and themselves. Rocking the boat is not for the faint at heart, perhaps, only for those who may be called ‘dreamers’. I can’t think of a better charge to awaken from the management slumber and fully respond to Gary Hamel’s clarion call to respond to the following challenge; “As managers we are too easily satisfied. If it were otherwise, we’d be working harder to counterbalance the ideology of control. While most of us aren’t entirely content with the way our organizations work, neither are we outraged. We are not incensed by the poisonous politicking, the squandered creativity, the debilitating cynicism, the ignoble values, the ethical shortcuts, the executive egomania, and the strategic myopia that infect our organizations or at least we are sufficiently incensed to cry “enough” and commit ourselves to creating something better. Gary comments resonate deeply within my psyche, however, I cannot deny that when I begin to dream and speak the language of dreams, many shut down and begin to question if anything else other than the pedestrian is possible.  I fear that many who’ve dreamt big have long since concluded that dreams lead nowhere!

Maintaining a realistic perspective and accurately assessing your organization’s ‘they get it’ quotient is critical to your survival.

Balance in any area of life is what most of us aspire to, but we often find it allusive. If finding balance was easy then the world might be an almost perfect place. It is not easy by any stretch of the imagination to find and maintain a balanced organization where we can embrace change, and at the same time accurately assess the effectiveness of the current state. When I think about what ‘they get it’ means, it is  a place where leaders are expected and allowed to lead in way that is seen by all of as effective and does not look like bureaucracy. Nothing fly’s in the face of leadership with a high ‘they get it’ quotient than paper pushing administrative bureaucrats. As so eloquently stated by Joris Liojke, “traditional management style may help organizations run efficiently but it won’t help to unleash the best gifts of every single person in your organization. The balancing act of remaining engaged and seeing the opportunities to maximize your organizations effectiveness, and realizing that most people ‘don’t get it’ is a very real and difficult paradox. Many of us who try to maintain the balance find this exhausting simply because it drains your energy from real work.

Many corporations and the individuals in positions of leadership simply don’t ‘get it’. For reasons too numerous to list, it is clear in the annals of business and conversations with executives, senior and middle managers, that evaluating your own leadership effectiveness is simply not a place many will go! The question is too introspective, too uncomfortable, and too damming for many.