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Jul 08
2010

Customers drive innovation

Posted by SherylNash01 in innovationideascustomerscustomer servicecareer/management

SherylNash01

As companies emerge from the recession, they are looking for new ways to grow. Ingenuity is key, and a number of companies are looking to their customers to help them drive innovation.

In the past two years, Masco Bath has turned the traditional product-development process on its head, reaching out to customers to help design new shower and bathing systems, rather than rely on in-house staff. The initiative called, Voice of the Customer (VOC), was the brainchild of president Chris Yankowich, as a way to cut costs and increase user satisfaction.

Jul 06
2010

Good governance vital to going public

Posted by SherylNash01 in IPOgoing publiccorporate governancecompliancecareer/management

SherylNash01

Corporate governance can make or break an IPO, according to advisory firm KPMG. Governance topped the ranking of biggest headaches faced by companies preparing to go public, recent KPMG surveys found. And Aamir Husain, national leader for IPO Services at KPMG, says that corporate governance can be such an issue that it can kill an IPO.

The work involved in improving corporate governance can be overwhelming and complex. There is compliance with SarbOx, quarterly reports with the SEC, the annual 10k, robust auditing and internal controls -- numerous systems and processes that need to be in place.

Jul 04
2010

Non-profits revamp boards for better governance

Posted by SherylNash01 in non-profitsnon-profit boardsgovernancecareer/management

SherylNash01

Non-profit boards are on the hot seat, much like their corporate counterparts. They are receiving greater scrutiny from policy makers, the public and the Internal Revenue Service. While the spotlight is on the board's role in ensuring compliance with the law and preventing fraud, of equal importance is leading their organizations at a time when obtaining revenue growth and controlling expenses are priorities.

Change is afoot in the non-profit governance arena. Take for example the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). Last fall, its Member Agencies voted to change the organization's governance-transitioning from a Board of Trustees comprised exclusively of Member Agency representatives to one with a majority of at-large national thought leaders.

Jul 01
2010

Companies unprepared for "say-on-pay" provision

Posted by SherylNash01 in say-on-payfinancial reform billexecutive compensationcareer/management

SherylNash01

Companies are either surprised by the say-on-pay provision in the financial reform bill or dismissing its importance, judging from a new Towers Watson survey.

It found that only 12 percent of respondents said they are very well prepared for the say-on-pay legislation, while 46 percent said they were somewhat prepared. Some 22 percent said they didn't know if their companies were ready.

Jun 30
2010

Corporate social responsibility gains more traction

Posted by SherylNash01 in shareholder resolutionsgovernanceESGcorporate social responsibilitycareer/management

SherylNash01

The current proxy season is giving hope to social and environmental shareholder activists they will eventually prevail on management to adopt their resolutions.

Those favoring socially and environmentally sound policies are winning historically high levels of support. While they're non-binding, increasing support for them puts pressure on managers to respond.

Jun 28
2010

Why Dell is likely to go private

Posted by SherylNash01 in public to privateDellcomputerscareer/management

SherylNash01

Michael Dell got the bees buzzing when he recently said he has considered taking his company private.

Dell has more than $11 billion in cash and investments on its balance sheet, but that doesn't tell the computer maker's whole story. "Growth has dried up, their sales have flat-lined around $60 billion, and the competition is stronger," said Andre Zdanow, chief market strategist at Charles Vista.

Jun 24
2010

The uncomfortable role of chief compliance officer

Posted by SherylNash01 in compliance, chief compliance officer, career/management

SherylNash01

New federal sentencing guidelines from the Department of Justice have cast a spotlight on the question of whom a Chief Compliance Officer should report to. Unfortunately, the guidelines themselves, which are used by judges to sentence those convicted of crimes, provide little guidance. And the result could mean that the CCO reports to several different individuals, which could lead to confusion or even conflict over compliance. But experts say that may be the price companies need to pay to make sure the CCO's voice is heard.

The guidelines amended by the DoJ in April merely state that the individual or individuals with day-to-day operational responsibility for a company's compliance and ethics should have direct reporting obligations to what they call "the governing authority or an appropriate subgroup thereof."

Jun 24
2010

Say on severance gaining support

Posted by SherylNash01 in shareholder activismsay on severancefinancial reformcareer/management

SherylNash01

First there was say on pay, now it's say on severance...maybe.

The Senate conferees trying to hammer out a massive financial overhaul bill have seemingly agreed to include a House supported provision that would give shareholders an advisory vote on golden parachutes, according to Dow Jones.

Jun 21
2010

CFO resigns from KV Pharmaceutical two months after hiring

Posted by SherylNash01 in corporate boardsCFO resignationscareer/management

SherylNash01

There's no shortage of drama at KV Pharmaceutical. Last week Chairman Terry Hatfield, Stephen Stamp, who was named CFO April 13, and board member John Sampson quit, citing "serious concerns" about newly elected board members and senior management.

The previous week, immediately following the company's annual meeting, the newly elected board ousted interim President and CEO David Van Vilet, who had been in charge since December 2008.

Jun 17
2010

Most CEOs have no heir apparent

Posted by SherylNash01 in succession planninggovernanceCEOscareer/management

SherylNash01

More than half of companies today cannot immediately name a successor to their CEO should the need arise, according to new research conducted by executive search and leadership consulting firm Heidrick & Struggles and Stanford University's Rock Center for Corporate Governance.

"The lack of succession planning at some of the biggest public companies poses a serious threat to corporate health, especially as companies struggle toward a recovery," said Stephen A. Miles, vice chairman at Heidrick & Struggles in a prepared statement. "Not having a truly operational succession plan can have devastating consequences for companies - from tanking stock prices to serious regulatory and reputational impact."

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