The CEO Blogging Trail

Axel Schultze, CEO of BlueRoads, had the following answers to the questions I posed in this post. Schultze:

“Very good and valid questions. Some answers:

1) Also CEO’s are human beings and have peers. So executive blogging will find it’s peers.

2) The blog will not replace 1:1 connections and relations. But if a CEO like me has roughly 5,000 personal contacts and roughly 200,000 customer contacts, touching each and everybody in person every week is REALLY difficult.

3) Ghost-Written? No! While my press releases are prepared by PR agencies and news letters by marketing and other media by other people, at least my blog is my “normal voice” :-). And one can tell by my style, grammer and the little spelling errors here and there.


(n.b. Axel’s blog can be found here)

Point (2) is the gimme. And point (3) is spot-on.

Point (1), however, is the really interesting one. “Executive blogging will find its peers.” Hold that thought.

(context: I’m just off the plane, just back from Cambridge and Corante’s Symposium on Social Architecture. So, naturally, everything is getting filtered through that lens. More folks talking about CoranteSSA here.)

Blogs, of course, are social media. They let us connect, and converse, and interact in a human way.

Now, back to where we were. “Executive blogging will find its peers.” Hadn’t thought about the implication of that statement until I read Axel’s comment. When put through the “social” lens, what this means, to me at least, is that we’re going to start to see networks develop…visible networks…of executive bloggers. And what we’re going to see from there is the boardroom equivalent of the digital divide. One one side, we’ll see networks and clusters of interconnected executive bloggers (“peers”), who respect and challenge and publicly debate each others strategies, compliment and complement each others’ successes, and call each other out on their mis-steps.

On the flip side we’ll see the ossified companies, with their polished, impenetrable façades of business-as-usual.

Which side you think will be more successful in the long run?


4 Replies to “The CEO Blogging Trail”

  1. Blogs force you to “write down” your thoughts and your thought process. Writing (versus speaking) opens you more to critique (both self and from peers), exposing your half baked conclusions and your lapses in understanding. And it takes a lot of emotional maturity to deal with these lapses.

    It will be interesting to see how many executives can handle “the truth.” Axel seems like a great guy but his blogging has just begun. I’m rooting for him.

  2. That’s just it…a rational executive would *want* lapses and blind spots to be identified, so they could be addressed and filled in, n’est pas? Your point on “emotional maturity” is spot on, too. Maybe that’s the real root of the issue…

  3. “A rational executive would *want* lapses and blind spots to be identified, so they could be addressed and filled in, n’est pas?”

    And yet Chris they surround themselves with yes men, insulate themselves from front-line realities, avoid disconfirming data, and make it clear that anyone who challenges them will be punished. The behavior says they don’t want to know.

  4. Executive blogging is a great thought. Agreed that it will only be the true entrepreneurial minded souls who venture into the open and tell their candid views to the market, especially sans PR filter. There may be a distinction between public and private companies as well…obviously not all ideas are for public consumption.

    In 1996, Cambridge Technology Partners developed an online, private community of IT executives under the auspices of the Cambridge Information Network. It was an extension of their consulting services and enabled the free flow of information among executives – not unlike some traditional CEO roundtables. Perhaps this provides some insight into how things will be conducted on the executive blogging side. That is, will executives blog in a public forum or only in a password protected setting to other executives. As such, would this be considered true blogging?

    BTW, yes men get a lot of CEOs in trouble. It’s dependent on the individual, but I think there’s been a trend toward candid feedback from subordinates.

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