Part of the series, “What the CEO Needs to Do to Ensure Chief Customer Officer Success.” (3 of 8)
The functional vice presidents who will be working with the CCO must be part of the interview loop and decide if this is the right person. I have personally experienced the power of this approach. During the interview process for one of my positions, the CEO required every vice president to conduct an interview and he also required consensus on the hiring decision. These officers took ownership that I was their hire, which also ensured that the position was a success. They made the collective decision to bring me in.
After initiating the CCO job, it’s important to establish the working relationship between the company leadership and the CCO.
- Define the process the two of you will use for driving change throughout the organization.
- Agree with the other leaders how their organizations will participate with you. (It is a good idea to define how each operational area contributes to the mission and what the metrics are that they will be accountable for.)
- Have each operational area commit to assigning at least one person inside the organization who will be the point person for driving the work.
- Get consensus from the leaders that the CCO has the authority to have a working relationship with these participants. In this way, the CCO is facilitating real change at the operational level rather than pontificating constantly into the air and hoping that something happens.
To make this stick, you’ll need to think through recognition for these newly developed ad hoc teams. Since they do not follow the regular organizational structure, it will be important to determine what the team reward should be cross-functionally for making progress.