Are CEOs A Tech Gap in Themselves? You Bet.

Bruce Nussbaum

The more I listen and learn, the more I'm convinced that members of the corporate elite of America are technologically backward and a threat to their own companies. Outside the tech/net space itself, CEOs, by and large, do not go online, know little about blogs, and are increasingly divorced and distant from their customers, their employees, their managers and their global partners (most of whom live and work online).

It's not enough to have an assistant print out your email or selected information from the web. You have to live on it to know it and to understand the opportunities that stem from it. You have to swim in it to know what innovation really means for your business organization and culture.

So I'm guessing that this CEO tech gap means that most CEOs are over-compensated by a wide margin. Just like most MBA degrees are worth much less than what they are currently fetching in the marketplace (nice word, fetching). My prediction? CEO pay will begin to differentiate along the lines of tech competence and agility. Those who "get it" and "live it" will get more. Those who don't, won't.

Of course, CEO compensation depends on two groups of people--boards of directors and head-hunters. Boards generally are often of other CEOs, many of whom are retired. I'm guessing they are not online much either. And head-hunters, well, who knows? So perhaps this shift in compensation I'm describing may take some time to occur.

Meanwhile, I'm going into the jungle to look for birds. My new baby, INside Innovation, is done. Modernista did an incredible job in designing it. I'm hoping top execs and managers who really do want to learn how to build innovation cultures and boost their innovation productivity will read it. I'll be back for the launch. We go live online with it on Thursday night June 8 and it'll be on your newstands Friday, June 9. The cover is so lush and beautiful and unlike anything you've ever seen before in a business mag, you should go out and get the three dimensional model.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.