Blog article

Want your employees to behave on social media? Spell out the rules

In recent years, employees’ personal use of social media has become a thorny issue for companies. On one hand, people who post positively about their job or workplace can boost a brand’s reputation — an important recruiting tool in an era when “star employees” are a valuable commodity. On the other hand, posts deemed offensive by an employer or the general public can bring negative exposure to a firm, resulting in calls to boycott the company until the employee is fired — a phenomenon known as a collaborative brand attack. There’s even a slang term — “dooced” — for getting fired for posting questionable comments, pictures, or videos. The term is a reference to Heather Armstrong, an employee terminated for posting satirical stories about her job and colleagues on her parenting blog, dooce.com.

As companies feel their way through this space, a few researchers have examined social media

Read more

To build agility, engage your organization one team at a time

For some time, the leaders I work with have known conceptually that they need greater organizational agility. They talk often about the increase in VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity), and the capabilities required to respond. But these conversations have sometimes felt a bit abstract or theoretical. Now, in the context of the novel coronavirus and its economic, social, personal, and political reverberations, such detachment seems almost absurd. How do you lead well amid such turbulence — whether such turbulence stems from the near-term challenges of the pandemic or from the need to tackle ongoing global issues such as reworking our energy infrastructure, managing cybersecurity and privacy, and expanding opportunity for all?

Thankfully, leaders increasingly prioritize people. They recognize the need to communicate proactively and to support employees, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders in staying healthy, productive, and engaged as the world around them changes. Yet champions of change often

Read more

No success without succession

Avery Bullard is a larger-than-life chief executive who’s built the Tredway Corp. into a world-class furniture company. At 56, he’s in his prime. But he has neglected to designate a successor as his second-in-command. Hours before a last-minute executive committee meeting, he’s felled by a cerebral hemorrhage.

A question now arises: Which of his lieutenants will try to fill Bullard’s massive shoes?

The answer is nearly all of them, and that’s the trouble. Today, succession planning is one of the many issues the novel coronavirus has made urgent at the highest levels of business. Someday, perhaps, there will be an app for that. Meanwhile there is a novel — an immensely readable and unjustly forgotten tale of corporate intrigue and human striving. It cries out to be revisited by every business leader.

Cameron Hawley’s Executive Suite, a bestseller when it was first published in 1952, is about what happens

Read more

Staying ahead in Latin America’s turbulent oil and gas market

The Inside the Mind of the CEO interview series explores a wide range of critical decisions faced by chief executives around the world. For more insight, see PwC’s CEO Survey.

In 2015, Felipe Bayón was on a short list of candidates for the top job at Ecopetrol, Colombia’s state-owned oil and gas company, which was losing money after a collapse in oil prices. But the board named as CEO Juan Carlos Echeverry, a former finance minister, and tasked him with returning Colombia’s biggest company to profitability. One of his first moves was to hire Bayón, a veteran of BP who had recently led that company’s International Deepwater Response.

While Echeverry slashed spending and restructured the balance sheet, Bayón professionalized the company’s workforce. Under their watch, Ecopetrol lowered its costs of production by more than 30 percent, introduced new technology, and by 2017 was once again profitable. Echeverry stepped down,

Read more

Following sports in the time of COVID-19

How is everyone coping without sports in their lives? Once you’ve read about the cancellation of all major sports events due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, and seen the reactions from the managers, players, and sports organizations, what is left for the billions of fans across the globe? The world still turns, albeit with less drama, less diversion, and less color in it. For many, a world without sports is monochrome.

Perhaps the more pertinent question is: If we only fully notice something like sports when they’re gone, what can this period without them tell us about ourselves and our heroes? What can we learn about our relationship with sports that could help us going forward, once the crisis has passed?

Sports fulfill different roles for different people, and the current hiatus affects us all in different ways. I now understand just how much rhythm soccer provided to my weekly

Read more