The rise of the chief culture officer

Fortune

FORTUNE — Read any management how-to, and it will talk about the sanctity of a company’s culture. Culture, you could argue, drives everything a business does — it’s successes and its slip-ups. Cracks in an otherwise sound culture can lead to big, expensive mistakes, much of which we have recently seen in the financial industry.

But a company’s culture changes constantly, which makes it a challenge for companies trying to define it and make sure it’s progressing the way they want. More and more, companies are trying to figure out how to do this, says Ken Oehler, a senior vice president at consulting firm Aon Hewitt. “There’s been a resurgence from our clients, certainly an elevation of importance of culture to the CEO level during the recession and post recession.” Many companies, Oehler says, are seeing that “macroeconomic pressures have created a dysfunctional culture, one that is not supporting…

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