NACD Southern California Spring 2018 Newsletter

Voice of the Director_Spring 2018

In our fast-moving world, my best wisdom is to have a network and community that helps you think and re-think what you know.  I am very grateful to the leadership at the NACD Southern California chapter for advancing the dialogue with boardroom peers. The more I ask questions and listen, the more I learn.

I think you’ll enjoy my recent Directorship 2020 article on Navigating Information Technology in the Boardroom by Dean Yoost.  The ability to anticipate risk from inside and outside the business is an essential survival tool for the 21st century.

Do let me know how you are building your network and adding to your community. #corpgov


See Something, Say Something, Do Something

Our CEO, Fay Feeney was honored with the 2017 American Society of Safety Engineers highest honor from her peers, The Fellow.  In addition, Fay is a NACD Board Leadership Fellow.

ASSE 2017 Fellow Fay Feeney, CSP, ARM

Fay’s Fellow Speech

I love safety, let me repeat that, I LOVE safety.

Being named a Fellow means the world to me. Safety is at the foundation of meaningful lives and safety professionals are uniquely qualified to be stewards of workplace safety.

I’m named after my mother’s mother, Bubbee Fagel. She came to America as a young widow with seven children, she knew safety. I’m proud to carry on her legacy

Huge thanks to my petition sponsor, Mike Murray and thanks to all who shared this idea that I could model leadership for our next gen by becoming the fourth female Fellow.

To my handsome husband Don, thanks babe. Your sacrifice of our time enabled this achievement. To my own next gen, my great-niece Charlotte Fay, along with her parents, Meredith and Knolan – thanks for being in the audience today.

Let’s talk about you and your role in making work safe for people. For those who speak to hard hats, I admire you. My career has been in conference rooms speaking to hard heads.

Our business value in a rapidly changing world requires anticipating new risks. We must now integrate a strategic risk approach along with compliance assurance. We do so by listening to all views, including opposing ones.

I urge you to connect your safety efforts to equality of opportunity. Right the wrongs of the system in building an inclusive, safe culture that provides a fair process for all. Be the voice with leadership making a business case for investing in people or as investors call us, human capital.

I ask you to See Something, Say Something, Do Something.

And as a past ASSE Foundation board chair, I challenge you to invest in the future of our profession by giving to the ASSE Foundation.

Let’s move the needle and “make the world of work safer, healthier and sustainable.” Thank you.

Bring Safety into the Boardroom

As a safety professional it is an honor to be published in the ASSE Professional Safety Journal, June 2016.

Briefing the Boardroom on OSH Feeney_0616
Professional Safety Cover

#CorpGov Interview with Santiago Chaher

A huge thanks to Santiago for asking me “What do you do?”

Although most people seem to be able to answer the question: “What do you do?” easily, I always appreciate taking a moment to pause and reflect on it.

I’m frequently asking myself “how can I be helpful in keeping business leaders informed and focused on anticipating the future.”  Here is the interview from: Corporate Governance Leaders

CEO, Risk for Good

Certified as a Safety Professional (CSP) and Associate in Risk Management Certification (ARM) 

Website: Risk for good

Twitter: @fayfeeney

Interviewed: 18-Nov-2014

1. As an expert in risk management strategy, you have extensive experience working with, and serving on, several boards. You have now used this insight to found the advisory firm Risk for Good.Could you provide a brief explanation of what it is that your company does?

Risk for Good is an advisory firm equipping CEOs, boardroom executives and corporate directors to think strategically about risk to allow them to focus on opportunities in the digital age. We now have a digital economy where relationships with customers, employees and investors have forever changed.
We help clients see opportunities to steward brand, reputation and value in this internet spotlight

What services do you provide and what are the company’s main objectives?

The company’s main objective is to work with executives who were born in an analog world capture the value of a digital age and use a connected world to their advantage. The service is working with an executive as a trusted advisor around refreshing corporate board governance. I stay engaged in the corporate governance community and call on my well-informed network to help accelerate progress in the direction the clients chooses to go.

2. You have been distinguished as a very strong advocate for social media in the workplace, especially among boards. How do you presume that social media can be applied to the concept of corporate governance?

Social media is another tool for gathering information as part of the process to control and direct corporations. It is also a mechanism that should be prepared and monitored to respond to brand protection and reputation in a 24/7 world.

