Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

New job opening: Chief Office Politics Officer 

Christoph

February 9, 2017

Change Leadership

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You may have seen some of the new roles people have come up with over recent years:

  • Chief Digital Officer
  • Chief Listening Officer
  • Chief Content Officer
  • Chief Transformation Officer
  • Chief Engagement Officer
  • Chief Intel Officer

The list goes on, and some of these roles actually could help organizations be more successful and transition at least some of their strategies to fend off today’s disrupters.

Every once in a while, people accuse me of making up new words or phrases – or rather, point out when I do. You can see some of them on this page. 

Two years ago, I termed the job “content marketing journalist” in this blog post. And to this day, that is a role that actually exists – even when most organizations call it something else.

But so far, I’ve stayed away from the C-suite. Until now. However, there is one C-level job that is needed: The Chief Office Politics Officer!

Yes, every organization has office politics. Even the ones that officially despise them and proclaim “we have no office politics here” have some level of office politics.

Maybe office politics is too strongly negative of a term. Another way to look at it is Chief Relationship Officer. Politics consider relationships to get done what somebody needs to get done.

Here is draft 1 of the proposed job description:

We are looking for a Chief Office Politics Officer who will help us transform forward while helping people play to their strengths. Interestingly, we are not looking for somebody with 20 years of traditional office politics experience. We don’t want that. But we do need somebody who understands office politics, maneuvers them quickly and uses them to move the organization forward toward our stated goals.

To be successful, you need to be:

  • Perceptive
  • A great communicator
  • Well-liked
  • A doer
  • Around – no hiding in the fancy office all day
  • Able to build relationships and help others improve theirs

And:

  • Understand the goals
  • Believe in the goals

This opening is a bit of a shift from my thinking years ago. On a particularly good day, I was able to do my job and even celebrated that I was able to avoid office politicking.

But here’s the thing. To make the largest impact with our content marketing and authentic storytelling strategies, we always need to work with others – and that includes playing the game of office politics.

And that game doesn’t have to be mean spirited. Sometimes – oftentimes – it’s just about different kinds of people working together. They have different communication styles, different speeds and also different strengths.

That’s important to remember. Just as it’s important to remember that not being aware of internal (and external) relationships can kill projects.

Sometimes organizations forget about internal relationships. I once asked an executive why she talked a certain way to other internal departments and another – much nicer – way to external stakeholders.

“Oh, these are just internal communications,” she said.

But they are people. And just because they are internal doesn’t mean they are guaranteed to stick with you. They may not, if that’s how they are treated.

The Chief Office Politics Officer will be responsible to call out these kind of unnecessary behaviors and will help people (not called “resources” here) improve in a way that we can grow together.

Relationships can be complicated, and while everyone should own theirs, this role will help our company move forward.

Disclaimer blah blah: I’m not actually taking applications right now, but I hope this inspires you to acknowledge that office politics and interpersonal relationships are important in content marketing. Make them work for you and the project. #nostopping 


Christoph

Christoph blogs on The Authentic Storytelling Project and is a globally recognized content marketing expert. The IMA named him Internet Marketer of the Year in 2015. He works with healthcare organizations and other brands around the globe.

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