Next Hot Job: Chief Humanizing Officer

Part II….more reflections from the IABC/Tod Maffin event in Toronto. (Note: this is the second part of a two-part post. Scroll down for previous post). 

Aside from all the cool insight Tod shared about social media and the latest-greatest tech in this realm, he also devoted part of his presentation to the topic of technology as it relates to the impact on our lives (work and personal).  He talked about work stress; lack of balance; addiction to our technology – and more. Rather than the tech serving us, we serve it. In some way we have become slaves (to our Blackberries; email; etc.). It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

 We as ‘workers’ have become almost a little dehumanized as we become more addicted to ”busy-ness”. Despite the efficiency tech offers, we all end up simply working harder, working longer – and constantly being pushed (by our employers, clients and even ourselves) to do more. In some ways, our work is distancing us from our humanity – or certainly shifting it to some odd degrees.

 How to bring some humanity back into our work lives (and stop the insanity!)? Well, almost in passing, Tod fleetingly mentioned the notion that corporations and workplaces in Canada should assign a new role within leadership. One that has the title: Chief Humanizing Offer (“CHO”).

Whaddya think?

Personally I love it! In fact, my first question is where do I apply?!

 As a coach specializing in that whole work-life engagement equation  (TGIM – Monday through Sunday) , this idea is music to my ears.  Workplaces — employers and employees alike could do well by reconnecting to more soul and human-ness at work. This is a conversaton about a lot of things: about authenticity, work-life balance; purpose within larger context of contribution; and really so much more.

Of course, there are many wonderful workplaces that are already on to this – in big ways and smaller ways.  It’s not a brand new concept. Unfortunately though – the statistics show that not enough are doing enough. Stress is still a major headline.

Those organizations that do connect on that level tend to be more successful in the longterm with happier and – yes – more productive and innovative employees. There is an ROI to creating a more humanizing work culture.

Let’s get our imagination going on this. If there was such a job, what would that job description look like? Wanna play? I’ll start with a few points but you must join in and add to them (please!)


Skills, competencies, responsibilities:

  • Must have high level of emotional intelligence and be able to demonstrate respect, empathy, compassion and appreciation for its people and all its stakeholders.
  • Must have commitment for wellbeing of its internal assets (its people).
  • Must have sense of social responsibility – and be effective in articulating and demonstrating a meaningful purpose for its people (why the work they do makes a difference in the world…or at least within a particular community).
  • Must demonstrate ability to balance the organization’s commitment to both leveraging “talent” (its people) and developing its talent (in mutually satisfying terms).
  • Must foster collaborative and coaching culture– to bring the best out of its people; to co-create more meaningful work experiences and to foster stronger community internally.
  • Champions a values-based culture that respects, grows, appreciates its people and the environments and communities it participates in and/or serves
  • Accountable for ensuring values are reflected in company’s actions throughout all levels of leadership and overall workforce.
  • Yada, yada, now your turn….pls add…..(this was a quick stab — I’m sure we can do better…help me write this ad….)

Distinction: These competencies and duties are already part of many roles that already exist in many workplaces……and they don’t necessarily belong to one individual….i.e. wouldn’t it be nice if all leadership and employees shared in this directives?

But hey – there’s no denying that this focus must be championed and supported at the most senior-levels first….for it to even have a chance of being honoured throughout the company.

Sometimes naming things (or people with fancy titles)  distinguishes the commitmnet more fully.  Today there are senior roles with titles reflecting commitments to “diversity”; “talent management”; “Performance” – etc. Why can’t we have one that declares “Humanization” as a focus.

Tod – you are on to something!

Does anyone out there know of an organization that already has done this in some way? If so, please share!

Back to home page on TGIMworklife

5 Responses to “Next Hot Job: Chief Humanizing Officer”

  1. Eric Eggertson Says:

    Eileen: Interesting idea. Given what I’ve read about Google’s workplace, it sounds like someone has taken a stab at some of those issues. Not sure that they have an actual person who lives and breathes, it. I wouldn’t be surprised if at least one person has devoted themselves to keeping the workplace more livable.

  2. Eric Eggertson Says:

    P.S. – The info in the right margin on the home page would be useful to have on other pages on this site. If someone isn’t familiar with the convention of clicking on the top banner to get to the home page, they wouldn’t know there are any other pages to visit, including the About page.

  3. Eileen Chadnick Says:

    Eric thanks for this!

    1) Wrt to your first comment – yes, I agree. Lots of people doing great things on this front….it’s all wrapped into the ‘talent management’ and ’employee engagement’ agenda which is latest greatest in HR/biz strategy these days. But I do like the idea of someone at SR level ultimately responsible and accountable.

    2) Wrt to your tip re: right margin….that’s a good idea. I have no clue how to do that….working with a WordPress template…but will look into that. Tnx.

    3) Love your blog! Had quick glance and absatively enjoyed the ‘Corporate Blanding’ tips. Right on the money with that. And I confess, I do have some of those bad habits that I’m trying to break…e.g. addiction to ppt (arrgh…) and as you can see, I can be a little on the wordy side. Sigh. But hey – we are all works in progress, right? Keep on blogging and so glad you got in touch.


  4. Eric Eggertson Says:

    I know what you’re saying about PowerPoint.

    I took a course on strategy and communications with Joe Williams, and he said one day that newsletters were one of his favourite tools. Knowing his natural inclination towards a newsletter, he insists on only choosing a newsletter as a solution if all the other options don’t make sense. It’s not a bad discipline to try: challenge yourself to find something that’s even better than your first choice for a communications tool.

  5. Eileen Chadnick Says:

    Great tip! Thanks Eric!

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