CEOs’ Ask Me Anything

November 02, 2014

CEOs’ Ask Me Anything

It is raining here in New York today which gives me an opportunity to randomly flit from one link to another. I was looking at the WSJ’s CIO column about what CEOs are reading to a New Yorker article on Grain and the Gluten-free marketplace to this PC magazine article on Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s open invitation to ask him anything this coming Thursday, November 6th, 2pm EST.  Zuckerberg holds these sessions internally every week but decided to open up a session to the world (announced on Facebook and linked here) for an hour. “It’s an important part of Facebook’s culture,” he wrote in a personal post. “People ask thoughtful questions about why our company is going in certain directions, what I think about things happening in the world, and how we can continue improving our services for everyone. I learn a lot from these Q&As, and the questions people ask help us build better services.”

There are already some 6,000 questions and I bet he has many more coming in. How to pick the ones for the session has to be herculean. He says that he learns a lot from these sessions and it is a great way to crowd source ideas. Some questions already posted go like this:

  • when u gonna introduce the dislike button ?
  • Are you ever tempted to shut it down just for an hour unannounced just to see the social impact?
  • How do you protect our privacy ?
  • Can you call future events like this “Question Mark”?
  • is there a company that you tried to buy that didn’t work out that you regret not figuring out the deal and buying?

I think this is a great idea and more CEOs should do this internally at least. We did this at Weber Shandwick and it was fun to read the kinds of questions people asked our CEO and his answers. It humanizes CEOs and gives employees a read on the person. Since we at Weber Shandwick have employees from around the world, the exchange can be revealing and beneficial to building a cohesive and motivated workforce. 

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of corporate and CEO reputations.

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