General ignorance:: accident or design?

The PROFESSIONAL-NOVICE DIVIDE is something that I have touched upon before, when dealing with “Hierarchies of Understanding” and “The difference between knowledge and understanding”. But, from the evidence of what I have seen in my own industry [insurance] – like wider Society – the gap between the haves and the have-nots, is, if not widening, then certainly not closing! This isn’t only detrimental to current stakeholders and shareholders…

  • job satisfaction
  • employee retention
  • effectiveness and efficiency
  • errors and omissions
  • management and performance
  • governance and compliance
  • profitability
  • resilience and sustainability

…but to those that follow.

I’m sure that there are those conspiracy theorists who would suggest that this is no accident. But I’m not so sure. Although I could be easily persuaded that leaders of the prevailing culture – some of whom view technology, like financial rewards, only in terms of what short term benefits it brings them and their business – still view humans and technology within organisations as separate entities.

How can they be? They are interdependent components in the processes of a business system that has been created to perform a range of functions from which the organisation generates revenue, the means to sustain the enterprise and (hopefully) profit.

This kind of thinking is holding many organisations back!

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Who ever doubted that happy employees were key to success?


When you ask the question like that it seems preposterous that there are any employers out there who actually ever thought “differently”!?

Even more bizarre when you realise that some prominent companies in the insurance industry (particularly brokers focused on growth…at any cost) prefer to continue to ignore the detrimental impact upon their business – of a "bad" culture or environment – preferring instead to “blame” employees if/when they don’t “buy-in” to flawed strategies or a Corporate Culture that is more about “the model” that it ever was about “the customer”.

The tell-tale signs are there for all to see: low morale; high staff turnover; high growth targets; focus on price, sales and marketing; low renewal retention, etc.

Give employees freedom within a framework to improve the customer experience

There aren’t too many “happy employees” within organisations driven by Greed, Fear & Ego and if employers don’t recognise the contribution of their own staff to the success of the operation, it really doesn’t bode well for how the company’s “leaders” treat their customers and other stakeholders! 

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Linking Executive Compensation to Sustainability Performance:: 2Sustain

English: Balance of Sustainability

English: Balance of Sustainability (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As sustainability issues become more common in the boardroom and the volume of shareholder proposals related to those issues grows, the link between corporate sustainability performance and executive compensation is expected to become more important, according to the latest Director Notes report from The Conference Board.

Interest has grown among shareholders in recent years about the inclusion of sustainability performance as part of the compensation formula, notes the report, “Linking Executive Compensation to Sustainability Performance.” The growing value that shareholders are placing on long-term performance and corporate sustainability serves as an indicator for directors that nonfinancial performance may become a more prominent topic in future proxy seasons.

“Today the vast majority of executive compensation schemes are based almost exclusively on companies’ financial performance, rarely taking into account performance on increasingly important environmental and social issues,” says Thomas Singer, a research associate at The Conference Board and author of the report. “However, we are seeing a gradual shift toward a notion of performance assessment that incorporates nonfinancial elements, and there are a few leading companies that offer great examples of what this looks like in practice. The growing importance of sustainability in the boardroom means we can expect nonfinancial performance to play a greater role in future executive compensation schemes.”

The report discusses corporate directors’ increasing interest in sustainability matters, progress being made toward a notion of performance assessment that incorporates nonfinancial elements and efforts by some companies to explain how they link incentive awards to sustainability targets in response to shareholder proposals on this topic. “Linking Executive Compensation to Sustainability Performance” provides data on and examples of companies that are already tying executive compensation to sustainability performance. It also highlights the challenges involved in creating a compensation framework that incorporates sustainability performance, and provides data and voting results for shareholder proposals linking sustainability performance to executive compensation since 2009, and board responses to such proposals.

Linking Executive Compensation to Sustainability Performance