by Kat Rosenfield
Thursday, 25
March 2021
Reaction
11:30

All hail the Prince of Woke Capital

Harry's new job as 'Chief Impact Officer' is appropriately superficial
by Kat Rosenfield
Trading one appearance based role for the next. Credit: Getty

Ever since Megxit saw the Sussexes walk away from the monarchy and reemerge across the Atlantic as private citizens, questions have abounded as to what the artist formerly known as Prince Harry might end up doing now that he’d been relieved of his royal duties. But now, we need wonder no more! Harry has been hired as the Chief Impact Officer for a U.S.-based coaching firm called BetterUp.

Oddly enough, Chief Impact Officer is one corporate position for which Harry is pretty well-qualified — a feat for a guy who has not so much as one single day of what a normal person might call “work experience” on his CV. The Chief Impact Officer is part spokesperson, part actuary, part reputation manager; his job is to make sure the company is doing good, not just doing well.

As noted by the BBC, it’s also a position that is less common in the corporate world. “Impact,” in this parlance, used to be more the concern of not-for-profit enterprises, for whom success has always been measured by other than financial means. But for the business world, and particularly on the west-coast where the whole-self, holistic-minded coaching industry promises not just improvement but transformation, social justice is increasingly a corporate concern. This is, after all, the era of woke capitalism. When every product from breakfast cereal to video games is expected to signal its alignment with a certain set of causes, simply running a profitable business doesn’t cut it anymore.

In a 2019 post on LinkedIn Pulse, businessman Thomas Bourne presciently noted that Chief Impact Officers would be the “next big thing in corporate C-suite recruitment” — and that “Impact” would replace “Sustainability” as the new buzzword. Companies used to demonstrate their rightsidedness by making clear they were thinking green, but modern consumers — and, more importantly, modern investors — want them to think bigger. Demonstrating social awareness is at least as important as saving the planet.

In this way, the Chief Impact Officer is very much a product of our particular moment, when an outspoken commitment to social progress is just part of the cost of doing business. It’s not dissimilar from the recent move by NASDAQ to delist companies that don’t meet certain diversity standards, a policy that will serve to make boardrooms superficially more colourful while still perpetuating all sorts of gross inequality further down the ladder. The goal is to signal one’s values without having to give up anything one, well, values, and the most desirable solution changes very little except appearances. Meanwhile, a company can keep on raking in cash hand over fist, engaging in corner-cutting and exploitative labor practices, as long as it looks like they care.

And Harry’s presence at BetterUp is, it must be said, a very good look. The company can be seen to care deeply about doing good in the world — and Harry can be seen as the son of the Crown who renounced his privilege to make a difference. It couldn’t be a better fit for a man who is experienced, above all, at keeping up appearances.

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Richard Martin
Richard Martin
1 year ago

I’d like to say… Stop kicking the kid when he’s down.
After all, now the poor fellow has to listen to Meghan’s whines over breakfast, and then set off for the empty la la land of his new non-job.
However, far more seriously, the wokeist agenda of so many, particularly across academia and the arts and politics, is having a serious effect on free speech and even our sense of our own history, and (hence) who we are.
Everyone is being reduced to either an unworthy supremacist incapable of redemption or a a victim incapable of self-progress.
So, if making fun of the the ghastly Sussexes helps in any way with turning back the wokeist tide… Then let’s keep up the ridicule!

Last edited 1 year ago by Richard Martin
Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Martin

I have to say that this is an extremely good well-balanced comment and much better than the simple anger which appears regularly on UnHerd.
I really don’t like royalty and would prefer a president. I have been known (on a bad day) to say that they should all be shot. But since we have them we have to live with them.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Live with them? You think they’d let me into Balmoral or Sandringham, even if I wanted to? Or they’d like to live the way half their subjects do?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

You think a President would let you into their house of residence either?

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

You mean like the White House? Yes. You can tour the White House. Because it doesn’t belong to the President. It belongs to the nation,

J A Thompson
J A Thompson
1 year ago

You can tour Buck House and |Windsor, if you are so inclined!

