Fri, Sep 22, 2023
We need to start talking about eXperience Leadership – Adrian Swinscoe

Punk CX was published in 2019 on the back of my frustration with the lack of significant improvement in customer outcomes. This was despite a massive amount of activity and investment in the customer experience (CX) space.

The book posited that the customer service and customer experience space was starting to exhibit some of the same characteristics as prog rock did in the 1970s… namely, it’s becoming overly technical, benchmarked, frame-worked, measured, codified, certified, specialised and functionalised. 

In fact, CX could also be accused of being in danger of disappearing up its own a*** too.

As such, in what I describe as a ‘visual slap in the face for the customer experience space, the book explored what a punk rock version of customer experience (CX) could look and feel like.

However, a lot has happened since Punk CX was published in May 2019.

The pandemic.

The massive shift to digital.

The fact that remote working has become the norm for many.

Social, political and environmental issues have risen to the top of customer, employee and organisational agendas.


Over nearly the last two years, we have faced some extraordinary challenges, and I’ve watched with fascination how the pandemic has forced the tectonic plates of consumer and organisational behaviour to shift and change.

What has become clear is that it’s no longer sufficient to talk about customer experience or employee experience or stakeholder experience or leadership experience in isolation. To succeed, we need to think about these experience domains in a holistic, integrated and systematic way, especially if we are to deliver the outcomes and reach the heights we aspire to.

Enter Punk XL…. the follow up to Punk CX or the second album if you like.

Punk XL, where XL stands for eXperience Leadership, seeks to explore and start a conversation around what it means and takes to deliver a great experience at different levels:

You -> what is required of you and who you need to be to deliver a leading and stand-out experience 

Team -> your culture and employee experience 

Organisation -> how you do things

Customers -> how well you understand your customers and how you engage with them

Beyond -> the bigger game of experience

We talk a lot about market leadership, brand leadership, business leadership, team leadership, and personal leadership.

But, we don’t talk about eXperience Leadership and what that could mean in all of its dimensions.

We need to start.

So, like its predecessor Punk CX, it is composed of a series of short and punchy “tracks” organised loosely around a series of concentric rings or dimensions that explores what eXperience Leadership means at that particular level.

To add richness, perspective and depth, it features contributions from a number of different experience “artists” from around the world:

Ari Weinzweig, Serena Riley, Lara Khouri, Richard Hammond, Amy Scott, Sandra Thompson, Paul Greenberg, Joyce Kim, Karen Jaw-Madson, Martin Lucas, Sandra De Zoysa and Clare Muscutt.

Finally, given its collaborative nature and acknowledging what we have gone through in the last couple of years and what many are still going through, all of the book’s proceeds will be donated to Médecins Sans Frontières, an incredible organisation that has been helping people around the world for the last 50 years.

About the author

Adrian Swinscoe
Advisor & Author, Punk CX | Website | + posts

Described as an experimental CX thought leader and visionary, Adrian Swinscoe is a best-selling author, Forbes contributor, speaker, investor, advisor and aspirant CX Punk. He has been growing and helping develop customer-focused large and small businesses for over 25 years now.

His clients have included brands such as Sky, NowTV, Apple, ING, KFC, Philips, Cancer Research UK, Talk Talk, Gazprom, Intercontinental Hotel Group, Olympus, Harper Collins, the UK Gov’s Crown Commercial Service, Microsoft, Pearson and Costa Coffee as well as numerous tech vendors and many smaller and medium sized businesses.

Adrian is a frequent writer, podcaster and speaker on all things related to customer service and experience. He published a best selling book in 2016 called How to Wow: 68 Effortless Ways to Make Every Customer Experience Amazing (Pearson), published an exciting new book: Punk CX in 2019 and has just published an exciting follow up: Punk XL.

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