Chief Culture Officer

creating a living, breathing corporation

On being a public institution or Non Profit CCO...


On being a public institution or Non Profit CCO...

The challenges facing university/hospital/non profit CCOs are very different from those facing corporate CCOs. E.g. v limited budgets, a disinclination towards 'cross-silo' collaboration, a lack of experience of working in other sectors, etc. Help!

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Latest Activity: Feb 23, 2011

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There is a need for this role

Working in a public university or a non profit means limited budgets. Small budgets tend to make you a more creative marketer/strategist - this I know. They also make you want to understand…Continue

Started by Sarah Keogh Jan 18, 2010.

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Comment by Chrystia Chudczak on January 27, 2010 at 10:47am
Applying the CCO frame to public institutions actually makes terrific sense, especially in the strategic policy business line which drives operational (re: program) activities. The biggest challenge I see is being able to get government types to understand the value proposition in integrating broad culture into the thinking. For example, most policy makers are brought up on a diet of environmental scans, rooted in sustainable development and seen through a specific discipline (e.g., science) or policy theme (e.g., industrial development). Layer on financial analysis on top of the existing data and bingo you get the standard approach to policy development and creation of options for political decision-makers.
The COO model says you need the polymath at the table to apply another layer of thinking which forces integration across disciplines and, more importantly, takes the analyst or Deputy Minister or public CEO outside their comfort zone to think in a completely different space. This is risky and most people don't like risk, don't like to think they are wrong and don't want to appear stupid, especially at that level.
I think Grant should, if he hasn't done so already, put his model into a government situation - local or national - and walk through the approach. I know of at least one local government, the CIty of Ottawa, in Ontario, Canada, who could seriously benefit from a wide-ranging dialogue about how the COO can help make this City one of the most dynamic in North America.
As for budgets, I am a firm believer that focusing on budgets bloats a person's thinking. A good idea is like a good investment. Both need a value proposition to work. Once the value proposition becomes evident, investors will flock to support the initiative, regardless of whether its in the private or public sector. Then budgets, and often, cross-collaboration, follow.
Comment by Sarah Keogh on January 27, 2010 at 1:01pm
Hey Chrystia
Very interesting insights... Thanks!
And I totally agree with you that it would be great if Grant were to look at the CCO model with a government or a university in mind.


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