2016 Trends: Is This the Year of Authenticity and Trust?

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Trust is an issue on everyone’s mind – especially given the volatility of the business environment in 2016.

Certainly, trust is central to a positive reputation for everyone. However, building – or re-building — trust can feel vexing. The challenge surfaces when what business leaders consider important for trust does not align with what some stakeholders – especially the general public – are expecting. > read post

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Looking at Consolidation in Agriculture through a Reputation Lens

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Agriculture is looking at a year of industry consolidation in 2016 as the agriculture giants continue to restructure themselves in a quest to preserve profit margins. The decline in commodity prices and the recently announced merger of DuPont Co. and Dow Chemical Co. will put extra pressure on the other agriculture players who are looking to maintain their competitive edge. We can expect new deals to be announced as Syngenta AG continues talks with potential buyers. > read post

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2016 Trends: Two Key Reasons to Engage Stakeholders: Number and Influence

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The year ended and started with two contrasting views on stakeholder engagement. We define stakeholder engagement as listening to and then having ongoing, open dialogue with those impacted by the decisions and actions of an organization, in order to understand their expectations. The Reputation Institute predicts stakeholder engagement will become increasingly more important over the next five years, with the number of stakeholders expanding and their roles increasing in strength. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Lake Superior State University listed “stakeholder” as a word that should be banned in 2016 because it’s “being over-used in business to describe customers and others,” instead of simply “describing someone who may actually have a stake in a situation or problem.”

I disagree. Customers and “others” are the very groups impacted by the decisions and actions of an organization – and in turn, can impact the organizations themselves. > read post

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2016 Trends: Social Impact Finally Aligns with Business Strategy

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I recently participated in a meeting of corporate environmental, health and safety (EHS) leaders where they were discussing sustainability. It was interesting to note that no matter what industry they represented, most seemed to be challenged with managing the expectations of their business-to-business customers as a part of their sustainable supply chain. > read post

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2016 Trends: Employees Play a Critical Role in Reputation Management

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As millennial employees replace baby boomers in the workplace, companies need to develop a new appreciation for the role their corporate reputation plays in attracting top talent. Employers have typically maintained that employees are their biggest asset and employees have been expected to be loyal ambassadors of their corporate brands. This formula is about to be tested by the current demographic changes.   > read post

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