Why Every Company Could Use a Chief Corporate Philosopher

Why a Chief Corporate Philosophy Officer Is a Great Idea, But Not So Popular


chief philosopher officer
Photo by Mike Gorrell on Unsplash
Forbes ran an article back in 2018 about why every board needs a Chief Philosophy Officer. The Big Think says it's important to hire philosophers. Roger Steare has actually set up a consulting business called The Corporate Philosopher. It's all about examining issues, which is a cornerstone of innovations, and interestingly enough, ethics (two often opposing forces)

Back in college I was a philosophy minor. I would have actually majored in philosophy had my university offered such a major. I took every course I could and found it in every way profound, illuminating, and absolutely delightful. Not to say that there wasn't a deep discomfort with how philosophy works, and while it is exciting to explore, analyze, and investigate ideas, a lot of internal conflict arises with this process. This is because the science of philosophy questions everything. And that is a very uncomfortable thing to do especially when traditions rule.

Elon Musk As Chief Philosophy Officer


In opinion the reason, Tesla is doing so well is because they take a philosophical approach to learning and problem solving. They question everything. Take Musk's 1st principle of learning, which is seemingly a simple invention of solving a problem with out looking at, or being overly influenced by precedent solutions. However philosophy calls into question everything and and in that way burns it all down. There are no sacred cows in philosophy.

Questioning Things Doesn't Feel Good For Business, But...Should

A chief philosophy officer would the one that goes around questioning. We know how people don't like being questioned, right! Myself included. Oh, you do? Want to volunteer for a little police interrogation and see how the face produces those tell tale bullets of sweat.

 A chief philosophy officer would be are quite a dangerous role because you know what happens to people who question things. There is the caveat in crime circles and the mafia of don't ask too many questions. Even the messenger doesn't even ask questions and was typically killed, spawning the saying don't kill the messenger. And we all know what happened to the famous Socrates when he asked too many questions. Hemlock (the plant, not the tree) He was looked at as a total nuisance to society. So while a chief philosophy officer sounds very cool (almost Lebowskiesque - aka The Dude) thing to be, sitting back leisurely in a leather wing back asking questions to those sitting before him or her in the hot seat, squirming and sweating.

Why There Are No Chief Philosophy Officers 


When they leave for the shadows, they will of course plot against that meddling (yes, Scooby Doo reference there) chief philosophy officer. This is probably why there are no chief philosophy officers in any significant volume thriving within fortune 500 companies. Another reason why there are no chief philosophy officers as because philosophy is also interested and exploring and establishing ethics. And ethics as a way of slowing or stalling business and innovation like nothing else. And it doesn't always solve the problem, causing a backfire effect in some cases.

What are your thoughts on the matter?






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