Middle managers face a big squeeze in the focus on the customer experience. Senior management has a vision. Current operations and the “whirlwind of the urgent” siphon off time and energy. It all can’t be done. Something must give. Senior management needs to understand this and allow middle managers the time to focus on the future.
The best thing senior management can do is to get middle management’s perspective on what operationally can be abandoned to enable the future vision that is so necessary to stay in business. It will be a real battle of ignoring the future for the tyranny of the present.
That report you wanted yesterday has to be done. The quarterly numbers have to be met. Middle managers think: “What do you want me to stop doing so I can improve the customer experience?” They have learned, however, not to say it out loud. They simply trudge on and give you what you have asked for today, not what you aspire to for the future.
It doesn’t have to be that way. We can focus on initiatives that improve the customer experience and the future vision. Senior management needs to be disciplined to make it happen.