Part of the series, “What the CEO Needs to Do to Ensure Chief Customer Officer Success.” (6 of 8)
Whoever takes on the Chief Customer Officer role must believe in his or her personal strength and ability to be successful.
That will make this person by nature an independent thinker, someone who will take the ball and run with it. But even the most clearly focused CCO will need to huddle regularly to work through the people and politics of this work.
What the CCO needs most is someone at the highest levels to collaborate with who is willing to step in and course-correct the action when it stalls. And it will stall. That’s a built-in component to any work that challenges the status quo, which is what this position is meant to do.
This partnership will become the cornerstone for achieving the optimum benefit from your investment in a CCO. When the collaboration is optimized, this partnership will create a nimble and realistic approach to changing the organization. The organization will see that this is not a program that will fade away like the others they’ve seen.
This partnership is also critical to feed the CCO’s vigor for driving the customer experience action. It will boost the CCO’s perseverance and fortify him or her to keep moving forward. With this strong partnership will come a real understanding and appreciation by the senior executive of what it takes to move the work ahead and the level of effort the CCO is putting forth. This becomes supremely important at review time.
However, a CCO who is forced to navigate this work alone will wear out over time as the isolation of the job mounts. An absent executive sponsor who is there just to sign checks and see the pitch meetings isn’t going to have the level of understanding to be able to advance or rate the work. It takes such a strong internal push for people in these positions to stay singularly focused on this work.
Motivate the motivator by providing this air cover that he or she must have from you to get the job done.