You can’t have Customer Experience without having some courage too

Organizations aren’t courageous, people are. And Customer experience takes courage.

Cowardly Lion: All right, I’ll go in there for Dorothy. Wicked Witch or no Wicked Witch, guards or no guards, I’ll tear them apart. I may not come out alive, but I’m going in there. There’s only one thing I want you fellows to do. 

Tin Man, Scarecrow: What’s that? 

Cowardly Lion: Talk me out of it! 

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

In the Wizard of Oz, the Cowardly Lion hopes the Wizard will give him courage – only to learn by the film’s end that he had it all along.

Lucky fella – he just needed a bit of coaching & self-discovery.

But in the real world – especially when it comes to Customer experience (CX) – courage isn’t so easy to come by.

And without courage, all the brains and heart in the world won’t propel your organization to CX success.

Have you ever worked with a CX Champion?

A lot’s been written about what CX Champions do.

But what’s less considered is the sheer amount of courage (and stamina) it takes for CX Champions to –

  • Challenge cultural norms & group think
  • Break down organizational silos & redefine measures of success
  • Change processes & the way people work, both individually and together

I always find it interesting when – 1, 2 or 3 years down the line – a successful CX Champion is interviewed or writes an article that documents the success of their CX leadership.

The whole company is in love with this person – thousands of likes or views.

Success always has a thousand parents.

But consider this person’s first month on the job – or fourth or sixth.

It’s like dancing in mud.

Common business folklore says you’ve got about 9 months to achieve tangible results – the length of a pregnancy.

But because CX is as much a change initiative as it is a business strategy – and change – especially in mid to large sized organizations – never happens easily – and results are more likely to come 18 months and onward (that’s two consecutive pregnancies if you’re counting).

Without a CX Champion – your internal CX team will struggle

It’s tempting to think you can throw together a team of existing employees and they’ll figure CX out.

Not so long ago we got a request from a huge Singapore company to send us copies of all of our reports because they were looking for CX vendors and were going to use report samples to make the decision.


With the heavy gravitational pull of organizational culture – and don’t underestimate it – it’s not easy existing Team Members to rise to the level of courage required to drive change.

A lesson that should have been already learned

Go back in time – perhaps 10 – 15 years ago in Asia – earlier in the U.S.

Look at the first implementations of full scale Contact Centres or CRM strategies in mid to large sized organizations.

I remember this time well.

Organizations that attempted these very big and new things – with existing Team Members in charge – really struggled.

In many cases they pursued incorrect objectives & strategies for years – only to finally fix things with the strategic hire of someone from the outside who knew what they were doing.

Other organizations got off to a good start – but their Champion was woo’d away by another organization. For these cases you could almost hear the air escaping from the tires.

Given the valuable lessons that should have been learned from past Contact Centre & CRM initiatives, why would organizations put themselves through this all over again with CX?

Are corporate memories really that short?

Maybe there was a reason Dorothy met the Lion last

I don’t know if there was a reason that the author of the Wizard of Oz, Frank Baum, introduced Dorothy’s companions in the order that he did.

Dorothy first meets the Scarecrow – the brains.

Then the Tin Man. His song and dance immediately touched the hearts of Dorothy and the Scarecrow.

But funny enough, it’s only as I’ve gotten older that I’ve come to really appreciate the role of the Cowardly Lion.

In this new age, courage matters.

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