#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!

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