Risk is high on the list of important topics keeping CEOs up at night — such a simple four-letter word, yet one fraught with peril. When we think of risk, the typical things come to mind, like financial risk and cybersecurity risk. But look around, and leaders suddenly have risks coming at them from everywhere. It’s enough to make us want to crawl under the sheets and hide. Being a leader means we take on risk and, to a certain extent, are comfortable with it. My, though, the risk list has gotten long.

One CEO I spoke with wants to…

The pandemic has taught our industry agility like nothing else we’ve seen in our lifetime. Fittingly, it’s time once again to update our plans for events, which have been on-again / off-again as it relates to face-to-face or digital.

When the year began, all heck was breaking loose, with the dark of winter creating issues everywhere. Then spring brought the vaccine, the hope of herd immunity, and with it our plans for F2F events began to bloom. We decided we’d do the Outsell Signature Event digitally but move our Outsell Leadership Community meetings to September and do those F2F. …

I’ve been writing a bit lately about technology’s negative impact on the planet, including such issues as bitcoin mining and drunk-on-water server farms. I haven’t yet even touched on all the mineral resources mined and processed to make our devices — from semiconductors all the way to finished tablets. These technical marvels delight at first but eventually find themselves in the junk heap due to planned obsolescence — another bad side-effect of our technology-driven society.

At some point, all of this is unsustainable, and as CEOs, that realization is sinking in as we plan for our businesses. Enter the era…

I’m starting to really notice how supposedly “intangible” technologies can have a very tangible impact on our planet’s natural resources. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how so-called “cloud” services are literally sucking communities dry of their water. Huge server farms located in the desert using as much water as a city of 30–50,000 people? Doesn’t feel like the “cloud” to me! The irony is shocking and would be laughable if it weren’t so terribly sad and wrong.

So I was disappointed again when a colleague sent me this article about one of the famous Finger Lakes in…

This past week I talked to Ann Michael, Founder, CEO & Chair of the Board of Delta Think, about the plight of associations, and Doximity came up.

I shared that in 2008 or 2012 — I can’t even remember when — we wrote a piece on professional communities and identified nearly 200 of them that were active at the time. In our published research, we lamented the noticeable absence of associations from the professional community sphere. …

Well, here in the Wild West, things are getting wilder. Fire season has already begun, and when I was a little girl, there was no such thing. We had a rainy season, but those days seem to be about gone too. Fire season? That’s a new season in our vocab that started about five years ago. It’s sad. Now the news is full of heat waves, unprecedented temps, and drought. All things drought.

I was pretty miffed a few years ago when we were deluged with rain after a huge dry spell and our then governor Jerry Brown made the…

I’m frequently asked how other CEOs put together and execute good partnerships. I was thinking about this yesterday when I had the great pleasure of having lunch with one of our clients and suppliers — a true partner. As I drove home from that lovely lunch in a natural setting — sun shining and a perfect 75 degrees — I reflected on the spirit of good partnership that was truly in the air.

The partner I’m talking about is Charles Thiede, Co-founder & CEO of Zapnito. Zapnito is a client. It is also a key vendor, as our product IT…

We launched our new Outsell Data & Information Management (D&IM) Council this week. Sheldon Ross, community chair and forum leader, led a discussion about the latest and greatest in data sourcing, negotiating, and licensing. He was joined by Barry Gold, Outsell’s expert on licensing, who has many years’ experience licensing data between providers and enterprises seeking new sources of unique data. Barry has been on the front line of data negotiations.

For years, we have been supporting enterprise buyers of information. …

I’ve been meeting with CEOs this week at our routine council meetings, and while we are still in “meeting season,” the genuine mood is upbeat.

Overall, the outlook is positive and rising. Travel is going to come roaring back by fall, and some are holding events, though most are waiting a bit longer to host big meetings in 2022. Office work is coming back, with flexibility the operative word. Those reporting through surveys are telling us that their employees want flexibility, and if they want to come back at all, it’s for social purposes most of all. …

Nothing is causing more hand-wringing than questions about returning to work. I’ve spoken with many leaders lately, and this is probably the biggest hot button issue I’m hearing about.

Yes, there’s the normal “growth” needs, and mitigating risk is a perennial topic, but the pandemic put talent at the top of the pyramid of worries and it’s not going away. Our most recent sales survey shows sales leadership increasingly worried about retention — the issue is noticeably up on the list of concerns. …

Anthea Stratigos

Anthea Stratigos is a Silicon Valley CEO, wife, mother, public speaker, and writer, among many other passions and pursuits. She is Co-founder & CEO of Outsell.

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