Trends in Reputation: Looking Ahead in 2018

2017 was a year like no other for soul-searching issues such as worldwide movements toward populism, concerns over sexual harassment in the workplace, starving polar bears and bots spreading fake news — to name just a few. From the looks of it, most of these issues have yet to be resolved and will continue to be challenges in the year ahead. Add to them whatever new issues will inevitably arise and 2018 should be even more of a heart-stopper. All of this means that during the next 12 months, reputations will continue to be more important — and more at risk — throughout the world. Here are six reputation trends for 2018 and one personal gripe. The CEO Resistance Movement. Axios recently wrote: “This is one of the year’s huge business trends: CEOs and corporations — prodded by shareholders, millennial customers and their own workforces — are increasingly vocal on Continue reading "Trends in Reputation: Looking Ahead in 2018"

CEO Activism: What We Have Learned So Far in 2017

I wanted to share this piece I wrote for Harvard Business Review on what we have learned about CEO and corporate activism so far. We’ve been consistently monitoring the dynamic of CEOs speaking out on some of the hot button issues of the day. In addition to the market research we have done, we analyzed corporate and CEO responses to each of the contentious issues in 2017, whether it was the travel ban, climate change withdrawal, Charlottesville, etc. It is important for companies to understand the patterns in how companies are responding in order to determine if they want to walk that tightrope or not. Here it is. Enjoy. The post CEO Activism: What We Have Learned So Far in 2017 appeared first on ReputationXchange.

CEO Activism: What We Have Learned So Far in 2017

I wanted to share this piece I wrote for Harvard Business Review on what we have learned about CEO and corporate activism so far. We’ve been consistently monitoring the dynamic of CEOs speaking out on some of the hot button issues of the day. In addition to the market research we have done, we analyzed corporate and CEO responses to each of the contentious issues in 2017, whether it was the travel ban, climate change withdrawal, Charlottesville, etc. It is important for companies to understand the patterns in how companies are responding in order to determine if they want to walk that tightrope or not. Here it is. Enjoy. The post CEO Activism: What We Have Learned So Far in 2017 appeared first on ReputationXchange.

CEO Activism: What We Have Learned So Far in 2017

I wanted to share this piece I wrote for Harvard Business Review on what we have learned about CEO and corporate activism so far. We’ve been consistently monitoring the dynamic of CEOs speaking out on some of the hot button issues of the day. In addition to the market research we have done, we analyzed corporate and CEO responses to each of the contentious issues in 2017, whether it was the travel ban, climate change withdrawal, Charlottesville, etc. It is important for companies to understand the patterns in how companies are responding in order to determine if they want to walk that tightrope or not. Here it is. Enjoy. The post CEO Activism: What We Have Learned So Far in 2017 appeared first on ReputationXchange.

Reconciling Hate

Well, I was relieved to see that the word “hate” had fewer mentions than “love” when I searched on Google. That might change over the next few days as people try to reconcile what happened in Charlottesville yesterday.  In our Civility in America study with Powell Tate and KRC Research, one of the key findings was that all this mounting incivility leads to intimidation and threats and violent behavior. Nearly 9 in 10 Americans said so. That’s nearly everyone. People know that the tenor in America is going in the wrong direction. When constructing the questionnaire, it never occurred to us that we should add “death” to the list of repercussions of incivility. Alas, the reputation of America continues to slide due to news like yesterday’s clashes, protests and injuries and I am appalled and saddened. When we conduct our next survey on civility in America sometime at the end of Continue reading "Reconciling Hate"

What CEOs Can Talk About when Activated

In our survey on CEO activism this year, we were curious as to which topics Americans thought appropriate for CEOs to talk about. Not every topic is ripe for CEO activism. The findings were interesting and track with what is most probably on people’s minds. Overall Americans are most likely to say CEOs and business leaders should talk about job and skills training (70%), equal pay (67%), healthcare coverage (62%) and maternity or paternity leave (61%). These subjects are all clearly business-related, and as we saw in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, job security is paramount to many. Jobs is the number one topic for most Americans. Americans are more divided on gender equality, with 48% saying leaders should publicly address this issue, while other issues — those that are arguably politically charged — are not deemed by the average American as public-platform issues: race relations (37%), climate change Continue reading "What CEOs Can Talk About when Activated"

What CEOs Can Talk About when Activated

In our survey on CEO activism this year, we were curious as to which topics Americans thought appropriate for CEOs to talk about. Not every topic is ripe for CEO activism. The findings were interesting and track with what is most probably on people’s minds. Overall Americans are most likely to say CEOs and business leaders should talk about job and skills training (70%), equal pay (67%), healthcare coverage (62%) and maternity or paternity leave (61%). These subjects are all clearly business-related, and as we saw in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, job security is paramount to many. Jobs is the number one topic for most Americans. Americans are more divided on gender equality, with 48% saying leaders should publicly address this issue, while other issues — those that are arguably politically charged — are not deemed by the average American as public-platform issues: race relations (37%), climate change Continue reading "What CEOs Can Talk About when Activated"

