What do CEO's Really Want?

What do CEO's Really Want?


Posted on September 2015


Perhaps you have heard the story of young King Arthur who was ambushed and imprisoned by the Monarch of a neighboring kingdom.  The Monarch could have killed him but was moved by Arthur's youth and ideals. So the Monarch offered him his freedom as long as he could answer a very difficult question. Arthur would have a year to figure out the answer and if after a year, he still had no answer he would be put to death.

The Question:  What do women really want?

Spoiler Alert:  If you forgot, or want to read the whole story you can go to this web page..

Answer:  To be in charge of their own lives.

To make a long story short, young King Arthur was spared, the witch who provided the answer turned into a beautiful woman, and everyone lived happily ever after.

Obviously young Arthur and the Monarch were both pleased. The Monarch decided to use this process again with three prisoners who were convicted and condemned to death.  One was Susan, a Tech Pubs executive who had been imprisoned for crimes of technology misunderstanding.  The second was Ralph, a Marketing genius who had been imprisoned for worse crimes.  The third was Frank, a 12 year old dachshund who stole cookies from his master's treat bag.  All would be asked a question and their crimes would be forgiven if they found the answer.

The Question Posed by the Monarch:  You each have one year from today to find out what CEO's want in their content architecture.

A year passed quickly with the three trying to answer this seemingly impossible question.

Susan, the tech pubs executive, was called first and asked what CEO's want in their content architecture. She responded that CEO's want an XML architecture with multi-channel publishing, conrefs, DITA or S1000D, capable XML editors, proprietary CMS systems, workflow control, and highly technical staff trained at the best universities in the world.

Monarch:  The Monarch found this to be incorrect and sent Susan back to her cell for one final meal before her execution.

Ralph, the marketing genius was called second and asked what CEOs want in their content architecture. He responded that they want everything that Susan said plus a fully integrated, multichannel, digital customer experience platform incorporating predictive analytics with detailed customer profiles to produce, contextually relevant, personalized experiences based on intelligent, adaptive content that is dynamically delivered to any and all devices across each touchpoint of the customer journey.

Monarch:  The Monarch said that this was a longer answer, but incorrect and Ralph was sent back to his cell for his final meal.

At this point all 4 of Frank's legs were shaking and he was wondering if he would ever be able to steal cookies again when the Monarch asked him what CEOs want in a content architecture.

Frank: Frank said that there are people in the organization who want everything that Susan and Ralph said, but that CEOs want simplicity, ease of implementation, an architecture that could be used by all, minimal change for people in the organization and value.  

Monarch:  The Monarch asked to hear more.

Frank: CEOs want, and organizations need, to see measurable results in weeks or months and not years. They want to let people work in whatever editor they want, that the technical people want to use Oxygen, but that most people should be able to work in MS Word. They want technology from various vendors to work together with an architecture that can be used for all staff. They want to get control of MS Word and they want to completely hide the XML from the writer. In short, they want simple, elegant, implementable solutions.

The Result:  The Monarch and everyone in the kingdom instantly knew that a great truth had been spoken and that Frank's life would be spared.  And so it was that Frank was granted his freedom and would receive a lifelong supply of treats.

And, except for Susan and Ralph, they all lived happily ever after.