Chief Who??!?

I’m going to let you in on a little-know real estate investment tip. Forget California, New York or the sunny shores of the Caribbean, the real money to be made is in C-suite real estate. For years C-suites were stable, with roomy offices and square footage to spare. There were the big three: the CEO, CFO and COO. As IT went from an esoteric handful of engineers to an equally esoteric swarm of techies, along came the CIO to oversee them.

Things were going fine, and then marketing wanted their corner office and added the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) to the mix. Worried about its recently won turf and not to be outdone, IT added the CTO (Chief Technical Officer). As the C-suite captains fought over closet space, the world suddenly became a more dangerous place, and the CRO (Chief Risk Officer), CSO (Chief Security Officer) and CCO (Chief Compliance Officer) muscled their way into the C-suite. With things growing disorderly, the CPO (Chief Process Officer) arrived on the scene, developing processes to ensure the CFO’s adding machines were not getting in the way of the CRO’s 18-volume risk management plan.

With no end to the insanity in sight, the latest and perhaps strangest addition to the C-suite is the CBO (Chief Blogging Officer). Just when I thought blogging had finally made its way through the hype cycle, the CBO arrives on the scene. Make no mistake, there are loads of people blogging and it is an effective communication medium that companies can use to speak with their employees and customers. Despite this, elevating blogging to the C-suite is similar to having a Chief Telephone Officer, or Chief Paper Officer when your problem is ineffective corporate communication.

The key to blogging, like any other media, is the message rather than the media itself. Corporate blogs that deliver a legal-sanitized message once every six weeks are as ineffective as press releases whose meaning is shrouded in corporate-speak and legalese. The solution to better communication internally and externally is making effective messaging a company priority, embedded at all levels of the corporation, rather than yet another CdjO (Chief du jour Officer)!


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