All posts by Jen Spencer

Is It Time to Hire a Director of Culture?

The job title “director of culture” is relatively new within the past five or so years. But I’m seeing more and more smaller to mid-size, entrepreneurial companies creating this role within their organizations.

As we discussed last month , culture – the process of how work gets done – is happening all the time. The key to culture is making sure your values are clear and in action. They’ll align your culture toward your desired outcomes.

Director of culture roles vary in responsibility. Some directors of culture may be solely focused on employee development and work process. At other companies, this role may be more external facing, either as a part of Customer Experience or Brand Development and Design.

Hiring a Director of Culture
Here are some key questions to think through before you hire:

  • What does culture mean to you?
  • What are the vision, values, and mission of the organization? How do you want your company to impact the world?
  • Will this be an internal, external, or hybrid role?
  • What are your short-term and long-term goals for this role?
  • How will you measure the success of your culture?
  • What partnerships are needed within the organization for the culture to succeed?
  • What resources (talent, money, time, materials) are allocated to culture development?
  • Where and at what level will this person contribute within your organization (executive level, strategy, talent development, etc.)?

Maximizing the Director of Culture Role
Already have a director of culture? Or are you one yourself? Here are some additional questions to help you make the most of the role:

  • If you haven’t answered the questions above, no judgment. Now is just as good a time as any. If you have, it’s never a bad idea to revisit your perceptions.
  • How often do you incorporate feedback into your understanding of the organization’s short- and long-term pain points?
  • How do you celebrate and share wins?
  • Are there ways that the organization could maximize the director’s expertise in culture for other business or community results? An example: One of our clients primarily serves tech companies. Tech companies care a lot about culture. The director of culture at our client’s organization started participating in new business pitches because she had a lot to offer to the companies they were selling to.

We love to work with companies small and large to help maximize a director of culture’s impact. Let’s have a quick chat  to determine how we can best help.

 

4 Questions to Grow a Dynamic Culture

When was the last time you wanted to stay in a job where you weren’t being challenged or using your talents? Where you knew exactly what to expect every day? Where there were no surprises and you knew you would have the same role in five or 10 years that you have today?

That might work for some people. But it doesn’t work for Creative Executives.  Continue reading

10 Things to Think About Before You Get Work-Married

I was recently asked for insights on what people should think about before becoming business partners.

Partnership is marriage. Period. When it’s great, it’s great, and when it’s challenging…you have to dig in. Partnership is being legally entwined with someone else (or multiple people), for better or worse. Continue reading

What do curiosity and truth have to do with money?

As it turns out, everything. I recently sat down with Jasmine Holan of Veriditas Money Management to chat about her philosophies around wealth and the creative professional.

Jasmine Holan, Veriditas Money Management for The Creative Executive

My husband and I found out about Jasmine and sought her out as a way to help us save for having a baby. If you’re self-employed, two months off with baby = need for savings! While Jasmine is not a financial planner or CPA, she anchors everything she does in numbers. Within the first six months of working with her, Continue reading

Is your new boss messing with your mojo?

Hello!

I’ve had several clients this past year that have had new bosses enter the picture – sometimes at the most unexpected and inconvenient times. One even had this happen within just weeks of joining a new company!

A new leader can bring about excitement, fear, and a whole lot of uncertainty.

For some, uncertainty is invigorating and for others, it’s a fear trigger.
We want to make sure that fear around uncertainty doesn’t get in the way of you and your potential.

Continue reading

Free New Year’s Giveaways!

Did we get your attention?

We believe that great Creative Executives are fantastic leaders and even better learners. Get a leg-up at the beginning of the year and discover some new things about yourself with some of our favorite free tools.

May these resources keep you inspired, aware, and on a productive, creative path.
Enjoy!  Continue reading

Did You Build This Ship to Wreck?

Florence and the Machine inspired our post this month. For us, this song encapsulates what the New Year symbolizes – a time to plan, set intentions, chart a course, and set sail! Moreover, like any effort that requires planning and forethought, you don’t want to sabotage the delicate balance by taking on too much or failing to map your journey. Here are simple things you can do this month to keep your ship sailing in smooth waters all year long.

The Creative Executive. Stay connected to your vision in 2016. Continue reading

What I Learned From Our C/E Immersion Weekend

As I was wrapping up our Creative Executive Immersion experience, I found myself at a loss for words. I was having a really hard time articulating my thoughts to the group because I was so blown away by their courage.

In the coaching world, the word courage gets thrown around like Snickers on Halloween, so it can often sound trite or superficial. But talking about courage and actually experiencing it are two very different things. During the Immersion weekend, I was witness to the depth and meaning of the word.

Continue reading

A Creative Comeback After Cancer

Nick Ross Photo

Six years in remission from having cancer in my mid-twenties, I was bellied up to a downtown Los Angeles bar, lamenting the fickle and unforgiving industry I chose. It was January of 2014, and I was a cliche – a down-on-his-luck actor claiming creative relevance in LA with little more than a regional insurance commercial and a couple viral videos to my credit. And I was floating further and further away from the safe, sandy, care-free beaches of my twenties and into the deep sea of expectation that is life in your thirties. Do I hang it all up and shift focus away from the unstable pursuit of creativity or do I keep showing up to auditions with my head held high? Continue reading

Grit in the Face of Adversity

Franklin Roosevelt, Maya Angelou, Albert Einstein, Walt Disney…history is full of stories of wildly successful people who have overcome incredible odds. This is not to say that FDR succeeded because he contracted polio at 39; FDR succeeded despite his disease. Surviving and thriving after a truly time-stopping, universe-questioning trauma often comes down to grit. We all have trauma and tragedy. Grit is what takes us from merely white-knuckling and surviving the pain to actually thriving.

What is grit? Continue reading

What Really Makes You Valuable

Last week I had the honor of opening the Worldwide Partners’ North America Annual Meeting with a talk about The Humanity of Creativity.

Much of the talk centers around the four pillars of human relationships within your business that either motivates or hampers the way to creating great work and getting great results – Self, Clients, Talent, and Partnerships.

We also heard from Continue reading

The Four Facets of Effective Creative Leadership

Four Facets of Effective Creative Leadership | The Creative Executive

Leadership can make or break creative teams. It can make all the difference in how you and your team experience the day-to-day, weather tough times, and succeed in actualizing your mission and vision. There’s vulnerability, inherent chaos, and unchartered waters in pushing creative boundaries bird and it takes a nuanced leader to manage well. While there are many great articles about leadership, I’ve condensed it into what I think are the top four facets to effectively managing creative teams. Continue reading

Both Sides of the New Talent Game

Nurturing Talent - Make sure your high potentials don't become fallen angels

It’s a buyer’s market these days. Every time I visit LinkedIn, someone is searching for a Talent Manager. People want – and need – good in-house recruiters. Independent recruiters and recruiting firms alike have a bumper crop of jobs and roles to fill.

What does this mean for those looking to fill roles, and conversely, what does this mean for you as the job seeker? Continue reading


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