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

With a couple of obvious exceptions, HM and family live a much more ascetic and frugal life than half their subjects.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

I don’t see much anger on Unherd which is what makes it worthwhile. If you want anger, just head on over to the Guardian, of course, you won’t be able to disagree with any of the articles or you’ll risk being banned.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
1 year ago

The Guardian is engaged in a struggle (of course) to decide whether it is the left-wing version of Breitbart, or The Onion of wokeism.

David Bell
David Bell
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Your closing paragraph appears to illustrate the “simple anger” that you berate in the first.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Because elected presidents around the world have been such a success!

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Martin

There’s nothing wrong with a company paying to have the cachet of a prince on staff but they won’t do it long because it won’t translate to increased sales or revenue. Very few businesspeople are going to say, oh they have Harry now, gee let’s sign a couple of deals with them. This is window dressing.
Harry needs to leverage what he has now. Should the Queen start removing titles, who is going to pay him anything to do anything?

Last edited 1 year ago by Annette Kralendijk
Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
1 year ago

Read through BetterUp’s page on Harry’s appointment (https://www.betterup.com/en-us/resources/blog/prince-harry-chief-impact-officer) and was more or less following the drift until…
“As BetterUp’s first Chief Impact Officer, my goal is to lift up critical dialogues around mental health, build supportive and compassionate communities, and foster an environment for honest and vulnerable conversations.”
Most of this buzzword-soaked drivel goes right over my head. What is a critical dialogue exactly? And how would you “lift one up”? Are they heavy? Would “lifting up” such a dialogue do your back in or your head? Answers on a postcard.
“Fostering an environment for honest and vulnerable conversations” sounds suspiciously like another whiny Oprah interview. Batten down the hatches…

Last edited 1 year ago by Katharine Eyre
David Morley
David Morley
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

What is a critical dialogue exactly?

imagine a critical dialogue – then take away the critical and the dialogue!

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
1 year ago
Reply to  David Morley

Important talking I’d imagine, you know no dribble or mumbling. Unless you’re diverse then you could say anything you want.

David Platzer
David Platzer
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

That is the way they talk in California.

Gerald gwarcuri
Gerald gwarcuri
1 year ago
Reply to  David Platzer

I’ve lived in California for 55 years. It used to be a wonderful place to live, and think. Not only has California gone utterly tilt, they actually believe in this nonsense. As in, true believers.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

You’re not supposed to understand it. You’re meant to be suitably impressed.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

I’m not.

Bertie B
Bertie B
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Let me translate for you:
“As BetterUp has never employed anyone in my role before I am making up the position as I go. My initial thinking is that we need to talk about mental health, be supportive by categorising people into ‘communities’ and encourage people to air their problems in a public forum, so we can better rank each others victim status”

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

The guy worked with disabled soldiers – young men who were destroyed physically, or mentally, by a violent disaster. He could look these wretched people in the eye and showed brotherhood and compassion – could many do that?

“”— a feat for a guy who has not so much as one single day of what a normal person might call “work experience” on his CV.””

The writer is ‘Projecting’ there – Soldiering is an Honorable profession, even Christ said that, and it is hard work needing great diligence and team bonding, loyalty, 100% dedication when the chips are down, hard work, years of training….. Harry was a professional Solider!

I wonder what ‘Kat’ can put as her ‘normal work experience’. I am a professional tradesman who uses tools and materials to build necessary infrastructure in very hard conditions, with injury and danger and discomfort – I wonder if she can say that. I wonder if I would call what she does ‘Work’?

Last edited 1 year ago by Galeti Tavas
Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
1 year ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

He could look these wretched people in the eye
Thank you for reminding me of that!

Alex Delszsen
Alex Delszsen
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

You missed his quote about wanting to help those who feel stigmatized at their woke, victim-mentality-leads-the-way corporations—presumably also those who leave their workers without financial resources, such as at Google and Facebook:
“Often because of societal barriers, financial difficulty, or stigma, too many people aren’t able to focus on their mental health until they’re forced to. I want us to move away from the idea that you have to feel broken before reaching out for help.”
Atta boy, Harry, there you go with your social advocacy! Start with the people in financial difficulty and the worst societal barriers!

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

If Harry can lift up critical dialogues around mental health you have to ask why couldn’t he get his wife some help when she was having mental health issues? He seems like a stunningly ill equipped choice for this task considering that he did not do so.
In any case, this is a figurehead type job. They will trot him out for media attention or really any kind of attention, not because he is qualified in any way. He is a curiosity, at least in the US.

