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Most CEOs are planning to kill their companies

Rob Enderle | July 18, 2016
CEOs are thinking about technology, that’s good. However, columnist Rob Enderle writes that a recent survey indicates they don’t trust what they’re getting from IT and may look blindly to alternate solutions bypassing IT and ultimately doing more harm than good.

Eighty five percent of CEOs don’t think IT is performing critical functions.   The focus of the related question was on the quality and time strategizing, but this feeds directly into IT guided services like Business Intelligence and analytics. In effect the vast majority of CEOs apparently think they are blind. This can be due to a lack of information and a distrust for whatever they are getting. For me, the big issue is that a whopping huge majority of CEOs seem to think they are driving their company blind. If this were me I’d be in a near panic to fix that and this really implies most IT shops should be scheduling a top level meeting to better understand why the CEO thinks this and to prioritize fixing the problem before they try to fix it themselves.

Building on this, 40 percent of CEOs are planning to massively change their firms. Now the question actually asked if they were anticipating change but CEOs steer the ship. If they are anticipating something that means they will be driving it. Now recall that most think they are blind, so you basically have a huge number of drivers who think they are blind yet are planning to make a huge change in direction. If these were cars instead of companies you’d likely conclude that 40 percent of companies are likely to have major accidents. This further supports the argument that fixing the “blind” problem should be prioritized.

A whopping 90 percent of CEOs feel they have no idea what their customers want and aren’t meeting their customer needs. The question focused on customer loyalty, but the implication was clear. Holy crap, we not only have blind CEOs who are about to make a massive direction change, now we learn that virtually every CEO is convinced they are going in the wrong direction. Whether this is real or perceived this means that at least 50 percent of CEOs will be easily convinced to make a massive organizational change -- and remember they still think they are blind so this won’t end well.

Seventy five percent of CEOs think their firms need to disrupt the market but aren’t. You could read this as implying that every CEOs longs to be Steve Jobs. I don’t blame them, but they want to disrupt the market and be rich heroes. Now follow me here. The CEOs think they are blind, they are panicked that their firms are heading for a cliff (their customers are going to leave), they feel they need to make dramatic changes, and they don’t want to flow through traffic. The implication is virtually every CEO is on a path to destroying their respective companies, some faster than others, largely because they have no confidence in their firms or their own ability to make measured decisions.


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