CEO Activism in Millennials’ Eyes

As you know if you follow me, I am particularly intrigued by this newest strain of CEO visibility and engagement which has emerged and is rapidly evolving – CEO activism. We at Weber Shandwick along with KRC Research have been examining this phenomenon for some time now and producing original research on the topic. We just released our second survey among 1,021 Americans on their opinions on CEO activism which are especially interesting since they provide new insights on the Millennial generation. The newest survey demonstrates that overall sentiment about CEO activism has not changed much since we did our earlier survey one year ago. BUT Millennials, the most coveted demographic segment by employers and companies looking to sell more products/services are the generation that are most in favor of CEOs being proactive on hot-button societal issues. In size, Millennials have now surpassed Boomers so I’d say that their opinions Continue reading "CEO Activism in Millennials’ Eyes"

CEO Activism in Millennials’ Eyes

As you know if you follow me, I am particularly intrigued by this newest strain of CEO visibility and engagement which has emerged and is rapidly evolving – CEO activism. We at Weber Shandwick along with KRC Research have been examining this phenomenon for some time now and producing original research on the topic. We just released our second survey among 1,021 Americans on their opinions on CEO activism which are especially interesting since they provide new insights on the Millennial generation. The newest survey demonstrates that overall sentiment about CEO activism has not changed much since we did our earlier survey one year ago. BUT Millennials, the most coveted demographic segment by employers and companies looking to sell more products/services are the generation that are most in favor of CEOs being proactive on hot-button societal issues. In size, Millennials have now surpassed Boomers so I’d say that their opinions Continue reading "CEO Activism in Millennials’ Eyes"

CEO Activism in Millennials’ Eyes

As you know if you follow me, I am particularly intrigued by this newest strain of CEO visibility and engagement which has emerged and is rapidly evolving – CEO activism. We at Weber Shandwick along with KRC Research have been examining this phenomenon for some time now and producing original research on the topic. We just released our second survey among 1,021 Americans on their opinions on CEO activism which are especially interesting since they provide new insights on the Millennial generation. The newest survey demonstrates that overall sentiment about CEO activism has not changed much since we did our earlier survey one year ago. BUT Millennials, the most coveted demographic segment by employers and companies looking to sell more products/services are the generation that are most in favor of CEOs being proactive on hot-button societal issues. In size, Millennials have now surpassed Boomers so I’d say that their opinions Continue reading "CEO Activism in Millennials’ Eyes"

CEO Activism in Millennials’ Eyes

As you know if you follow me, I am particularly intrigued by this newest strain of CEO visibility and engagement which has emerged and is rapidly evolving – CEO activism. We at Weber Shandwick along with KRC Research have been examining this phenomenon for some time now and producing original research on the topic. We just released our second survey among 1,021 Americans on their opinions on CEO activism which are especially interesting since they provide new insights on the Millennial generation. The newest survey demonstrates that overall sentiment about CEO activism has not changed much since we did our earlier survey one year ago. BUT Millennials, the most coveted demographic segment by employers and companies looking to sell more products/services are the generation that are most in favor of CEOs being proactive on hot-button societal issues. In size, Millennials have now surpassed Boomers so I’d say that their opinions Continue reading "CEO Activism in Millennials’ Eyes"

A radical kind of brand activism

There is always time for a first when it comes to CEO Activism. First we had the CEOs in opposition to the anti LGBT laws in 2016. Then we had CEOs against the Trump ban on immigration. Then we had the advertisers pulling ads from Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor, a favorite station of the president’s. And most recently some CEOs protested against the climate change withdrawal from the Paris Accord. All of these are part of an evolution of how business is being held accountable to corporate values and standing up for principles that are the foundation of corporate behavior. Then this week we saw the Reebok “flow chart” which criticizes President Trump’s comment about what great shape French President Macron’s wife is in during the presidential visit to Paris and Reebok jumps on this ill-advised statement to say that they take offense. After all Reebok is  all about the women’s fitness Continue reading "A radical kind of brand activism"

A radical kind of brand activism

There is always time for a first when it comes to CEO Activism. First we had the CEOs in opposition to the anti LGBT laws in 2016. Then we had CEOs against the Trump ban on immigration. Then we had the advertisers pulling ads from Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor, a favorite station of the president’s. And most recently some CEOs protested against the climate change withdrawal from the Paris Accord. All of these are part of an evolution of how business is being held accountable to corporate values and standing up for principles that are the foundation of corporate behavior. Then this week we saw the Reebok “flow chart” which criticizes President Trump’s comment about what great shape French President Macron’s wife is in during the presidential visit to Paris and Reebok jumps on this ill-advised statement to say that they take offense. After all Reebok is  all about the women’s fitness Continue reading "A radical kind of brand activism"

Work as a refuge

I wanted to share this post that I wrote for HBR on this idea I had on Sanctuary Companies or Work as a Refuge. It is based on our Civility in America ongoing research with Powell Tate and KRC Research and the learning that work might be one of the last stops for erasing (or at least reducing) incivility. The fact that people consider their workplaces as safe havens from the rude discourse and behavior that is mounting in America made me think how work might just be the remaining safe harbor where people of all backgrounds, ages, gender, etc.  can come together with a common goal and get to know each other, regardless of their political persuasions. I hope you agree or at least entertain the idea that work might just be an incubator for democracy.     The post Work as a refuge appeared first on ReputationXchange.

