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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

How do CEOs Think?

Dr. Anand Deshpande
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Dr. Anand Deshpande
As our customers were pushing us for rate discounts, we used the opportunity to get our contact points to get us meetings with their CEO in exchange. Systematically, since January 2009, Hari and I have met more than a 150 CEOs and heads of business. During these meetings we were able to observe how CEOs think. This was the best thing that happened to me. I quickly realized that the CEOs have a very different approach to their business as compared to the VP Engineering and the CTO.

Our customers are of all sizes from billion dollar companies to start-ups. The CEO and heads of businesses we met corresponded well to our customer mix. By and large, CEO behavior is independent of the size of the company we met.

Let me share with you the highlights of what we observed from our meetings. There are many corollaries from these basic observations which I will subsequently share with you.

1.CEOs like to focus on a few important items.
CEOs are very concerned about their own bandwidth and want to focus on a few important items and leave the rest to someone else to handle. For items that are top-priority, the CEO is deeply involved and wants to track the initiative in detail and at a fine level of granularity. For all other items, the CEO would much rather have someone else take complete responsibility of the task and wants to know only about exceptions.

We observed that management bandwidth of the senior management in the organization is a very big concern for the CEOs. They are keen to conserve management bandwidth and want to ensure that adequate management bandwidth is being devoted to important tasks and is not being spent on the not so important activities.

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