Over the course of my career I’ve seen many changes, two of them major, occur in my organization.
In both cases our CEO not only talked the talk, he walked the talk. He demonstrated through both words AND deeds that each change was mission critical to the organization. He backed up his talk by creating processes that helped manage the change.
If you are going to change your organization to be more customer-focused, you have to have your CEO or owner demonstrate the same behavior. One e-mail or article in your newsletter with his or her signature is not going to cut it.
The CEO may not be your “champion.” In change management a champion is someone high up in the organization that can open doors and clear obstacles for the staff person in charge of the day to day change implementation.
But you still need the CEO to support the change in both words and deeds. In this case, you might say that he or she is the “champion’s champion.”