This article — “The Case For The Chief (Employee) Experience Officer” — was written by a young man. You can tell it was written by a young man because he believes the way to remedy the stultifying, aliening effects of bureaucracy is to create more bureaucracy:

As organizations continue to add titles to fill the crowded C-suite to account for an expanded set of stakeholders, there is one perspective that is woefully under-represented: employees. As the conversation about the employee experience balloons, the time has come to harness that hot air. Why not add a Chief Employee Experience Officer to give employees a voice? Since the CEO and the CXO are already taken, let’s call them the CxO [emphasis his] – the lower-case “x” to account for experiences large and small.

First, let’s dispense with the questions at the tip of this illogical iceberg. Please feel free to answer them as you see fit … if you can:

  • What comprises the expanded set of stakeholders?
  • Are all people with perspectives stakeholders?
  • Is the conversation about the employee experience the hot air that needs to be harnessed? Is hot air all it is?
  • If it’s just hot air, what’s the need for the CxO?
  • Why don’t employees have a voice without a CxO?

It’s an old trap. You don’t have to look any farther than governments or corporations to find its victims.

Complex is as Complex Does

A boy and his guitar … and no girl

I’m not an organizational consultant. I don’t play one on TV. I don’t even pretend to be one to try to get girls. (I tried playing guitar when I was younger because everybody told me it was a good way to get girls. That didn’t work, either. All I got was exhaustion, blisters on my fingers, and tinnitus.) But I do know this: Organizations don’t need CxOs. They don’t need bigger C-suites. They don’t need additional layers of bureaucracy. They need real leaders.

They need leaders with with strategic, contagious visions, with the ability to clearly and persuasively articulate those visions, with the savvy to hire managers who will enthusiastically cascade those visions throughout their organizations constantly and consistently and get out of the way, with the courage to hire employees who will fulfill their leaders’ visions willingly and loyally if they’re given half a chance — if they’re told what has to be done, not how to do it, and if they’re recognized and rewarded for doing so.

Most important, they don’t need complexity. Complexity is the best friend of bureaucracy. And the objective of every bureaucracy is to grow and sustain itself.

If we ever see a CxO, this will be the score: Titles and Bureaucracy: 3,467,951. Language and Common Sense: 0.

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