It's rude to call people "idiots."
It's rude to call CEOs "idiots." (I am assuming here that "CEOs" are "people.")
It's really rude to call people "idiots" when you are a Guest.
It's really, really rude to call people "idiots" when you are a Guest in another country.
It's really, really, really rude to call CEOs "idiots" when you are a Guest in another country.
I guess that's why I got some blowback to my speech in Lisbon yesterday. I was being brash-American-California Tom, getting' my dander up with a crowd of retailers, many CEOs, over topics like grossly under-investing in IS/IT, seeing Big Mergers as Salvation rather than Disaster, ignoring the Women's Market, having too few Women in Top Management, failing to create Experiences (per Whole Foods Markets & London Drug & Apple Stores & Commerce Bank) that make Clientele "gasp," kaizen-ing one's way to Irrelevance rather than Boldly Grasping the Nettle. I said that "CEOs who don't get these Elementary Principles of Permanent Revolution [in a Time of Traumatic Competitive Pressure!] are 'idiots,' 'lunatics,' 'stupid.'"
Well, maybe, wherever I've landed, I'll let an ever-so-innocent PowerPoint slide "do the talking" in the future. ("It's not me that said it, it's PowerPoint!" Blame Bill Gates—that's always a popular line.) Hence I first created what you see below as a PP slide, titled "TPs 'CEOs Are Idiots18.'"
Here are the contents (remember: PowerPoint made me do it!). CEOs are idiots who ...
1. Fail to spend Hyper-aggressively on IS/IT; fail to follow "Gamechanger" IS/IT Strategies; fail to put their CIO on the Board; fail to exploit fully [Revolution Now!] the Web.
2. Believe in [BIG] mergers as The Key to Offense & Defense.
3. Hire MBAs in large #s.
4. Recruit mostly from conventional sources; have a low tolerance for risktakers-freaks.
5. Are less than 24/7 "Talent Fanatics."
6. Do too much Imitation/Benchmarking/ConstantImprovement, not enough "Breathtaking"/Disruptive Innovation; favor "marketshare" over MarketCreation.
7. Believe that "process" beats "passion," "analysis" beats "action."
8. Spend too much time in the Office, not enough time in the Field; fail to ColdCall at least One Customer per Week; are surrounded by sycophants; have low Tolerance for Contention.
9. ARE NOT LOVED BY FRONTLINE STAFF!
10. Do too much MicroSegmentation I: Grotesquely underestimate the Women's Market—and if they do more or less "get it," fail to understand the Strategic Transformation required to master it.
11. Do too much MicroSegmentation II: Grotesquely underestimate the Boomer-Geezer Market.
12. Have too few Women on the Executive Team, too few Women on the Board.
13. Whose ... Board = OWMs.
14. Balk at Technicolor actions and language—e.g., WOW!, Lovemarks, DreamMarketing, InsanelyGreat.
15. Think Design is a frill, nicety—not the Fundamental Basis for Value Added.
16. Tolerate less than Excellence, do not insist upon "Experiences that make me 'Gasp.'"
17. Deliver more on Short-term Earnings rather than Long-term Yearnings.
18. FAIL TO INSPIRE ME BY THE AUDACITY OF THEIR DREAMS. (Too much: "Dream" = "Buy MarketShare, Get BIGGER, Cut Costs.")
(1) I am sorry for my rudeness!
(2) I am very sorry for my rudeness outside my Native Land!
(3) I am sorry that so many CEOs are idiots!
(4) Bonus: And if it had been a Hospital CEO gathering, I would have added, "I'm sorry that you kill so many people."
Before blogging became all the rage, Tom was posting book reviews and Observations (essentially early blog posts) to this site. You can find the archives below.
What we're talking about
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