Gerald gwarcuri
Gerald gwarcuri
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

As in, “Lord Batten down the hatches!”

Simon Sharp
Simon Sharp
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

What is a critical dialogue exactly?
critical theory – the source code of all the radical left dogma and identity politics. That phrase peeking up through all that word salad clues you into what the real ideology is.
CT is where you take any phenomenon in society – assume a priori that it is filled with ‘structural racism and sexism’ and then proceed to look for evidence of what you were expecting to find
– and then use this is try to ‘dismantle’ this oppressive structure enough so that some utopian new dawn can finally shine through.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
1 year ago

Heaven knows I’m no Royalist and I’m no fan of the self promoting fake social justice wokery. But ‘not so much as one single day of what a normal person might call “work experience” on his CV.’? Didn’t he join the army, train as an Apache pilot and do a tour of duty in Afghanistan?

I don’t know the full ins and outs of his military career, how much was for the cameras, how much he was protected etc. But I’m going to wager than passing Officer training and learning to fly and operate an Apache helicopter is non trivial.

Last edited 1 year ago by LUKE LOZE
GA Woolley
GA Woolley
1 year ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

Look, Rosenfeld is a freelance pop culture journalist, so knows all about non-jobs. Facts? Not so much.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
1 year ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

I’ve known plenty of ex-soldiers who had trouble finding civilian jobs. Not only do prospective employers ask in vain about ‘actual’ work experience, but the ex-soldiers find the whole civilian work ethos alien.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

What is ‘actual’ work though? The scope is huge.

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Not many employers require helicopter pilots I suppose

Tony Gerrard
Tony Gerrard
1 year ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

Harry certainly did see active service in Afghanistan, and was exposed to mortal danger. Whatever you think of him now, he’s shown courage and bravery and deserves respect for that.

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Gerrard

He’s blind to the mortal danger he’s exposed himself to since marrying madam M

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Gerrard

Not just that, he also showed an ability and dedication to learn high level skills. For his own safety and others he wouldn’t have been allowed anywhere near an Apache or the front line if he wasn’t capable.

Now I would points out that 100,000s/milliions of others have also served with distinction and been treated poorly afterwards – but that’s a different subject.

Elaine Hunt
Elaine Hunt
1 year ago

‘Renounced his privilege.’ Eh? One of the wife’s major gripes is that Archie’s only an Earl, rather than a Prince.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
1 year ago
Reply to  Elaine Hunt

Not to mention his whines that his family had decided that a 36 year old was old enough to fend for himself especially as he had decided to stop working for the family Firm.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
1 year ago

Yes, how many people would like to tell their employer I don’t want to work here any longer but I’d like for you to continue to pay me?

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
1 year ago

He’s just a “token” appointee like that of Nick Clegg at Facebook.
What a screwed up society we live in.
It would take a brave man to bet against Justin Welby (Archbishop of Canterbury) turning up at Amazon next year.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian Barton
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Would he be available on Prime

Neil Cheshire
Neil Cheshire
1 year ago

The Primate of prime?

Neil Papadeli
Neil Papadeli
1 year ago

Ahh, trust and discretion. Perfect fit for his new role and life.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 year ago

The company can be seen to care deeply about doing good in the world 
Pretty much. Activity disguised as action. Much like the self-serving statements from CEOs in response to certain events, but only certain ones. There were a lot of those after the shooting incident in Atlanta, none after the one in Boulder.

Alex Delszsen
Alex Delszsen
1 year ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Come on, man. This is just mutual support nepotism amongst the wealthy and connected. When they do well, we feel good!

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
1 year ago

Harry has shown himself to be somewhat easily led, a bit thick, and an actual enemy of his own family and country, in order to please his wannabe A-lister wife and be a big cheese in Wokefornia. Makes me want to vomit frankly..

Benedict Waterson
Benedict Waterson
1 year ago

Looks like an important high flying businessman in that photo. Taking a call on the telephone

David Fitzsimons
David Fitzsimons
1 year ago

You know that’s been photoshopped right?

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
1 year ago

He wouldn’t really wear those trendy bangles round his wrist.

