[tweetmeme] Search is the C-Suite executive’s homepage: They’re researching their competitors and industry trends online on a daily basis. Nearly all of them use search engines for research, and half say they find what they want or expect. In fact 70% of C-Level Executives believe the web is the most important source for business information.


More than likely, it’s going to be something he or she read online (70%) or heard about from a colleague (66%) that drives them to search. This information is from a survey and one-on-one interviews conducted by Forbes Insights in March and April 2009.

There are differences in the C-Suite drawn along age lines, and expressed in the degree to which executives immerse themselves in digital mindsets.

The difference is stark, and is best expressed in these three groups:

Generation Wang (I prefer to call them Generation Typing-pool) is 50+ and content to use the Internet as a means of augmenting traditional approaches to information gathering and networking.

Generation PC, (40-50) is made up of digital settlers, goes a few steps further. It’s no coincidence, for instance, that President Barack Obama—having taken office at age 48—is the nation’s first chief executive to use email and demand a BlackBerry.

But it is Generation Netscape (<40) -that has the potential to bring a new persona to the C-suite, one in which transparency and openness are core personal and professional attributes. These executives are likely to take collaboration and networking in research to unprecedented levels. The most black-and-white difference is found in blogging: More than half of executives under 40 maintain a work-related blog at least several times a week- For executives who are 50-plus only 5% contribute at least several times a week. In short, we can be sure to find C-Suit executives on search engines – most of them many times a day. The key business issues faced by CEOs are clear: strategic plans, how to stay innovative, the welfare of employees, and making sure they have a responsive organization. But there's a new beast: climate change. Adjusting business to deal with carbon reduction necessitates culture change. And - according to Forbes - culture change is seen as the most risky business initiative that can be undertaken, exceeding the risk of new product launches and company acquisition.
So now we know where the C-Suite are, we know how they like to interact, and we know what challenges they’re wrestling with. It’s about time we helped them go sustainable.

Download Forbes research pdf

Bookmark, share, or comment on this post below.
Want to write for The Hunter blog under your own byline? Tell us.

Privacy Preference Center