What Sources Do Executives Listen To?

From Mark Hurst,

Decision makers need information before they make decisions, right? What sources do executives listen to when gathering information? Here are a few that are typically followed, if somewhat dubious, and one that is always reliable, but not always considered:

– the technology press, whose job it is to report on the newest and flashiest trends, not necessarily what actually works in the long run

– bloggers, many of whom are technophiles who enjoy playing with, and writing about, Internet trends and gadgets

– investors, who often want quick results, and look to the press and bloggers to point the way

– technology conferences, which tend to invite speakers who will draw attendees from the three groups above

Another voice, by the way, is that of industry colleagues, who can be very helpful, or may indulge in one-upmanship about whose business has gotten more exposure.

One voice not on the list, ironically enough, *can* point the way forward, both in the short-term and the long-term. Who is it?

The customers.

Most companies still don’t conduct meaningful research with the people who they’re ostensibly working for. No customers, no business; and yet the customers are often nowhere to be found when strategic decisions are made.

How does your organization chart its way forward: by following the herd, or by listening to customers?