Grant McCracken: Chief Culture Officer



Fascinating book This is my dream job McCracken is truly an expert The first half of the book is absolutely riveting and kept me up for hours after I finished reading the first night The author simply wants to show everyone the value of understanding culture s influence on on the business world He discusses the fall of Coca Cola in the US down by 15% in recent years and why other companies succeed where Coke has recently failed Good examples plenty of case studies an intriguing writing style and superb presentation Recommended to all BusinessWeek Best Innovation Books of 2009Contending that culture is an overlooked factor in successful businesses anthropologist and Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher Grant McCracken makes the case for the creation of a chief culture officer atop each company Entertaining and provocative in a chapter called Philistines he directs disdain at such figures as Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen and Scott Cook of Intuit a ton of examples and case studies make this a thought provoking read This is the single most important book I ve read this year McCracken employs his considerable experience as an anthropologist to peer into the abyrinth of corporate America and provides engaging examples to guide the reader along the way McCracken discusses the perils of personality cults the value of treating cultural knowledge as a professional competence the distinction between fast and slow culture and the power of empathy His examples are witty informative and transformativeranging from the uaker Snapple buyout to the iconic power of I NY After reading this bookyou l notice something strange Everyday eisure activities such as watching TV reading magazines walking on the streets will be different They will have a richer meaning and will be fueled by a curious energy and desire to understand how we think feel and behave Books are always better when you find unexpectedly find yourself in the acknowledgments That being said Chief Culture Officer is very good Grant McCracken is one of a handful of business writers and bloggers who a has a deep understanding and How to Hide Things in Public Places love for the topics he covers b writes about them in an inspiring and unexpect. 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 anducrative 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 consu.

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Arrassing ideas that appear to have been made off the cuffActually 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 The Pursuits of Lord Kit Cavanaugh (The Cavanaughs 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 recent book The Moment of ClarityIn the closing pages of Chief Culture Officer McCracken disparages academic anthropologists who have as a culture adopted the practice of writingike irrelevant philosophers than observers of culture His criticism is right on target but in this book he has argely over reacted to anthropology s academic rhetoric of nonsense by embracing the careless style of the worst business writersAs 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 andfallThat s not the kind of cultural material that an enduring brand will be made fromCorporations need Chief Culture Officers but not the kind of Chief Culture Officers Grant McCracken writes about in this book There s a happy medium between abstracted academic nonsense and slapdash improvisation Chief Culture Officers need to be observant and discerning They need to be able to practice thick description based on how consumers actually Grounding Grounded Theory live and not be content with the thin veneer that can be grasped through a passing glance and a few notes scribbled down on Post It notesI could not be disappointed in this book If youead people in any capacity READ THIS BOOK Incredible book about a needed position in organizations of all types If culture is your thing use it because others need your pop culture kn Grant McCracken AM 76 PhD 81AuthorFrom our pages Dialogo Spring Summer14Trend spotter Canadian anthropologist Grant McCracken AM 76 PhD 81 has built an unconventional career as an observer of American culture. 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 busine.

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Ed way and c isn t a tool I take a special joy in obscure allusions or connections and I get the feeling that Grant does too I really think someone who had previously been completely ignorant about current bu The book Chief Cultural Officer is something that should have been written at ma vie pour un oscar least 10 years ago In today s fast changing society it is unimaginable not to take into account cultural trends while making major business decisions The misconception is that it is easy to know the culture of the consumers and we don t need a separate person for the job This is because people focus on theatest fads For those interested in corporate culture Chief Culture Officer is an interesting take on establishing changing maintaining and understanding organizational cultures The examples McCracken gives are often insightful though not always Sometimes they are a stretch and are easily explained in other ways than as artifacts of culture or cultural understanding Another complaintthe book often sounds The Four Asian Tigers like an extended pitch for the creation of the position of chief culture officer CCO as if McCracken had skin in the game somehow In fact being a consultant on such issues he probably does Nonetheless there are some useful and important understandings to be had from the book Most of that for me came as I read of his experiences Fonseca and how she used MMs to encourage idea generation was a favorite and there were many other good ones Reading these experiences graduallyed to a foundational understanding of a variety of ways for how to use culture to directly and positively influence good business practices This is not a book to read slowlyI think it is better to skim it dipping into various parts from time to time a bit deeply as desired It is the essence of it that is most important and that comes most uickly by scanning with the occasional deep dive I am a big fan of Grant McCracken I ve not just enjoyed his books but gotten some powerful ideas for my professional Baabwaa and Wooliam life from them over the years I ve read McCracken when he s being insightful I know what thatooks Historias de Inmigracion likeChief Culture Officer does not have the kind of material Grant McCracken writes when he s been insightful Instead it s filled with emb. Lting firms and sometimes teenage interns The cost to Levi Strauss was a billion dollars The cost to the rest of corporate America is immeasurable Theesson 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.

I'm an anthropologist born in Canada now living in and studying the US I divide my life into two halves One is the writing half The other is for clients Netflix the Ford Foundation the White House among others