Monday, November 30, 2009

Chief Culture Officer: Gatekeeper to Thought Leadership

I enjoyed this book excerpt by Grant McCracken in AdAge, "In His Nike Work, Dan Wieden Is the Prototypical CCO" (McCracken's forthcoming book is Chief Culture Officer: How to Create a Living, Breathing Corporation.)

McCracken identifies the trend called the "generous stranger," which is akin to "Pay It Forward" and "Practice Random Acts of Kindness." He tells of how Nike embodies this trend in a recent groundbreaking ad.

If corporations can put aside any aversion they may have to the touchy-feely nature of the "generous stranger," they can take a lesson from the concept in developing a thought leadership strategy.

Thought leadership requires generosity, as we explain in "Is Anybody Following Your Thought Leadership? Five Best-Practices." Corporations can be thought leaders when they create a corporate culture that is about "paying forward" their vision and expertise.

Corporations may waffle on the idea of actively developing corporate culture, but almost all want to be thought leaders. Thought leadership requires culture. Culture galvanizes the passion and generosity that makes thought leadership possible.

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