The CEO - The highest level support employee

James Dodkins

Many organizations in the 21st century are realizing that the traditional pyramid organization structure is holding them back, it was first conceived over 200 years ago for a very different age, it was designed to control manufacturing process, not support service process. These organizations are understanding that no matter what industry you are in, you fall into one of three categories. You are either a customer an employee or a support employee. These companies are striving to align all tasks and activities towards the delivery of Successful Customer Outcomes, therefore if you are an employee, no matter where you are in the business, your job is the same as all other employees: to deliver Successful Customer Outcomes.

Take a long term view of operational excellence

The more advanced companies in the 21st century, rather that organizing by department, are organizing by outcome and creating teams with different specialisms to work together to better serve thier customers. You need to ask the question however, in this new world with only 3 categories in business, customer, employee or support employee, where does the CEO fit? Well, the CEO now becomes a support employee, there to make everyone else's work run as smoothly as possible. All of a sudden the CEO finds them self at the bottom of the pack, less important than the customer facing staff who are delivering the organization's customer experience day in day out, the most important part of any business.

Because of this, some CEO's are now extracting them self from the process as they can clearly see that in the new advanced world they are not contributing very much if anything towards customer success. Some are being extracted against their will. Really ask your self the question and answer as honestly as you can "How much is my CEO contributing to customer success?" and you will see the rationale behind this monumental shift in mindsets.

The main challenges are from people who quickly get exposed as redundant in terms of delivering customer success, turkey's don't vote for thanksgiving. Systems and procedures are also a challenge to traverse because they have all been created to work within traditional Industrial Age structures and struggle to cope with this new radical way of working.

The main benefit is the empowerment of employees to make decisions on behalf of the organization making process far faster and smoother than having to navigate the traditional hierarchical control structures. Competitors trying to keep up with this level of service are failing because they cannot deliver process as quickly or a successfully as these companies who have organized them selves for success.