It used to mean something to have a few letters after your name on your business card or your office door. It still does, but those initials are changing. Even the initials that remain take on new meaning as the face of companies and businesses change.

If the way we do things and, in fact, the job itself changes, then so will the job titles. As the job titles change or adapt to the new methods, it follows that the names of the jobs will change, adapt or become obsolete.

C Suite

The term C-suite comes from the level of upper management. It usually refers to the ‘Chief’ of something within the ranks of executives. Chief of Staff, Chief of Finance and so on. They are widely used terms and familiar to almost everyone.

It signifies hard work and advancement through the levels of the company and meant to mean achievement. It also comes with plenty of expectations, such as management at the C level which can be anything from operations to technology.

But many companies are changing the name game.

Titles are not so important any longer and many people no longer feel the need to strive for them. It used to be a power situation. Now, it’s more of a situation.

The Power of Letters

There was a time when it meant something to have a series of letters after your name. MD, CEO, Pres, and so on. But, many companies are changing the way these titles are used. Many feel it creates a divide among employees and that the terms are mostly meaningless.

While the titles and the acronyms still exist for dealing with customers and people outside of the company, they have either been dropped or changed to something more fun and more current.

The Holacracy Way

Incorporating the method of holacracy (most notably know from Zappos) into a company doesn’t completely eliminate the titles. Many still retain the title outside of the workspace for a meeting, financial dealings and other business functions.

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People also still have to report to someone within the company to ensure the jobs are being done. But there are less higher echelons and massive wage discrepancies and the work is more divided.

This also means that everyone has input, but not necessarily final say. You couldn’t just fire someone but you would be welcome to give opinions on issues that concern yourself, the staff and the company at large.

The Changing Face of C-Suite

While these titles do still exist, even if not in the workplace, many companies have taken a different spin on them. Here are a few.

●    CEO – Chief Energy Officer

●    CYO – Chief Yoga Officer

●    CFO – Chief Fun Officer

●    CHO – Chief Heart Officer

●    CLO – Chief Lounging Officer

●    CMO – Chief Mindfulness Officer

●    CDO – Chief Disruption Officer

●    CPO – Chief People Officer

●    CFRO – Chief Freelance Relationship Officer

●    CEO – Chief Ecosystem Officer

●    COO – Chief Offsite Officer

●    CMO – Chief Morale Officer

Many companies simply make up their own acronyms and fun titles or change the existing ones. It doesn’t mean the job changes, it means that everyone takes on more responsibility.

When everyone has a hand in many different jobs it makes for a better, more well-rounded company. Spreading the work out also means that everyone had a far better understanding of how things work.

If someone is absent or leaves the company, then it’s not such a problem as many people will be more than qualified to fill in the spot and make sure the work gets done.

It’s Not Just a Phase

These acronyms and the changing of job titles and descriptions are here to stay. The workplace is changing, the work is changing and it makes sense the titles and responsibilities change.

These changes are not just a trend, but a positive turn in a new direction. Why not have a chief officer of fun? Perhaps it’s their duty to plan staff events, keep track of everyone’s birthday and plan monthly potluck lunches.

These types of small gestures make a huge difference. They bring people closer together, they help staff bond and make people happy. Happy staff means a happy workplace and that positive vibe means productivity and a healthier culture.

To Sum It All Up

With the changing of the titles and what they mean, it brings everything around to a new level and playing field. When you transform the higher manager positions and titles, you open the door for other positions that are more suitable for today’s workplace and your companies culture.

Soon it may be completely normal to have a CTO, Chief Taco Officer or CPO, Chief Picnic Officer.

When the company culture changes, so does the way the work is done, the people who do it and their titles. Many older titles can divide the workforce and there is no reason to do so. It’s meant to be a team. Just ask your new CEO, Chief Elevation Officer.

The Floor Is Yours: Are titles on the way out in the corporate workplace & What title would you give yourself?

*Would love to hear from Recruiters*

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Joshua Miller is a Master Certified Executive Coach, creative leader and bestselling author. His career spans both the advertising world and the world of leadership. In advertising, he was the creative lead, responsible for the campaign strategy for Fortune 100 brands. Today, he is an innovator, supporting the executive development and change management for many of the same companies.

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