I attended an event last week where about half a dozen of us had lunch with Carlos Domiguez, Sr. VP of Cisco Systems. Carlos’ current responsibilities include speaking and evangelizing Cisco’s technology strategies.He works directly for John Chambers, the COB and CEO of Cisco and calls himself a “Tech Nowist”.
Cisco is struggling a little right now to find its new direction and we were all looking for some guidance as to its future product plans. My first question to Carlos was to ask if he agreed with Steve (Facebook) Zuckerberg’s proposition that what his customers say they want doesn’t matter because they don’t know what they want. His reply was that he found that attitude to be arrogant and impractical. There was a lot to discuss and we didn’t get into the details of addressing how his company was changing, but we all agreed that they needed to improve the way we all are driving our techology initiatives.
The last time I talked to senior management at Cisco, they were proselytizing their 27 (real number!) technology steering committees composed of hundreds of employees. I think Zuckerberg and Dominguez both end up in the same end-place, philosophically – somebody first needs to show the customer a product or service and then let him decide for himself.
Carlos’ advice to business owners includes “creating a culture that is adaptable to change”. He makes the point that technology initiatives are changing way too fast to do what we did just a few years ago. That includes the traditional testing and up to a 2 year study at the enterprise level to determine an ROI. He proposes that the traditional ROI model is dead. There’s not enough time between cycles.
The bottom line from Carlos for today’s CEO – You cannot predict the technology that will give your company the edge.
You need to move forward and try it out.
Try it out in secret at first.
Let some users try it.
Then roll it out for general use.
Check out 7 ways to better collaboration at Carlos Dominguez blogsite