Know your decision-makers or it’s a long CX road


Share on LinkedIn


I think we all discuss “decision-makers” in our businesses often. I actually just watched this movie Get A Job with Anna Kendrick and Miles Teller. In this movie, which really isn’t that good, Bryan Cranston — a long way from Breaking Bad here — plays Teller’s dad. Cranston loses his job but thinks he’d be a perfect fit for this other job, right? So he basically stalks the decision makers at the other job and keeps using the term “decision makers” in a somewhat-creepy way. It’s odd to watch, but it’s not that far off from how a lot of people talk and think about work. We’re always wondering what “the decision makers” are up to and how that’s all going to play out.

You can call “decision-makers” a lot of things: C-Suite, senior leadership, VPs, Directors, etc. You can flat out call them “decision-makers.” I often use the term “power core” in my writings and speeches.

The point is: they’re crucial to work, and especially CX/CCO work. Why do I say “especially” that type of work?

As we discuss often on my podcast — which is now up to 18 episodes, by the way, so check it out — CCO work is new to a lot of your fellow decision-makers. Companies have always understood the value of customers — as in, customers pay for your product/service — but only in the last decade or two have companies gotten more strategic around customer engagement, customer journey maps, etc.

So if you arrive in a job and you sit with the CFO, he/she might not completely understand what you do. That’s a problem, because you need that buy-in. You need to get to one-company leadership. Your customer-facing work can’t reside in its own silo, where you own a presentation to the other decision-makers every 10-12 weeks. It has to be the essential lifeblood of the business.

But that requires an understanding of the other decision-makers and what they need, want, and value.

The reality of decision-makers

When I wrote Chief Customer Officer, I spent a lot of time alone — often in crummy pajamas that my husband has never been a fan of — trying to decode complex issues. One of the biggest stumbling blocks I kept coming across was this seemingly simple question:

Why could I make traction in some companies but not budge the work an inch in others?

It took me a long time to get to this answer, but it all comes back to decision-makers. It’s about the power core. Every company has one, and they either help or hinder the work.

What’s the value of decoding the decision-makers?

Determining this power core has helped every one of my clients advance the adoption of their role — and aid in embedding the five competencies throughout their org. It’s essentially your decoder for the political barriers and enablers to your success. Let me be honest for a second. I’ve been doing this work since 1983 and at every company — yes, every company — there are political barriers and subsequently enablers to success. It’s all in the decision-makers, or the power core. You need to find, decode, and work with the right people. If you don’t, it’s a very, very, very long CX road.

If you want a quick three-step piece of advice, here you go:

  • Know the source
  • Understand the methods of operating
  • Realize the priorities

That applies to how you deal with all the decision-makers or power core in your organization. If you do that, your CX path will be a lot easier.\

Any other thoughts on working with the other decision-makers?

We’ll be back next week with a new podcast (hopefully) and a new blog.

Republished with author's permission from original post.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here