Seems like it’s good news when only 5% of CX pros say lack of support by the CEO is among their top 3 challenges. A successful CX transformation needs a CEO who leads by example and rallies the organization around CX. When committed CEOs leave, CX efforts die. But is this really good news? No.

We are kidding ourselves. Because the most-mentioned top 3 challenges are: Organizational culture (54%), organizational structures (45%), processes (41%. Which are all driven by the CEO. As Larry Senn from culture consulting firm Senn Delaney puts it “leaders cast a powerful shadow.” What’s more, in a different survey 57% of CX professionals expressed “our executives think CX is important but show no sense of urgency around building a CX competency.” That means, your organization cannot establish, advance or innovate your CX practices. And that prevents you from becoming a CX leader.

If you look at this data, there is only one possible conclusion about CEOs’ attitude towards CX. CEOs do not believe CX is a critical success factor. They talk like they believe in it but when push comes to shove they don’t act accordingly. Instead, they focus on other initiatives over CX or don’t hold direct reports accountable for CX. The latter explains some of the middle manager conundrum many of you run into.

You are probably frustrated by your CEO’s lack of actual commitment. You might think: “Why doesn’t my CEO get it?”After all, you see the overwhelming evidence that breakaway CX makes sense: Improving CX drives business growth, saves costs, and improves profitability.

But here is the issue: If your CEO doesn’t “get it” you haven’t found the right “hook”. And that’s the irony: You believe in CX. But your strong belief in CX may be your biggest handicap in cultivating CEO conviction in CX. I mean when was the last time you passionately talked at somebody who wasn’t convinced by your point and succeeded? (Debates about vaccine or climate change or politics prove that talking at people with facts doesn’t make much difference. Your passion makes you blind to what your CEO sees and cares about. Your passion prevents you from finding the right hook.

How can you find the right hook or angle for CX with your CEO? Put aside your own beliefs and put yourself in the CEOs shoes. Find out what the CEO believes and cares about. Sounds somehow familiar? Yes, this is what you as CX pros do every day vis-a-vis customers.

So: You must think like your CEO! I’ll speak about how to do that at the Forrester CX Europe forum in November. We are at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London on November 14 and 15 2017. Come and join the discussion! If you do, don’t forget to use the discount code CXE2017BLOG for £200 off the ticket price!