1 March 2009

Getting through to executives

ln response to a conversation about sponsors and execs Pawel's blog I discoverred this gem.

Worth a look before you start on your next steering committee pack.


  1. Craig,

    it's interesting how small the blog world is, Jim actually sent me an email in response to some of the posts. There was some problem with blogger comments at the time.

    Communication is one of the great challenges in the world of business. What is it that makes a Paul Krugman in Economics or Warren Buffett in Finance or John Madden in Football so effective? It's their ability to communicate technically complex and changing reality in ways that are accessible, understandable and even intuitive.

    One of the great failings of technologists, I believe, is their inability to articulate technical complexities in ways non-experts can quickly understand.

    Why is Steve Jobs considered such a genius? He helps his companies create, present and articulate complexities others struggle with in understandable, even intuitive ways. MP3 players had been around for at least 5 years before Apple released the iPod and revolutionized the market.

    I know this because it personally crushed me. MP3 players were finicky products that women, or at least girls I was dating, couldn't get to work. They had to keep coming back to me to add new songs. Along with Napster, it was the gift I gave that kept giving back to me.

    Anyways, back to my original point. There is a disconnection between executives and PMs and it's the PMs fault. Executives pay PMs, if the PMs are going to continue to keep their jobs, they better figure out a way to solve that problem.

  2. I'm going to cme back to this point in a future post, but summing up an idea;

    Execs (and CEOs) need to be accountable, and can't dodge the accountability by saying you are hired and paid well to do the job for them.

    Project failure reasons are well known and mostly to do with the organisational environment beyond the PMs control.

    If a CEO hires a pm and then fails to support them, the likely failure result is their fault.

  3. Thanks for the link - I just re-read my old post, and pondered a bit on whether anything had changed. I have noticed some changes in my presentation style, but only because I'm training the various execs on new ways of thinking / hearing the news. I had to get used to them, and I am getting them used to my slightly different way of presenting. Small steps and little reinforcements along the way, but over time I can see marked differences in my slide decks and in the way the execs are receiving the messages.

    PS Hey Andrew! how's things?