Oh, no. Here we go again.

If there’s a bandwagon anywhere in the vicinity, you can be sure Homer Business Review (HBR) will be jumping on it. And if that bandwagon has anything to with the plugging, promoting, or propagating of bureaucracy, you know HBR will be among the first aboard. So, having seen this, we should know the precedent has been set for this: “Why Every Company Needs a Chief Experience Officer”.

And we shouldn’t be surprised that the Will Rogers of bureaucracy (“I never met a bureaucracy I didn’t like”) should see fit to publish this:

Customer experience [CX] and employee experience [EX] are now two of the driving forces of business … Companies should consider integrating the two disciplines and installing a Chief Experience Officer to lead the combined effort across the entire organization.

If HBR were still published for an audience of competent adults (it isn’t), the editors would likely have noted that any conscientious organization, the bureaucracy of which hadn’t yet reached the point of unmanageable self-perpetuation, wouldn’t need to lead an effort across the entire organization. Rather, it would have constituted the organization on the reality that without happy customers — and without employees who are happy to serve them — there wouldn’t be any organization. And it would have instituted that reality from the top down and from the bottom up.

By the Book

Believe it or not, you’ll find the passage below cited in the manual, How to Tell If an Organization is Dysfunctional and In the Tank For Bureaucracy:

CX has become the new marketing. It influences brand perceptions and impacts business performance just as strongly as traditional marketing such as media advertising and price promotions once did … 76% of executives say improving CX is a high or critical priority and many companies have established a C-level position to oversee it.

Aside from the fact that CX has NOT become the new marketing — every organization that offers a product or service it actually cares about has the brains, the vision, and the organizational discipline to stand behind it — here are the requisite translations of that claptrap:

  1. Marketing, advertising, and price promotions weren’t paid off with brand-worthy products, services, or customer care.
  2. 76% of executives would rather add to the C-suite than to offer products or services they actually care about; to institutionalize the brains, the vision, and the organizational discipline to stand behind them; or to make their organizations more responsive to their customers.

Every organization founded without the experience to know it has to be responsive to and respectful of its employees and its customers will fail at a rate directly proportional to its increase in size.

Bureaucracy is no substitute for experience.