James Piecowye thinking out loud

Ideas, inspiration and a bit of random.

Does a University need a Chief Experience Officer?

Posted on | June 14, 2010 | 3 Comments

I spend a lot of time reading business publications and blogs.

If you put in a day digesting Seth Godin, Tom Peters, ChangeThis and then throw in IDEODiego Rodriguez and for good measure Mark Hurst you not only have a very sound reading list on business, creativity and leadership but also a question on your mind!

One of the common themes that is woven through all the blogs and sources I just listed is thinking about  the experience you are   engaged in with something.

Is the EXPERIENCE at the center of  everything you do?

If not why not? Because….. is the typical answer.

Take almost any university.

Is there a Chief Experience Officer to guide the way faculty, students, staff, visitors and the average person who happens on the ivory tower interact with the academy?

We spend a lot of time thinking about publications and ads.

We spend a lot of time thinking about how a stage looks for graduation.

We spend a lot of time cleaning floors, windows, parking lots and even lagoons.

So obviously there is an element of experiential thought taking place in many offices, but is there any coordination?

Why not?

When how we fall in love with the experience of an Apple product is a big part of the iPhone or iPad environment why are we not saying the same about our education environments today and especially the university?

To put the academic experience in the hands of an HR department or student services department is thinking too small and too narrow.

What every university needs, especially today is a Chief Experience Officer to guide, mould and roll out a consistent experience for everyone who comes in the door of the academy, how hard would that be?


3 Responses to “Does a University need a Chief Experience Officer?”

  1. Marilyn
    June 16th, 2010 @ 1:48 pm

    James, is it not our job as faculty, staff, students and administrators to make sure that “good to great” things happen for everyone who comes through our doors?

    Why do we need a “Chief Worrier for Experiences.” We are the ZU exerience!

    Marilyn Davis

  2. James
    June 16th, 2010 @ 2:21 pm

    Marilyn I am not so sure the leaving it to chance is the best way to operate any longer. I think we need to worry a lot about the experience we are giving to everyone from the cleaner to the provost! The fact that we don’t spend any time thinking about the experience of what we do makes me wonder if we are failing to keep up with the evolving environment we live in!

  3. Khadra
    June 30th, 2010 @ 3:40 pm

    Hi James,
    I’m new in ZU, and I support your view of having “CHIEF EXPERIENCE OFFICER” or “Knowledge Management Officer”. If we viewed ZU as a living organization, and calculated the percentage of Faculty, Staff, Students who exits without a trace and with no proper strategy of retaining what they had “of Unique experience”….there is a possibility that ZU may have gradual loss of memory.
    Check this link:

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