Work as a refuge

I wanted to share this post that I wrote for HBR on this idea I had on Sanctuary Companies or Work as a Refuge. It is based on our Civility in America ongoing research with Powell Tate and KRC Research and the learning that work might be one of the last stops for erasing (or at least reducing) incivility. The fact that people consider their workplaces as safe havens from the rude discourse and behavior that is mounting in America made me think how work might just be the remaining safe harbor where people of all backgrounds, ages, gender, etc.  can come together with a common goal and get to know each other, regardless of their political persuasions. I hope you agree or at least entertain the idea that work might just be an incubator for democracy.     The post Work as a refuge appeared first on ReputationXchange.

Uncivil Nation

The reputation of the United States is going south. In the recent Civility in America survey, our seventh wave since 2010, Weber Shandwick with Powell Tate and KRC Research found that American voters agreed that political incivility affects the reputation of the U.S. (86%); that uncivil comments by political leaders encourages greater incivility in society (79%); that incivility leads to less political engagement on the part of the American people (75%); that the U.S. is losing stature as a civil nation (73%) and that incivility deters people from entering public service (59%). Those are a lot of consequences resulting from uncivil discourse and behavior! Nearly everyone (97%) believes that it is important for the U.S. president to be civil. This sentiment crosses party lines, although Democrats are more likely than Republicans and Independents to say it is very important (92% vs. 70% and 77%, respectively). Why does a president need Continue reading "Uncivil Nation"

Handling a Crisis

McKinsey just released a report on how companies can prepare for corporate crises and why it is critical for such readiness. There are some notable pieces of advice that I wanted to share. Since we manage crises often at Weber Shandwick, I feel fairly schooled and seasoned when it comes to knowing what to do and what to expect. Additionally, having written a book on how to recover from a crisis, this is a topic that intrigues me greatly. The authors are quite right that a crisis can define a company for years to come and that most companies underestimate the price. McKinsey advises that companies underestimate the cost by five to 10 times. A good thing to remember. Most interesting was this chart. I guess I am very influenced by charts, graphs and stats that size up the extent of the problems faced by CEOs and their teams. Continue reading "Handling a Crisis"

Nameless faceless CEOs

The headline was America’s Invisible Bosses and naturally I was curious. The research by APPrise Mobile found that nearly one quarter (23%) of Americans who work in companies with over 500 employees (midsized) were not sure whether they could name their CEO. This was more common among employees under 24 years old (not a surprise). I guess what did surprise me was this was not what I would call a case for “invisible bosses.” As I see this, the research says that nearly 3 in 4 employed Americans (77%) know their CEO’s name. That’s actually a pretty high number and certainly tips more on the “visible” side of the scale for me. CEOs are not as nameless as one might suspect. APPrise included a great question in the survey. They asked whether employees could identify their CEO from a lineup. That made me laugh. Just imagine a line up Continue reading "Nameless faceless CEOs"

What makes a high-performing CEO?

You ought to read this article on what makes some CEOs successful and others not. There are lots of interesting things to learn from their 10 year old research study called the CEO Genome Project.  The researchers were able to identify what makes a high performing CEO relative to a less successful one from a wide swath of business leaders.  They examined 17,000 C-suite leaders including 2,000 CEOs in all major industry sectors and sizes. The authors are at ghSmart and partnered with economists at the University of Chicago and Copenhagen Business School along with analysts at SAS Inc. Here are some of the findings that stood out for me:
  • Boards like to hire extrovert CEOs but introvert CEOs tend to be better performers.
  • Almost every CEO made material mistakes in their careers and 45% had at least one major career blowup. Learning from failure is important to Continue reading "What makes a high-performing CEO?"

Business response to the immigration ban

On January 27, 2017, President Donald Trump issued an executive order temporarily banning travel to the United States, initially from seven predominantly Muslim countries that was later reduced to six countries. The action sparked protests around the country and the world, including responses from more than 100 companies and their CEOs. Due to our ongoing research on CEO Activism, we examined corporate reactions to the president’s executive order. To do this, we developed an inventory of corporate and CEO responses to the order and began tracking these responses on a daily basis. We analyzed them based on several criteria, including content and form of distribution. As of February 28, we had collected 153 such responses and share a summary of the response composition below. I thought I ‘d share what we learned on my blog. [Many of the CEO responses we collected were excerpts or quotes provided from the Continue reading "Business response to the immigration ban"