Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Green IT Strategies

As definitions go, IDC says that Green IT is all about "the design, manufacture, deployment and recyling of IT products and related materials in an environmentally responsible manner." (see article)

The 10 "Ps"

Our Dinner For Decision Makers, with Bob Fox as keynote was enlightening. He stood in a room full of people -- still jet lagged after surviving 20 hours on a plane from Palau -- discussing CEOs.

"In thinking about career & success, the key is ability and integrity" said Fox, a veteran CEO himself. "And here are the 10 'Ps' you have to watch out for":
  • People - The primary component to success or failure
  • Passion - I believe in it, and will make it happen
  • Perspective - What is this all about?
  • Priorities - What is the most important objective?
  • Performance - Being noticed for what you do
  • Personality - How other people see you
  • Pragmatic - There is more than one way
  • Power - Recognize where it is and use it judiciously
  • Politics - Be very alert & cautious
  • Perfect - The enemy of good

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

CEOs shoulder the blame

CEO’s shoulder nearly 60% of the blame for a company crisis. Perhaps this explains why in 2007 we saw an all time high of CEOs leaving their posts. North American CEO turnover increased 50% from 2006-to-2007. And globally, 32% of CEO’s were forced to leave their organizations “against their will” -- statistically shortening the average term of a “global chief” to just 6-years. (See Forbes article)

Is it just harder to be a CEO today than it was in yester-year? The AeA Los Angeles Council proudly brings Bob Fox to the table tonight to examine not only that question, but to identify the common traits and characteristics of what turns a CEO from savior to barbarian. (See keynote descriptor)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

DOLLARS & SENSE: The ABC's of a Corporate Board & Social Responsibility

I was recently exposed to a book entitled “The Human Side Of Corporate Governance” by Morten House. Deep inside its pages I found a passage about “Barbarians and CEOs” which tickled me since we’re hosting a dinner on 03/11/08 entitled “Barbarians & Other CEO’s I’ve Known” with Bob Fox as the keynote. (see blog entry below)

According to my quick research on the topic, the “ABCs” of most corporate boards fit into one of three types:

  • A – “aunt boards” –typical in small firms where no one has any role other than a notch on their resume. Often described as a “pool of helpers,” they play the role of discussion-partner, crying-shoulders, and source for advice in decision-making.
  • B – “barbarian boards” –typically described as having a distant, and sometimes hostile relationship with their CEOs. They do not trust the management, and the management does not trust them.
  • C – “clan boards” –typically generated though an inner circle of connected people, constituting a distinct network. The “clan” members tend to support each other during board meetings, and traditionally, there is a mutual support between the board members and the CEO.

What becomes obvious is that while the board roles might vary depending on the attributes of the CEO (tenure, ownership & competence), the main purpose of the board is to enhance executive decision-making and improve organizational performance.

With issues of social responsibility, transparency and corporate governance in the spotlight, boards must find techniques for strengthening their organizations. Where “financial capital” used to be the primary measure of success, “human capital” has become equally critical. So described by Wikipedia, "the concept of a corporate board’s fiduciary duty has to expand to include social, environmental and human rights issues."

My observation is this: the board’s ideology of “making dollars” has to graduate to “making sense” if the organization is to be heralded and survive.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Best Corporate Citizens GO GREEN!

By viewing sustainability "though a business lens," Intel’s has begun answering the question "How Does Going Green Impact The Bottom Line?"

According to Intel President & CEO, Paul Otellini, Intel has dedicated capital funding for energy conservation projects to the tune of $20-million dollars (since 2001) and has achieved savings of more than $42-million and more than 500-million kilowatt hours.

As Intel’s Corporate Responsibility Director, Dave Stangis notes, Corporate Social Responsibility is now "a boardroom conversation."

From boardroom to classroom, I am pleased to say that Intel has agreed to be a GOLD SPONSOR for the AeA Los Angeles Council "green" event on 03/20/08.

It's clear that Intel believes that global climate change is a serious economic, social and environmental challenge that warrants an equally serious societal and policy response. In 2006, Intel joined the U.S. EPA’s Climate Leaders program, pledging to reduce its global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 30 percent per production unit from 2004 to 2010. “Intel helped establish a goal for PFCs (perfluorocompounds) that the entire industry could support,” Otellini told CRO.

It's perhaps no surprise that Intel, on Wednesday 02/27, was announced #1 of the "100 Best Corporate Citizens" of 2008, by CRO Magazine. Developed with an eye on large, impactful corporations in 8 categories:

  • Climate Change
  • Employee Relations
  • Environment
  • Financial
  • Governance
  • Human Rights
  • Lobbying
  • Philanthropy

Intel rose to the top. According to CRO, Intel ranked in the top 100 in five of the eight categories, scoring its best mark in Environment (which measures environmental disclosures, policies and performance) and in the top 200 in another category, Philanthropy. CRO gave Climate Change and other issues related to the environment the greatest weight because of their accute importance. (view methodology)

In the 9 years that this list has been tabulated, just three companies -- Intel (#1), Cisco (#14), Starbucks (#35) have appeared on the list every year. (See the list)

Companies that were involved in a recent (during the past 3 years) major public scandal (involving significant government-or-regulator imposed fine; major governemnt-initiated lawsuit; admission of guilt or conviction; major corpoate governance lapse; or other comparable infraction) were listed by CRO as "In The Penalty Box" (take a look)

GO GREEN WITH THE AeA! Come to our event on 03/20/08.