Bertie B
Bertie B
1 year ago

The guy in the background doesn’t look too impressed!

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
1 year ago

Its the missus on the blower telling him to get milk on the way home and not to be late as she’s out with the girls at 6. Girls being girls and those who say they’re girls that is

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew Thompson
Cho Jinn
Cho Jinn
1 year ago

“Harry, half pepperoni, half sausage, breadsticks, with a two-liter of Diet Coke, thanks.”

George Glashan
George Glashan
1 year ago

“Hello Sir, I’m calling to confirm if you’ve been in any car accidents?”

jonathan carter-meggs
jonathan carter-meggs
1 year ago

Woke employment is allowing expensive and inefficient bureaucracy into the board room. Even if you think it is a good idea it will result in an increase in the cost of business that will fall on consumers. Every impact will require a solution and those will come at a price.

George Glashan
George Glashan
1 year ago

i think of it a wee bit differently, the woke bureaucracy is more like a tax on businesses that engage in it. they do it because they can already afford to, they have a surplus because they were already giving poor value to their customers, because they didn’t need to deliver value. That’s why its prevalent in places and industries, that are subsidised or oligarchy like the tech giants. But i take your point the more it spreads to customer sensitive businesses eventually it will create more costs which will be felt .

Gerald gwarcuri
Gerald gwarcuri
1 year ago

Only in an effete, self-absorbed, narcissistic and affluent culture, disconnected from reality, could a person ever hope to make a living as a “Chief Impact Officer”. Let’s all wish the Prince the best as he attempts to be – in the modern usage – “impactful”. Sheesh.

Jeff Evans
Jeff Evans
1 year ago

Chief Impact Officer – should a a job for a Formula 1 driver.

davidbuckingham7
davidbuckingham7
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Evans

Chief Impact Officer. One rare breed joining another rare breed. CIO. Offer Harry couldn’t refuse. See I owe something to the world.

George Bruce
George Bruce
1 year ago

 part spokesperson, part actuary, part reputation manager

I am not an actuary, but I have a rough idea what they do. How did that get in there? I presume it is some kind of error?

Gerald gwarcuri
Gerald gwarcuri
1 year ago
Reply to  George Bruce

I think they meant “part action figure”.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
1 year ago
Reply to  George Bruce

Quite. I did wonder what on Earth that role description was doing in there. It cannot possibly be right.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
1 year ago

It is worth remembering why people like me – an ardent republican (not in the US party sense) and democrat (not in the US party sense) are comfortable supporting the monarchy and the Lords.
The Monarchy represents a symbol, a personification and ritualization of the constitutional arrangements of the country. It must not be political; it must only represent enduring values and institutions of worth. This is perhaps the key point that the idiot Markle either wasn’t told or failed to grasp.
She appeared to imagine that because she was pretty enough to bed a member of the royal family, the entire country would welcome her bloviations.
(The Lords are different – an appointed second house – assures some competence in the system, in a way that the Commons has no such guarantee of).
The Sussex fiasco is a deeply damaging blurring of the boundaries of what the British monarchy is. Harry and his harridan should be cut off completely from all connection to the royal family, including all titles and any place in the succession.

Last edited 1 year ago by Joe Blow
JR Stoker
JR Stoker
1 year ago

The first time I read of HRH’s new job I thought it was with Buttercup, which seemed so right. Now I feel let down, or I suppose his missus would say, “negatively impacted “

Alex Delszsen
Alex Delszsen
1 year ago

Quote from CIO Harry: “Often because of societal barriers, financial difficulty, or stigma, too many people aren’t able to focus on their mental health until they’re forced to. I want us to move away from the idea that you have to feel broken before reaching out for help.”
There is his social agenda, helping those whose woke bosses stigmatize mental health issues and keep their workers in financial difficulty, at such corporations as Google, Facebook and others.
Yes, help those “too many people” who are hurting, without resources, even with free lunches, snacks, gyms at work…Go Harry. You help the little people! Fight for change!

Paul Blakemore
Paul Blakemore
1 year ago

I want to know more about Harry’s job: what are his working hours; how much holiday does he get a year; how much is he paid? (I think I can guess the answers).

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
1 year ago

.

Last edited 1 year ago by Joe Blow