Sometimes the simplest things, even the way you respond, can help shape a customer-centric culture. After all, culture is largely driven by symbolic gestures and visible reactions by leadership to certain circumstances.
Take this situation for example. Let's say you're a VP of Marketing for Multi-Channel retailer, and the GM of one of your stores asks you to email the customers in their geographic area 3 times a week. As a customer-centric VP of marketing you can try to rationally explain that you need to retain the trust of registered users, and you've set a policy of only one email a week. You can try to have the GM put himself in the shoes of a customer and ask, "You get email…would you want 3 emails a week". But, the GM try to argue his way out of that one and say he wouldn't mind because the 'emails are so valuable…" etc.
Now imagine you get these kind of suggestions and ideas all day long, from people who come up with ideas with ONLY the company's interest in mind. A simple statement and reaction such as, "There's no customer in that idea", used repeatedly, could remind everyone that they better think on behalf of the customer prior to suggestion ideas. They should consider ideas that do have the 'customer' in them…and have some basis for the idea based on customer-centric insights or data.
Or maybe this is for you…are there customers in your ideas, suggestions and strategies? It's a simple one item checklist before you start working on any idea!