Changing this blog to focus on CEOs

While this blog spent its first year as a place of general conversation, I am changing it to focus on CEOs. I am the CEO of a small public company but I often spend time with big company CEOs – the leaders of the organizations that Forrester advises. This blog will contain ideas, research, observations, and analysis pointed at increasing the success of CEOs. It will identify what CEOs must accomplish to improve the prospects for their organizations and increase their own personal effectiveness. It will help CEOs take unique approaches to their challenges – hence “The Counterintuitive CEO.” This is in keeping with Forrester’s role focus – the company goes to market helping 19 roles attain high performance.

To keep all of this from becoming too sterile and boring, I will also include some personal observations -- recommendations for books, articles, music, things I love and things I hate. My intention is to share information that may make you think counterintuitively…or simply take the edge off.

While I am targeting CEOs, all are welcome here…and I ask all to join in on the conversation. Ping me when I’m off-base and please add ideas and information to push the discussion to a more valuable plane. I’m honored to have you participate.

Best American Rock and Roll Band -- Dead surging; Allmans still # 1

The bands gaining ground include the E Street Band, Doors, Replacements, Ramones, and Beach Boys. New entries incude The Eagles, REM, and Sonic Youth.

My put-down in the original post has rallied the Dead supporters -- they are trying to move the Jerrys past the Brothers. Which reminds me of a most excellent rock and roll joke:

What did one Dead Head say to the other Dead Head when the drugs ran out? "This music sucks!"

Here's the latest ranking.

Allmans
Dead
E Street Band
Doors
Replacements
Beach Boys
Ramones
Aerosmith
The Band
ZZ Top
Metallica
Velvet Underground
Nirvana
Phish
REM
Guns N' Roses
Pearl Jam
Eagles
Black Crows
Creedence
CSN&Y
Foo Fighters
Fugazi
Jefferson Airplane
Little Feat
NRBQ
Rush
Stooges
Talking Heads
Tom Petty and Heartbreakers
White Stripes
Wilco
Sonic Youth
REM
Crazy Horse (Neil Young)
Clutch
Chili Peppers 

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Best American Rock and Roll Band -- Update

Here's the massive lack of consensus so far. If you haven't yet voted, please chime in. Bands listed by number of votes as of April 6th at 12:30 P.M.:

Allmans
E Street Band
Dead
Doors
Aerosmith
Replacements
Beach Boys
Nirvana
Phish
Ramones
REM
The Band
ZZ Top
Black Crows
Creedence
CSN&Y
Foo Fighters
Fugazi
Guns N' Roses
Jefferson Airplane
Little Feat
Metallica
NRBQ
Pearl Jam
Rush
Stooges
Talking Heads
Tom Petty and Heartbreakers
Velvet Underground
White Stripes
Wilco
Eagles
Chili Peppers

Who is the best American rock and roll band?

AllmansQuickly: Give me your vote for the greatest American rock and roll band.

Content: A few years ago I went to an Aerosmith concert with two of my sons and some of my childhood friends. En-route, we argued about who was the greatest American rock and roll band.

There's rough consensus that the Brits dominate the overall list (The Who, Beatles, Stones, Zep, Cream, et. al.).But who would be at the top of the American list

We had two rules: 1) You can't choose an individual, so that eliminates Dylan, Elvis, and arguably Jimi, and Bruce. 2) We tolerated a smattering of Canadians, so that keeps The Band and Crazy Horse in the running.

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My session at Davos on social

Davos_2009011 Quickly: Enterprises must embrace social technologies quickly, despite the recession.

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Informal Davos poll has recession ending in April, 2010

At Davos the big question was: "When are we going to get out of this economic mess?" So I decided to take an informal poll of attendees. The question I asked was: "When will world GDP start to increase again?" Strangely, the early poll results were quite negative -- the average was hovering in the mid-2011 range. But as the World Economic Forum wore on, there was creeping optimism -- I started to get more 2010s (and an occasional 2009) than 2011s. My sample cut across a wide swath, from CEOs to journalists to academics to political leaders -- 55 votes in total.

According to my unscientific Davos poll, world GDP will turn and begin to grow again in April of 2010.

Depressing? Not necessarily. Davos rarely gets it right. Remember, this was the group that was highly bullish only 12 short months ago.

Report from Davos 2009

Davos_2009012 Just returning from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Wow, what a sea change from 2008. Rampant pessimism, gloom, worried faces, a stunned, humbled crowd.

Here's my quick personal summary. I will have a few more Davos posts later this week.

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Contribute to a 2009 World Economic Forum session on social...

Wef_logo I'll be attending the World Economic Forum in Davos next week -- look for posts here as I gather up blasts of insight from the gathering.

I'm running a session on January 29th at Davos that will analyze how social computing will transform corporations and markets. Discussion leaders will be: Michael Arrington, TechCrunch, Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia, Robert Scoble of Fast Company TV, Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn, Matt Cohler of Benchmark Capital (late of Facebook), and others.

We're going to be working to answer the questions listed below.

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Obama and Tech

Obama_computer How can Obama stimulate the tech economy?

1) Get the general economy back on its feet. Tech spending correlates closely with GDP growth.

2) Take government action that increases competition in tech markets. Nixon charged IBM with anti-trust -- ushering in the independent software and plug-compatible hardware businesses. Reagan presided over the breakup of AT&T -- setting the stage for massive innovation in telecommunications.

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Best explanation of the financial mess

Wall_street_2 If you want to understand the financial meltdown, read Niall Ferguson's article in Vanity Fair: "Wall Street Lays Another Egg." It logically lays out the causation of the disaster, complete with historical backdrop.

If you're busy, here's my instant summary:

Factor One: Real estate

The belief, going back to Roosevelt, and most recently promulgated by G.W. Bush, that all citizens should own a home.

Factor Two: Converting mortgages into securities

Wall Street bundled mortgages into securities, supposedly attenuating risk, but actually making it hard to ultimately assess the value of the loans. 

Factor Three: Subprime mortgages

The securitization of mortgages theoretically made it possible to take on riskier loans (subprime mortgages), as long as they were bundled with better risk loans. This strategy worked as long as real estate prices kept rising and interest rates remained low.

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