Peter Drucker said it years ago:
‘Culture eats strategy for breakfast.’
Insipid businesses have insipid cultures. And insipid cultures have insipid leaders.
By definition, culture is organic. But, like a yogurt, a starter culture is necessary. And in an organisation, whether we like it or not, the starter culture comes from the very top.
But when the ‘starter’ is staid and emotionally repressed, you know how the rest of the culture is going to turn out. There is no getting away from it.
This is why so many British and American businesses struggle with culture. The leaders are white, male WASPS and not – generally speaking – known for emoting (at least outwardly).
The leaders of the future will not have the luxury of repressing their emotions in the workplace. An expressive, creative culture is one of the few competitive advantages that businesses in the 21st Century can enjoy.
C-suite executives will need to go where pop culture is leading, and wear their hearts on their sleeves. Their job will not be a ‘one-off’ task on a list, but their on-going, determined and overriding focus.
The job will, first and foremost, be nurturing.
The CEO of the future is not a repressed, white male WASP.
She is an expressive Latina.
Nick Jefferson is a partner with advisory firm, Monticello LLP, and a curator of The Library of Progress.
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