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Issue 03 May 2013
The value of nature: from compliance to opportunity
A new approach to nature is urgently needed, says Mark Tercek, President and CEO of The Nature Conservancy, Speaking at the Westminster Town Hall Forum. Conservation is not only vital to human well-being, he argues, it is also the smartest commercial investment any business or government can make, especially in developing economies. In Tercek‘s view, nature should be seen as a valuable asset or "green infrastructure". In his recent book entitled Nature‘s Fortune Tercek shows how this approach allows for breakthroughs not only in conservation — by protecting water supplies; making cities more sustainable, livable and safe; and dealing with unavoidable climate change — but in economic terms too. By seeing nature as green infrastructure, organizations can reap substantial commercial benefits in the form of risk mitigation, cost reduction, new investment opportunities, and the protection of existing assets, Tercek concludes.
> Full story: "Mark Tercek speaking at the Westminster Town Hall Forum", broadcast on Minnesota Public Radio (19 April 2013).
Onboarding 2.0: how to tap personal strengths
How can companies get the most out of new hires, ask Daniel M. Cable, Francesca Gino and Bradley R. Staats in the MIT Sloan Management Review? Traditional onboarding processes tend to focus on "teaching" newcomers organizational values, note the authors. But their research reveals that encouraging new hires to bring their unique perspectives and signature strengths to the job is far more effective. This "personal-identity socialization" involves seeing a job as a platform for individuals to express his/her authentic self, and not just as a set of activities, explain the authors. Modest investments in socialization practices can massively boost employee retention and engagement, they conclude.
> Full story: J. Daniel M. Cable, Francesca Gino and Bradley R. Staats, "Reinventing Employee Onboarding" in the MIT Sloan Management Review (Spring 2013).
Chief Risk Officer: stepping into the spotlight
The role of Chief Risk Officer has undergone a dramatic change over the last decade, reports Brooke Masters in the Financial Times. The financial crisis has turned an undesirable policeman post into a business-driving function with key oversight responsibilities and a salary to match, notes the author. The figures tell the story: according to a recent Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu survey 79% of CROs having input into business strategy, 63% play a role in approving new products and 80% report directly to the CEO or the board of directors. The current problem for companies, explains the author, is a restricted talent pool. High-profile CRO positions require a combination of quasi-legal, accounting, consulting, operations and technical skills that very few individuals possess.
> Full story: Brooke Masters, "Crisis moves chief risk officers from supporting role to centre stage" in the Financial Times (29 April 2013).
Airline industry: new game rules call for relationship-building CEOs
The constraints of national ownership are melting as governments liberalize aviation markets. New business models are emerging as a result that enable airlines to establish their own, tailored constellations of partners depending on their specific needs and strengths. The growing importance of such "radial" or "egocentric" partnerships will fundamentally change the profile of a good airline CEO, reports Airline Leader. High-level relationship management will be essential, along with the ability to accommodate conflicting interests among partners. "Radial alliance" CEOs will need to effectively communicate how these new partnerships will evolve to all management tiers within their airline. Their success will also hinge on their ability to understand the complex technical issues that govern the working interfaces between airline partners.
> Full story: "Radial alliances and virtual airlines", in Airline Leader (April 2013)
For more information, see Egon Zehnder’s Aviation study ”Flying Higher in Stormy Weather - Developing the New Leaders for Aviation Success”