Would you say that corporate governance would be improved with a greater use of social media?

Yes, the use case for corporate governance is adding a channel for knowledge flows. We are clearly not operating in a stable business environment. One way to keep informed is to accept that we are operating with more disruptions that generate increasing unknowns and uncertainty. For directors to turn the instability to an opportunity they have to first see the threat. Directors need to explore information about their business beyond the information provided in their board packages.
We are all busy and social media is one way to to connect with people and institutions possessing new knowledge. As John Hagel says “gaining access to the most useful knowledge flows requires reaching beyond the four walls of any enterprise.”

3. Of all the social media available, what resource do you most highly recommend a board member use in order to stay in touch with what is going on in the business environment in terms of customer satisfaction, emerging trends, and overall risks?

I recommend board members to first put this topic on their agenda and not work alone. These are all business issues that management can provide insights on from their points of view. This is not a marketing report alone but a inquiry into investor relations, human resources, strategy, technology, etc. Every department could provide information as step one.
I am not advocating directors to use social media for speaking but for listening. When I work with clients to curate their social media feeds it involves starting with an analysis of the areas of interest to follow: their company, their competitors, investors, employees, industry news, conferences, corporate governance resources and beyond.
This can include a variety of social platforms: Twitter, Linked In, Glassdoor, Facebook, International social media sites, web sites, blogs, etc.

4. How can we motivate key management to implement technology/social media in the business environment? How can CEOs motivate the rest of the company?

Good question, I’m spending time with key management that has already decided this is an important area for exploration. Externalaties will eventually motivate action but the longer it takes the harder it will be to play catch up.
The CEO can motivate others by gaining experience is using these new tools. Much of the learning comes from experimentation and a willingness to use new tools. They can also point to threat coming to relevance from not using.

5. What are the key factors to consider when assessing a board’s performance and monitoring a board’s governance? Do you find technology to play an important role in your monitoring strategy? What would you say is the main risk that can be mitigated by the use of technology?

You can access this by asking about if and how social technology is on the agenda and more importantly how it is being used to stay informed. This main risk from social technology is to risk loss of the brand by not staying informed and/or lack of monitoring of the brand.

6. How do you see Corporate Governance developing in the next few years? Are there any specific hurdles boards must overcome to reach this prospective target?

Investors and stakeholders are enabled by the transparency from social media. They will use all means available to be seen and heard. This could result in the boardroom seeing the need for refreshing their thinking on who to appoint and what skills are needed for future success.
I’m confident that an ability to see beyond the boardroom and use the wisdom of a connected world will be an essential skill in the future.
Thanks for asking and best wishes on your new venture Santiago.

Thank you Fay!

[Read more…]

NACD Directorship 2020 with Fay Feeney – NACD So Cal July 2014

Directorship 2020® is a NACD National initiative created to help directors identify and prepare for shifting issues and opportunities that boards will have to address in the future. Technology is and will continue to be an item that directors must understand in order to drive strategic change in their companies.

When it comes to technology, the boardroom has been learning a new language: mobile, social, cloud, cyber security, digital disruption and more. Recently the NACD released an eight-part video series on the board’s role: The Intersection of Technology, Strategy, and Risk.

We have spent much of the past year focused on cyber security, an essential discussion given the widespread theft of intellectual property, privacy invasions and data breaches. A report on cyber crime and espionage by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C. last year estimated that cybercrime costs the global economy $300 billion a year – an entire industry is growing around hacking! Research by PwC shows cyber insurance is the fastest growing specialty coverage ever – worth around $1.3 billion a year in the US.

larraine segilAs our boardroom agendas often get filled with discussions on risk, I asked Frontier Communications board director Larraine Segil how to shift the conversation to strategy. Larraine has a keen focus on opportunity and suggested we delve into solutions for governing “The Internet of Things (IoT)”. My favorite part of sitting on the NACD SoCal board with Larraine is her interest in what is emerging on the business horizon.

As a director it is critical to be educated constantly about new trends, products and opportunities – competition is fast moving and customers are better educated about their options than ever before.  Strategically the board has to think way ahead of the present status quo – and with the help of management and outside domain experts, explore opportunities for alliances.

