Maintain environmental momentum; Commendable standards for dispute; Sufficient promotion; A wake up call to all males
Maintain environmental momentum. Ian Dunlop's report "Big issue for the new decade" (MDBRCompany Director,MDNM March) was right on the mark. As CEO of the AICD, he has shown timely leadership in reporting, as a top issue, the impact of environmental considerations on economic organisations.
An exciting question that may be asked is can the AICD do more to sustain and grow this momentum and to act on what it reports? What about suggestions which include any initiatives that raise company directors' understandings of arguments involved; highlighting methods already used by green companies and generating nationwide discussion and learning workshops?
Company Director journal, the website and the regular seminars are a powerful combination. So can the AICD:
* Create a permanent section in the journal and website for relevant environment issues?
* Highlight an enhanced website "environment" section on the opening page and not three clicks down as it is now?
* Build and distribute to every State AICD chapter, an ongoing series of "Understanding triple bottom line" workshop kits?
My vote is to raise up to top priority on the AICD Core Policy agenda - how to evaluate corporate performance against environmental and social benchmarks.
Dr David Suzuki and Holly Dressel have recently named humans as a "super-species". If we are this brilliant, why don't we as business leaders just get on with looking beyond the short term dollars we make for our companies?
Sabrina Dei Giudici
Western IT Pty Ltd
Commendable standards for dispute
Congratulations on two useful articles in the February journal. The articles about workplace mediation (Melissa Rimac) and Financial Services Complaints (Sarah Edmondson) highlight the need for management and boards to work hard at dealing fairly and effectively with complaint and dispute.
The performance of a board and a company will in future be judged by financial, environmental and "fairness" criteria. Just look at the cost to GIO and AMP shareholders of the takeover "dispute". What a shame AMP waited until it had to negotiate the termination payment of its CEO to engage in mediation.
Perhaps the "hostile takeover" is a thing of the past and in future most corporate restructures will be conducted by way of principled negotiation that attempts to meet the interests of all stakeholders.
I am sure that BHP regret the financial and PR disaster now known as OK Tedi. Surely the management and board wish that this matter had been handled differently.
Members should be aware that last year Standards Australia launched AS4608, a guide to the prevention, handling and resolution of disputes. It is significant that the chairman of the ACCC spoke at the launch of the AS4608 and commended the standard to business leaders.
The standard can be obtained from Standards Australia or at www.standards.com.au.
Stephen Lancken FAICD
In reading "Best Practice Series - The taxing issues: risk and reform" (Company Director, March), it was disappointing to read the repeated self-promotion references to Ernst & Young in what was presented at first glance as an objective information article.
The credit at the end of the article should have been sufficient acknowledgement of the authors' membership of their firm.
The article was marked as an "advertorial" but perhaps not prominent enough. - Ed
A wake up call to all males
I have been a "closet member FAICD" of the CDA/AICD since 1981, quietly chipping away at the big issues of running a family company $6+million a year - balancing self, family, workplace, societal, environmental, rather than just "balance sheet".
Recently I attended an AICD forum at which Professor Jo Barker from Curtin University presented a talk on "the future of work" among other topics.
Questions by some of my colleagues (and some provocative ones asked by me) from the floor evoked some interesting reactions which I believe need to be given more media/public debate.
The "taboo" subjects which are very close to my heart and mind - and probably those of many others:
* Do we (as men) really value the contribution of women in our workplace?
* On our boards? ... (are we giving them a fair go? ... or are we really afraid?)
* In our bastions of male dominance, such as professions and clubs?
* Or are we just paying lip service?
* And who are the weaker sex really?
* Are we TRULY contributing/doing ENOUGH as business leaders, about the need for change on environmental issues? corporate/community citizenship?
It's too late to suggest these topics for our national conference but maybe one, or a number might be "considered for a guernsey" at local or a national forums. Frankly I think its good "gutsy" stuff that needs to be said as it is, simply because we need to raise the standard of debate and resolve for a better Australia and better future, because it is not just about money, it is not just about profits, it's about PEOPLE.
For the record I am 51, married 31 years, father to two adults and one teenager. I am not a radical, I do not, or have been, a member of a political party. I am an active Rotarian, a mentor/industry fellow to students on the Masters of Leadership management program, CBS (Curtin University) and a have a pedigree of lifelong impassioned beliefs/views on what we need to do, to create a better Australia/world ... and it starts with a "wake up" call to men.
The purpose of this database is to provide a full-text record of all articles that have appeared in the CDJ since February 1997. It is aimed to assist in the research and reference process. The database has a full-text index and will enable articles to be easily retrieved.It should be noted that information contained in this database is in pre-publication format only - IT IS NOT THE FINAL PRINTED VERSION OF THE CDJ - therefore there might be slight discrepancies between the contents of this database and the printed CDJ.
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