Andrew Penny, October 28 2021

Executive Privilege and Why You Don’t Want It

The reason I bring this up is because of a more recent interaction with Bell. My internet stopped working and so I went online to try and resolve it… The first items on their phone tree are all about buying a new phone, a new TV service, faster internet etc… Eventually you get down to repairs and you again click through a long tree only to be put on hold with really crappy music.  

Too often company owners and leaders use executive privilege to bypass their own frontline processes. Afterall, why call 1-800 service when you can ask the VP of operations to solve your problem?  Why?  Well, as they say in some markets, you really do need to eat your own dog food to stay in touch with your customer experience. When my internet went down, I had meetings to run, research to complete and reports to send and no time to accommodate a service tech. It is only while experiencing these real-life pressures can you truly evaluate how well your service is satisfying real customers. 

If Mirko Bibic, Bell Canada’s CEO, were to call in for help ,as I did, and spend 2 hours on hold listening to crappy music perhaps he’d do something about his customers’ experiences. 

The same is true for every owner and leader – resist invoking executive privilege when something goes sideways and try to solve your problem the same way your typical clients would. If you don’t sell something that a consumer can use, then become a ‘secret shopper’ and personally test your client interfaces. How many stars would you award yourself? Do they fill you with joy? Would you be proud to tell your friends? 

Let me know how it goes. If you’d like some objective outside help to assess your systems – we can help. 

Bye for now, 


Written by

Andrew Penny


Previous Welcome To The Edge of Chaos
Next Accentuate the Positive