This requires using strategic analysis at every board meeting (not just at one offsite a year) and welcoming constant director education and brainstorming both within and outside of the company’s industry. The board should continually identify and evaluate strategic directions to keep the company ‘fresh’ and nimble.

What exactly is the “Internet of Things” and what are the implications for business strategy? Think about connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet and/or to each other. This includes everything from cell phones, thermostats, and washing machines to headphones, cameras, wearable devices and much more.

This also applies to components of machines – for example, the jet engine of an airplane. If the device has an on and off switch then chances are it can be a part of the IoT.

The technology research firm Gartner says that by 2020 there will be over 26 billion connected devices. Think about Uber, the company that connects a physical asset (car & driver) to a person in need of a ride via a website. That simple connection has disrupted the taxi industry.

AirBnB has done the same for the lodging industry by directly connecting people with spaces to rent to those in need of accommodations. What does this mean to for our companies? Larraine, what are you thinking when you hear about the IoT for business opportunities? [Read more…]

NACD Directorship – The Unsociable Boardroom: A Costly Strategy for 2014

The Unsociable Boardroom: A Costly Strategy for 2014

Social Boardroom

Directors need to understand how strategies are being applied or affected by the social world.

Or as I like to say “Directors need to make friends with Social Media if they want their strategy to be relevant in 2014”

As a board leader a half decade ago, you might have believed that emerging social technologies such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ had no place in the boardroom. Social media platforms appeared to have no relation to financial performance, nor were they considered strategic business drivers, and therefore were not part of the boardroom agenda.

In 2014, the corporate boardroom is being bypassed by the investment community in recognizing the strategic importance of social media to corporate performance. Investors are analyzing and interpreting “big data” derived from social media as predictive tools. In 2013, 11 percent of Twitter’s revenue was derived by licensing data culled from its massive store of user data. Many firms are using this information to inform strategy and decision making. Both Twitter and @StockTwits have built a category of investor relations to connect investors to equities. [Read more…]

NACD So Cal Corporate Governance Week – #USCSummit

Our NACD Southern California Corporate Governance Week is a series of events both public and private.  Our focus is on creating opportunities for the governance community to identify ideas and process to enhance their service to investors and stakeholders.  Here are my tweets and pictures from the week. [Read more…]

GOVERNANCE | Wired – Conference Pictures #Society13

2013-07-13 11.15.18

Steven M. Davidoff @StevenDavidoff

funny facebook

Wonder if @VinnyJindal , CEO at @Stockr thought ” Why do my friends post this stuff when they know I have a business presentation?”

Jim B

Society #13 Conference Chair Jim Brashear@JFBrashear

2013-07-11 13.58.11

Doug Chia @dougchia moderating the panel. [Read more…]

GOVERNANCE | Wired – William S. Ayer, Chairman, Alaska Air Group #Society13

“You need to have short term performance to get to the long term.”

Bill is the leader that makes following easy.  He likes to keep it simple and focus on the alignment of three primary stakeholders: customers, investors and employees.  He brings his interest in people into view with this wisdom “let’s build a company that provide meaningful benefits not at the expense of each other.”

His eye for talent focuses on people who understand priority and bring persistence till they get it right.  As a leader he wants to ensure people who demonstrate these skills are given new opportunities.

It is great to see a self-aware leader who can say “As a CEO I don’t want to overstay my welcome and accept I only have a certain range of capabilities.”  Boards, are you ready to hear this from your CEO?

Business Wisdom

The plan is a lot easier than the execution.  Business is about people and change.   You need the right critical mass of people.  Opinion leaders are not on the formal organization chart.  Find them and bring them in on the vision.

The board’s role is critical and is the most senior level of leadership.  The role they serve for the CEO is holding the team accountable to the plan and being supportive of transformation.  Things get worse before they get better so the board needs to understand the cycle of the strategy.

The right board leader has an agenda that brings out the strengths of the board.  It is structured to:

  • Focus on a few key things
  • Bring balance on compliance and strategy

The board leader is the architect of the agenda.  It is their duty to make sure the board does not spend too much time powerpointing which take time away from engagement.  The way a board chair sets up the agenda builds a board intelligence culture.  The chair should ask themselves “How can the board be most helpful to the CEO.” [Read more…]