Chief Growth Officer. Chief Experience Officer. Chief Brand Officer. Corporate Responsibility Leader. Each year, more companies create new positions or redefine their Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) roles. Today, businesses need more than traditional “marketing” leadership. The needs of consumers, employees and organizations alike have changed, leaving leaders with a myriad of questions: What is the best way for organizations to adapt? Is another leadership position necessary? Which is the most sensible role to invest in?
I recently had these very discussions with my team and top advisors at our own creative agency, as we decided whether to invest in a new leadership position and how to define such a role.
A Purpose Activator
Companies, like PwC, have found a promising solution to these changing times. In addition to their CMO, PwC hired a Chief Purpose Officer (CPO) to activate the company’s purpose. A CPO is put in place to make sure that work has meaning and that people understand the meaning behind the work. The role exists to educate and guide staff members at every level to act upon the mission, vision and values of the organization. Once a shared purpose is infused into every aspect of a business, the CPO’s final duties are to keep everyone purpose-driven and to make sure the world knows it. While the different new positions don’t necessarily conflict with one another, like PwC, our agency decided to hire a CPO.
An Inspiration To Teams
The CPO uses purpose to inspire team members. In a way, the position is the ultimate HR role, as research shows that purpose has a significant impact on today’s employees. People desire work that has a higher significance than profit. When an organization uncovers and shares an authentic purpose, it can attract top talent and improve the overall organization. Purpose increases job satisfaction as it enhances the culture, drives performance, increases employee retention and inspires innovation. Such an essential aspect of business demands a leader to oversee it.
A Connector To Audiences
A CPO can ensure an organization connects with its ideal audiences. Purpose is the thread that ties a brand together. As purpose is the essence of what an organization does, consistency of purpose is what creates a strong brand. At a time when public trust is low, a consistent purpose is an unquestionable competitive advantage that drives revenue as audiences flock to the brand that emotionally resonates with them.
A Meaningful Decision-Maker
Organizations must make decisions that reflect their values and purpose. However, given the many aspects that must be taken into account in decisions, in many organizations, the purposeful factors are left behind more often than they should be. The CPO acts as a human decision-making filter who ensures that a brand stays true to its purpose, maintaining consistency, authenticity and trust in consumers, employees and investors alike.
A Uniter Of People
Team members and leaders alike can be divided by personalities, ideas or approaches, but in an organization, everyone must be united by the shared beliefs and goals of the brand. The CPO exists to bring everybody together around the corporate purpose. The existence of such a position enhances the team’s relationships through common ground, increases efficiencies and ensures that goals are met. When people believe in the same vision, they better connect with one another and work better with one another to achieve it. The CPO is the messenger and caretaker of that vision.
A Leader With The Right Title
Countless studies highlight the growing importance of corporate purpose in an organization today. Given the prominent role that purpose plays in a brand’s strength, growth and profitability, it makes sense to redefine a leadership role to highlight the importance of purpose.
Placing the term in a leader’s title serves to remind that leader and the organization what this top priority is — the ultimate driver behind any organization: purpose. To ensure success, a leader within your organization must take ownership of the education and implementation of your corporate purpose and values. Whether or not you’re able to hire a CPO in this singular role, these responsibilities must be carried out, as they’re vital to every organization’s future. Any organization has the capacity to thrive if it can successfully infuse purpose into every aspect of its experience, and that’s exactly what a Chief Purpose Officer does.