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Chief Culture Officer: How to Create a Living, Breathing Corporationby Grant Mccracken
Synopses & Reviews
Levi-Strauss, the jeans and apparel maker, missed out on the hip-hop trend. They didn’t realize that those kids in baggy jeans represented a whole new—and lucrative—market opportunity, one they could have seen coming if they had but been paying attention to the shape of American culture.
Levi Strauss isn’t alone. Too many corporations outsource their understanding of culture to trend hunters, cool watchers, marketing experts, consulting firms, and, sometimes, teenage interns. The cost to Levi-Strauss was a billion dollars. The cost to the rest of corporate America is immeasurable.
The lesson? The American corporation needs a new professional. It needs a Chief Culture Officer.
Grant McCracken, an anthropologist who now trains some of the world’s biggest companies and consulting firms, argues that the CCO would keep a finger on the pulse of contemporary cultural trends—from sneakers to slow food to preppies—while developing a systematic understanding of the deep waves of culture in America and the world. The CCO’s professionalism would allow the corporation to see coming changes, even when they only exist as the weakest of signals.
Delightfully authoritative, trenchantly on point, bursting with insight and character, Chief Culture Officer is sure to expand your horizons—and your business.
"McCracken (Flock and Flow), a research affiliate at Convergence Culture Consortium at MIT, argues that every company needs a chief cultural officer to anticipate cultural trends rather than passively waiting and reacting. CCOs should have the ability to process massive amounts of data and spot crucial developments among an array of possibilities; they will be able to see the future coming, no matter which industry they serve, and create value for shareholders, move product, create profit and increase the bottom line. McCracken provides an impressive list of individuals deeply connected and in tune with the zeitgeist including Steve Jobs, A.G. Lafley, Mary Minnick, Joss Whedon and Johnny Depp — who fought Disney in order to create a campy male lead in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie — as well as such corporations as Starbucks and Nike that have 'refashioned culture.' McCracken's case is persuasive, and his book, peppered with pop culture references and enlivened by his restlessly inquisitive nature (and ability to strike up conversation with just about anyone), makes for enlightening and entertaining reading." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Book News Annotation:
McCracken (MIT C3 research affiliate, educator, author, and consultant) underscores the importance for companies with something to sell of being able to read their audience's culture and respond to it. The book offers guidance, with plenty of examples of unbelievable success and dismal failure, for companies that want their messages to click with their audiences and for those people who want to turn their keen understanding of culture into a career. It's a practical and engaging book. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
How can you become Steve Jobs, A.G. Lafley, or David Ogilvy? Hint: read this book.
The American corporation--deaf and blind to the world around it--needs a new professional. It needs a Chief Culture Officer.
Grant McCracken, an anthropologist who now trains some of the world's biggest companies and consulting firms, argues that the CCO would keep a finger on the pulse of contemporary cultural trends while developing a systematic understanding of the deep waves of culture in America and the world. The CCO would be the corporation's eyes and ears, allowing it to detect coming changes, even when they exist only as the weakest of signals.
Trenchantly on point and bursting with insight and character, Chief Culture Officer is sure to expand your horizons--and your business.
Corporations often have an alphabet soup of executives, but they don't have anyone to decipher the most complex problem of all: culture. Grant McCracken, an advisor to some of the world's leading companies and consulting firms, argues that every company needs a Chief Culture Officer--or suffer the competitive consequences.
McCracken urges corporations to stop outsourcing culture to trend hunters, cool watchers, marketing experts, and consulting firms. He argues that the CCO will keep a finger on the pulse of fast-moving trends while developing a real understanding of the deep waves that move culture in America and the world. For corporations that must excel in the marketplace and individuals who want to financially make good use of their cultural knowledge, Chief Culture Officer will establish new standards for how business makes its way in the world.
About the Author
Grant McCracken is a Research Affiliate at C3 at MIT. He earned his PhD in anthropology at the University of Chicago and was the founding Director of the Institute of Contemporary Culture. He has taught at Cambridge University, McGill University, and the Harvard Business School. He consults with an array of companies, including Campbell Soup, Coke, L’Oreal, IBM, and the Children’s Television Workshop. He has written nine academic books and his work has been covered by Oprah, the New York Times, the LA Times, Newsweek, and BusinessWeek. He lives in Connecticut.
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