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Chief Culture Officer: How to Create a Living, Breathing Corporation
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Chief Culture Officer: How to Create a Living, Breathing Corporation

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  177 Ratings  ·  20 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 c
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published December 1st 2009 by Basic Books (first published 2009)
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University of Chicago Magazine
Grant McCracken, AM’76, PhD’81

From our pages (Dialogo, Spring–Summer/14):
"Trend spotter: Canadian anthropologist Grant McCracken, AM’76, PhD’81, has built an unconventional career as an observer of American culture."
Jonathan Cook
Jul 31, 2015 Jonathan Cook rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: nobody
Shelves: marketing
I am a big fan of Grant McCracken. I've not just enjoyed his books, but gotten some powerful ideas for my professional life from them over the years. I've read McCracken when he's being insightful. I know what that looks like.

Chief Culture Officer does not have the kind of material Grant McCracken writes when he's been insightful. Instead, it's filled with embarrassing ideas that appear to have been made off-the-cuff.

Actually, that's just the kind of flippant approach to business that McCracken
Mar 31, 2012 Sherin rated it it was ok
The book Chief Cultural Officer is something that should have been written at 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 the latest fads and what is 'cool' and think that that is what will be successful. However, the author stresses on ...more
Oct 21, 2010 Greg rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Students of corporate culture, organizational managers and leaders
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 more easily explained in other ways than as artifacts of culture or cultural understanding. Another complaint...the book often sounds like an extended pitch for the creation of the position of chief culture officer (CCO), ...more
Ryan Holiday
Jun 22, 2012 Ryan Holiday rated it really liked it
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 love for the topics he covers, b) writes about them in an inspiring and unexpected 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 b ...more
Hiten Samtani
Oct 27, 2010 Hiten Samtani rated it it was amazing
This is the single most important book I've read this year. McCracken employs his considerable experience as an anthropologist to peer into the labyrinth 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 transformative,rangi
Jan 13, 2010 Paul added it
Shelves: career
BusinessWeek Best Innovation Books of 2009
"Contending 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
Trevor Anderson
Oct 17, 2016 Trevor Anderson rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Pedro Gil nieva
Aug 28, 2012 Pedro Gil nieva rated it liked it
Hasta ahora el concepto no es malo, algunos de sus ejemplos y sus dichos no son del todo correctos y tal vez dramatiza un poco para hacer llegar su punto (Por ejemplo que Microsoft genero la explosión del Silicon Valley).

Aun así, el tema de que un negocio (y una persona para el caso) debe tener en cuenta la "Cultura" y mas específicamente la "Cultura Popular" en su radar como parte integral del negocio, es un concepto muy valido e interesante.

Elizabeth Arveda
Jan 16, 2010 Elizabeth Arveda marked it as to-read
Moved this from "currently reading" to "to-read" because I read the intro and ch. 1, then didn't pick it up again. I was looking at it for CMST490, but since that course isn't on my teaching schedule in the foreseeable future, this one goes back on the shelf for a while. It's still a contender for CMST490, though.
Thomas Dale
Feb 12, 2016 Thomas Dale rated it liked it
An argument for corporations to get "with-it", and stay relevant! Not sure how many of today's global companies really would be interested, or be capabile, of taking the author's proposition seriously.
D Smith
Jan 04, 2016 D Smith rated it it was ok
Was looking for a book that would provide real encouragement or direction in incorporating cultural relevance into my work. Found a book that tries to give compelling arguments to support creating a role for a cultural compass in a company. Some sections were useful, but not many.
Ken Schafer
Feb 10, 2010 Ken Schafer rated it really liked it
While nominally a business book, even Grant McCracken has trouble keeping up the charade. This book is far more than a business book - it's a plea for us to give what I'd term "Applied Anthropology" a chance to evolve and flourish.

A great read.
Mar 27, 2010 Lisa marked it as to-read
Molly Recommendation.
Jessica Lindgren
Apr 11, 2015 Jessica Lindgren rated it liked it
Some good insights, but I think I misunderstand the title CCO - I thought it meant internal culture more than how external culture affects the business.
Jun 24, 2011 Genie added it
This seemed quite self serving for a business book. Some interesting tidbits about consumer facing companies, but it didn't relate to my industry the way I was hoping it would...
Feb 28, 2010 Bethany rated it liked it
Great, timely hypothesis and provocation - solution/recommendation is not fully baked.
Nov 03, 2010 lisaovc marked it as to-read
Could not put the book down
Angela  Remetio
Angela Remetio rated it really liked it
Sep 04, 2012
Bryan rated it it was amazing
Aug 02, 2010
Mechelle rated it liked it
Feb 04, 2010
LERG rated it did not like it
Aug 07, 2016
Erik rated it really liked it
Mar 09, 2017
Evan rated it it was amazing
Oct 01, 2014
Craig Adams
Craig Adams rated it it was amazing
Aug 26, 2012
Tia rated it really liked it
Nov 07, 2011
Geoffg123 rated it it was amazing
Jun 15, 2017
Tobin Trevarthen
Tobin Trevarthen rated it liked it
Dec 27, 2016
Lisa rated it liked it
Jan 07, 2013
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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.
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“Culture matters for reasons good and bad. First, it is the place to discover advantage, opportunity, and innovation.” 0 likes
“Second, culture is the breeding ground of cataclysmic change, a North Sea out of which commotion constantly storms. Without a working knowledge of culture, the corporation lives in a perpetual state of surprise, waiting for the next big storm to hit.” 0 likes
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