From 1934, the year marking the passing of the Securities Exchange Act, and 1977, no major corporate reforms were passed. In the past 30 years, however, the situation changed dramatically. Huge corporate scandals, including Enron, WorldCom, Bear Stearns and Siemens have led to sweeping reforms. Is this the trend now? And should it be?
The Budget Control Act of 2011 promised to reduce the budget deficit, and deep cuts have been made across the board, with government contractors paying an especially high price. Historically, government contractors have enjoyed stability in terms of revenue and profits, but neither is certain in a period of market volatility when budget cuts are high priority.
A CCO's primary focus must be on culture - that is, building a culture of ethics and compliance throughout the organization. Lay this foundation and you'll have gone a long way to minimizing risk. Corporate culture should also make up much of what the CCO reports to the Board and senior management. Michael Volkov has some strong words for CCOs...
In an effort to win over a majority of Allergan shareholders, both the parties angling for a takeover and the the company itself are mounting aggressive campaigns to make their cases. Due to some shady goings-on around the recent stock buy-up, Allergen is facing some considerable communications challenges, not the least of which is a sullied reputation among investors.
CIOs must take the lead on IT governance as a means to align the IT division's efforts with the overarching business strategy. But effective IT governance is more than measurement, oversight and the implementation of best practices. The most effective programs facilitate awareness and behavioral change throughout the organization.
An E&C program must be effective -- not necessarily convenient. Does the Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer have enough authority and autonomy? What's being reported to the Board, and does the Board have proper oversight of the E&C program? These are just some of the factors that influence the effectiveness of an E&C program.
Your staff are expected to deliver quality performance. When they fall short - as long as poor training isn't the cause of the problem - it doesn't really matter why. Subpar results just won't do, and must be addressed if the organization is to thrive. If underperformers go unchecked, there’s a much bigger problem to be corrected – with leadership.
There's no question that Board members' jobs are tougher now than ever before. All the more reason to increase accountability; failures in governance often lead right back to the Board, and shareholders bear the brunt of the consequences. The flashier issues, such as CEO hirings, tend to draw their attention, but compliance needs its time in the sun, as well.
True motivation must come from within. Take Bill Gates for example, one of the wealthiest people on the planet. His drive isn’t tied to financial gain – when you can wallpaper your estate with $100 bills, bonuses just don’t mean as much. Top performers, from the billionaire to the less prosperous master of a craft, often find their motivation elsewhere.
Boko Haram loosely means “Western education is sinful." This group needn’t worry about recruiting minions in the U.S., however, since American universities seem eager to further their cause with a commitment to withholding conflicting and controversial topics from their campuses.
If you need a compelling reason to appoint more women to the Board, here you’ll find several. Firms with a gender-balanced Board tend to enjoy multiple benefits, an assertion supported by several recent studies. Yet worldwide, corporate Boards are still dominated my men. Increasing diversity in the boardroom also increases conflict, lessens trust, and heightens scrutiny.
It all started peacefully enough. At 7 am, I parked my car in the underground parking garage of our Connecticut offices and hopped on the elevator.