What CEOs want

Quickly: IT/BT executives should ensure that their goals align with the CEO's.

Forrester's IT Forum was in Las Vegas last week. Great time, with over 1,500 clients and sponsors on-site. Highlights for me were John Chambers of Cisco jumping off the stage into the audience to sell his vision and an amazingly elegant dinner for over 1,000 at the very cool Tao Club in the Venetian.

I kicked off the proceedings with a ten minute talk entitled "CEO Success Imperatives." Whenever I meet with a CEO I ask a simple question: "What do you, as the CEO, have to do to be successful?" Here are the seven themes that emerged from my CEO research:

1) Getting, keeping, building the best people. "I hire 15 people every hour. I want the best."
2) Engendering collaboration. "If HP could only harness the knowledge of HP."
3) Reaching global markets
4) Increasing profit. "HP makes $12 million per hour but spends $11 million per hour. I want to change that proportion."
5) Building a positive culture. "I want a company culture that is viewed positively from the inside and from the outside."
6) Customers, customers, customers
7) Driving innovation. "I want to figure out how to break linearity."

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Fading broadcasters

Tim_robbins_2Quickly: The Internet will squeeze broadcasters into a slim niche.

I've often wondered whatever happened to two parts of public discourse: 1) eloquent speeches, and 2) truth-telling. I have been helping my son study American history and the other night we read two famous statements from the debates surrounding the 1850 Compromise: John C. Calhoun's defense of the South and Daniel Webster's response. Both men spoke in passionate but reasoned phrases -- one threatening secession, the other advocating union. Marvelous reading.

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Reforming Microsoft

Microsoft_logo_2  Quickly: It's good for Microsoft that it didn't buy Yahoo -- now it has to reform itself.

Steve Ballmer unintentionally dodged a bullet today when the Yahoo/Microsoft deal collapsed. Yahoo + Microsoft would have been a disaster -- the best and the brightest from Yahoo would have gone to Google, the culture clash would have been destructive, it would have put Microsoft back in the sights of the regulators. And Yahoo wouldn't have helped Microsoft with its biggest task at hand -- adapting to the emerging executable Internet software model.

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