Sunday, May 21, 2006Investors are becoming more interested in understanding the business case for sustainable development and corporate responsibility. But too often, CR information is provided too late or it doesn’t meet requirements.
Here, Nicky Amos and Will Oulton give 10 top tips on maximizing your investor engagement strategy.
1. Take time to understand the drivers and motives of investors wishing to engage with your company on CR issues.
2. Prioritize investors that are most strategically important to your company.
3. Identify roles and responsibilities across CEO, FD, company secretary, investor relations and CR functions and agree a coherent communications strategy.
4. Build relationships with key investors as part of your engagement strategy.
5. Actively engage with the investment community by organising analyst briefings, providing regular CR updates on your website.
6. Disclose information on issues that are material to business performance; in other words, those issues that would enable shareholders and others stakeholders to make informed decisions about your company, including social, environmental and governance issues.
7. Apply good communications principles to your disclosure on CR and governance issues. Avoid anecdotal information and ensure that what you communicate is meaningful, timely and tailored to the needs of investors.
8. Articulate the business case for your CR and sustainable development program. Show how good CR performance is critical to your company’s growth and long-term success.
9. Develop robust KPIs in conjunction with your stakeholders in order to provide tangible measures on issues that are material to your business.
10. Keep a watching brief on how the investment community is responding to the need for more refined disclosures on CR and governance and do what you can to anticipate these needs as part of your communications strategy.
Nicky Amos and Will Oulton, Corporate Culture
Friday, May 12, 2006Trust is the foundation for teamwork and collaboration, whether face-to-face or in virtual teams. But trust is hard to establish, especially when teams are frequently changing and team members haven't had long to gel. Here, Debbie Lawley offers five top tips for establishing trust in virtual teams.
1. Keep it simple:What you might try and achieve with a co-located team may not work with a virtual team. Keep the teams small (10 core contributors is ideal) and give them a reasonable, well-defined scope of operation, rather than working with a large team and too many complex interrelationships. In a small team, there will be fewer relationships to handle and trust will be easier to establish.
2. Have good leadership: A good leader - of anything, not just virtual teams - will build trust through merging individual cultures and personalities into a team culture. In a virtual team there's a need for good leadership and trust in their ability. Organize face to face meetings to establish the team's base and discover personalities and let people meet who they're going to be working with virtually. The real work will only start after that first face to face meeting.
3. Maintain the team: Have you ever been in a work situation with a high staff turnover? New people coming and going all the time breeds distrust in teams and departments. In a virtual team, this effect is amplified.
Even though the size of a team will no doubt flex throughout a project, it's important to try and maintain the members as best you can. Aim to minimize the turnover and let team members build relationships. Beware that changing team members deep into a virtual team project may impact trust and have a negative effect on the team and it's ultimate goal.
4. Keep a balance of skills and personalities: should you choose team members that are alike or different in skills and personality? The answer is to have both and have a good balance of people in your team. Being like each other raises the degree of trust among members although it also reduces diversity. You need a mix of people to create and innovate.
5. Trust people and they'll do better jobs: If you trust people to get on with their work, most will do it more effectively than they would do with someone hovering over them. This applies to virtual teams too. Perceiving people to be high performers also reduces the likelihood that they'll renege on tasks and so increases trust.
Adapted from: Establishing trust in virtual teams at Orange, By Debbie Lawley, in the May/June issue of KM Review.
By Debbie Lawley, Willow Transformations
Source: The Source -
Tuesday, May 09, 2006Top Tips: How to discover HR’s strategic opportunities
In today’s competitive world, organizations won't continue to fund anything that doesn’t add value, including HR. If it fails to reduce costs and improve services, HR has a bleak future. So, how can HR make effective differences and save itself?
1. Ask the business questions
Ask executives how the strategy is working out, what's exciting or worrying them. Initially, executives might be surprised by your questions, but will soon become accustomed to having business conversations with you. Ask what's discussed and seems important, but isn't measured or openly reported. What executives see and hear can be more important to them than performance figures.
2. Check business plans
Look for the HR implications of the business strategy/plan. How many people does it assume, where are they, what skills and qualifications will be needed and do rewards systems support the plan? If there's no written strategy/plan, ask senior managers if such informality works well. Can HR add strategic value by facilitating the development of a formal strategy? Look for assumptions, omissions, mistakes and inconsistencies in the strategy – they're all opportunities for HR to add value.
3. Look for performance issues
Get a copy of the performance measures used by executives – these may not be the official measures. Discover what competitors are doing. Their decisions might not be wholly relevant to your organization, but there may be some good ideas you can implement. Additionally, their successes might highlight your problems.
Create opportunities to share information and ideas with other HR professionals in your organization. Ask for their help in obtaining further information, discussing your ideas, checking draft proposals and so on. Attend conferences and workshops, build new relationships, keep detailed notes (containing information which you might otherwise forget) and share them with others.
Source: Peter Goodge: http://www.strategichr.co.uk, excerpted by Annie Waite, Editor Source - Melcrum.
Taking results from five years worth of research between 2000-2005 within government bodies, energy and utilities businesses in South East Asia, Bridges Business Consultancy has revealed that 90% of strategies fail to be carried out successfully. Of the 150 line managers questioned, 97% percent agreed with the statement "Implementation fails because of bad execution, not bad strategy."
The results revealed that the top ten challenges in implementing change initiatives are:
1. Gaining support and action
2. Communicating the change
3. Overcoming resistance from staff
4. Support of senior management
5. Aligning processes
6. Tracking success of implementation
7. Changing rewards and recognition
8. Acquiring customer feedback
9. Implementing new technology
10. Acquiring budget
According to the survey, the most common way for communicating change initiatives to staff was via e-mail (25% of the time), followed by briefings and newsletters. The survey also revealed that most communication was front-loaded – there was too much information and activity at the start, closely followed by a lack of consistent communication strategy over the term of the initiative or implementation.
Other findings from the research include the greatest resistance to change within organizations comes from middle managers: 54%, versus 13% from executive level and 23% from front-line workers.
Source: "Bricks to Bridges: Make your strategy come alive" by Robin Speculand. www.bridgesconsultancy.com ; excepted by Annie Waite, Editor Source - Melcrum.
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