How you as a CTO know the board didn’t understand your tech strategy

95% of boards will not tell you that they didn’t understand your tech strategy presentation.

You might find out by chance, 3 or 6 months later.

Here’s how you know that the board didn’t understand your tech strategy presentation:

✓ there are literally no questions or comments at the end

✓ there are a few comments or questions but they’re vague, such as: “that’s interesting”, “anyone else has anything to add?” etc

✓ they ask lots of questions but they’re ALL about RISK.

The questions sound detailed and you might fall into the trap of thinking they’re about how the tech works.

You try to explain something important, they don’t understand it, they fire complex questions and you keep going in loops, and never quite seem to get to the bottom of the explanation.

Their questions sound like they want to know all these little levels of details so they can make a call on giving you the budget for the strategy and understanding the risk.

You might even start explaining the tech, for eg you say: “the embedded operating system is free”.

Then you start getting questions about “why is it free, someone must have paid for it”…

I have news for you: the board are only asking questions about the details because you haven’t given them the right information to feel like they know what they’re making a decision on…

The board wants to understand:

✓ how is your strategy aligned with the business strategy
✓ what are the risks involved in delivering the proposed (changed) roadmap
✓ what are the benefits of changing, investment required and potential ROI.

How have you seen boards not understanding someone’s presentation manifest?

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Adelina Chalmers a.k.a The Geek Whisperer

Helps Engineers who are Leaders (CEO/ CTO/ VP) get buy-in from their peers/teams/investors by transforming Communication techniques into Algorithms