Amazing write-up Chris. Having worked in a large (at one stage 7700 employees) corporate environment I noticed the overexposure of employees to the constant drumming of HR rules and policies into our heads and the supposed idea of personal development plans, dictated upon by the company therefore not personal at all, which become fruitless the moment company ownership changed.
The constant drive to adhere to rules and policies, many of which were highly nonsensical, drove employees up the wall yet the Executives implementing these ideas could not abide by them.
The principle of customer service you refer to (in any role and environment being absolutely vital) is core to my values of business ethics; I serve right from the top to the bottom and believe that it must be a two-way street; i.e. your sub-ordinates must be served by you too. You owe them your loyalty and understanding as well to do right by them.
A paradigm shift is needed whereby the top dogs must realise that they are not untouchable as they think and must learn to mingle with all levels of staff; this to me is key to the success of business. Interact with everyone at all levels and they will go the extra mile to assist you in achieving your company and personal goals.
I was recently told of a situation whereby a company CEO meeting with a business investor, made it clear the his own senior manager of finance may not join them for a cup of coffee in a coffee shop (and this manager drove with them to the venue). This is a recipe for total failure as no trust is garnered between individuals. If my Director had to tell me as a top level manager with significant experience in several fields over the last 26 years that I may not join him for a cup of coffee then I have only one option and that is to leave his employee right after informing him of his impending doom. You succeed I succeed and vice versa.
Iglu sounds amazing; I want in on this idea. As for Uber, they are superb. My wife uses them often. What a breath of fresh air in the transport sector.
Free thinking must abound to succeed in this ever-changing world.