How can CEO’s find more time to focus on brand and culture?

How can CEO’s find more time to focus on brand and culture?

How much time should you spend on corporate culture and your employment brand?

If you are a leader you have a lot on your plate and you may wonder, how much time should I be focusing on my corporate culture? Unfortunately, there really isn’t just one correct answer. Time devotion will be, in part, a reflection of the maturity of your company and the personnel infrastructure in place. However, it is safe to say that if you are intending to grow your company, well over 50% of your time should be devoted to culture and cultural brand building priorities. The ROI benefits of making your cultural brand a priority are well proven and can improve engagement, retention, customer satisfaction, recruitment and even shareholder value.

Why CEO’s don’t spend their time on the right things:

Chances are, you aren’t spending 50% of your time on culture priorities. Why? Without a doubt, the number one reason CEOs don’t spend enough 53Htime on their culture issues is because they are too involved in “working in the business” rather than “working on the business”. This means that the CEO is spending too much time in the “doing” of operational activities (i.g. sales, operations, admin) rather than having the right people in the right positions to handle many of these activities so that they can free themselves to steer and lead the culture.

Three reasons why CEOs fall into “doing” rather than the delegating role:

  1. A young or new CEO may not be aware that he/she should be spending more time on culture priorities and contributing to the development of the cultural brand
  2. CEOs often are more comfortable with performing “doing” activities rather than “CEO culture priorities” and thus do not delegate these “doing” activities to subordinate employees
  3. Without a fully developed cultural brand and employment value proposition, recruitment is harder and a CEOs may not have the right people with the right skills to whom the more operational activities can be delegated to

The key to creating more time:

Accordingly, the key to creating more time is for the CEO to take the time to review his/her job description and determine which activities should be delegated to others. Sometimes it is easy because those other people exist within the company and they are capable of handling the additional responsibility. Where this is the case, the CEO should begin delegating as soon as possible. This not only frees time for the CEO to focus on mission critical cultural priorities but also provides job enrichment, a key component of job satisfaction, for the chosen employee.

Have the patience to coach on build capacity:

When delegating new responsibilities, do not assume that the person is totally self-sufficient from the start. Take the time to coach and work with them to ease the transition as they assume their new duties.

In my work with CEO’s, most recognize coaching as something that they should do and will do eventually but find themselves stuck in a trap. If you find yourself putting out fires and fixing other peoples immediate problems you may be failing to build the capacity and sustainability that comes through patiently coaching others to put out their own fires.

What if I don’t have the right people in place to delegate to?

The steps to take when you do not have the people you need to delegate to are more involved and will be covered in future posts devoted to “employment branding, recruitment and talent acquisition”. In the short run:

  1. Consider “outsourcing” certain responsibilities where they do not involve the need for a full-time person
  2. Be ruthless with how you spend your time – i.e. eliminate as many “nice to do” activities and focus on the “must do” activities until you can hire or develop the right people

By Jason Kipps and Terry Thompson


About the author


Jason Kipps

Jason is Head of Universum Canada

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