Businessweek Archives

Are CEOs out of touch?


Are CEOs naive about innovation? |

Main

| Serenity may be product placement free. Wow.

October 07, 2005

Are CEOs out of touch?

Bruce Nussbaum

Engadget and a bunch of blogs from Weblogs were just bought by AOL. Gawker and its clutch of blogs are in a deal to be distributed in Europe. Newscorp. buys MySpace for a fortune of money. The blogoshere is hot. Millions of people are communicating, creating their own content, making judgements, making news. But are CEOs involved in this new conversation? Do they actually have any idea of what is going on?

I ask this because my brilliant colleague Frank Comes raised the issue over lunch while we were talking about a recent BCG survey on CEOs and innovation. It was a simple question but a stunner. Let's ask it another way. Are CEOs and top managers going to the wrong meetings? Are they having the wrong conversations? Are they out of touch?

Let's take a day or week in a CEO's life. From my experience with them, I would say that the vast majority, outside of the tech sector, spend little time on the web. The vast majority of chief executives have no idea what a blog is and spend virtually no time within a community of blogs. The vast majority belong to no social networks or web communities. Most don't monitor the blogs by employees who complain about bureaucracy, bad managers and bad food in the vending machine.

In fact, most CEOs still spend weekends playing golf, getting business information on the golf course. They spend much of their day at internal meetings, getting information from their managers. They get advice from their boards, who tend to be older men and a few women who are even further detached from the web. Board members have even less of a clue. So most CEOs are probably having the wrong conversations about the wrong things with the wrong people.

The good news is that a growing number of CEOs and managers know they are out of touch and are hungry to plug into the right conversations. Think about all this for a moment. Some of the greatest business opportunities in the future will be providing "C" suite managers, CEOs and board members with the right connections to the right conversations with the right information. Or perhaps just aggregating the information and feeding it directly to the top execs.

Hmmmm. If CEOs are so out touch, are they also so overpaid?

08:08 PM

ceos

TrackBack URL for this entry:

http://blogs.businessweek.com/mt/mt-tb.cgi/

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Are CEOs out of touch?:

CEOs: Hearing and Listening from The TrueTalk Blog

Bruce Nussbaum at Business Week asks whether CEOs are out of touch. I believe many are. I spend many, many hours in meetings with senior executives of major corporations. Our conversations are often focused on a single question: how can [Read More]

Tracked on October 8, 2005 09:42 PM

Your CEO Stinks – No He’s Just Out of Touch from David V. Lorenzo

Bruce Nussbaum is right on the money in his article in BW Online. CEO’s are the victims of what I call ExecuVision. This is a form of tunnel vision where the light at the end of the tunnel is a [Read More]

Tracked on October 12, 2005 11:15 AM

CEO can't do all the innovation. They simply can't do it all themselves. But, they can create an environment that lowers the barriers for the innovation creators within their organizations. I have been describing some of the challenges that innovation creators face, and the steps that CEOs can take to create an environment that supports their innovation creators in a blog called, surprisingly enough, Innovation Creators.

If you are interested in solving this problem, I would love to hear what you think about my proposed solution.

Posted by: Rod Boothby at November 2, 2005 07:20 PM


Silicon Valley State of Mind
LIMITED-TIME OFFER SUBSCRIBE NOW

(enter your email)
(enter up to 5 email addresses, separated by commas)

Max 250 characters

 
blog comments powered by Disqus