La Bussola del Successo: le regole per essere vincenti, restando liberi

La Bussola del Successo: le regole per essere vincenti, restando liberi – Paolo Gallo

Rizzoli-Etas, disponibile dal 1 Settembre 2016

« Il Viaggio più importante della nostra vita non è quello in terre lontane ma quello dentro di noi »

Nel mio passato professionale ho ricoperto ruoli similari a quelli dell’autore ed ho sperimentato modelli di Leadership, Organizzativi e di Governance differenti, non rimasti sulla carta e nei codici etici o nelle interviste alla stampa, ma applicati realmente in alcune organizzazioni perchè gli stakeholders, che a partire dagli azionisti sono persone reali, le condividevano, rispettavano e promuovevano

Raramente in Europa mi sono trovato così allineato con il pensiero e l’azione che questa bussola rappresenta, questo è il motivo per cui lo condivido … libertà e responsabilità, la mia esperienza evidenzia che i piccoli e quasi innocui compromessi portano alla rovina delle organizzazioni (a parte quelle protette dagli oligopoli) e alla disfatta della libertà degli individui

Vi invito a guardare ad esempio il caso recente di Wells Fargo (Wells Fargo and the Slippery Slope of Sales Incentives, even a strong compliance function can’t counteract a compromised culture), la piú grande banca retail americana, dove il modello di compensation e la cultura aziendale stanno impattando pesantemente sul suo vertice (dimissioni di ieri) e sul suo business (interi stati americani che ritirano i mandati per centinaia di milioni di dollari).

…. “Ma così i peggiori selezionano i peggiori. Non esiste speranza di miglioramento, per le organizzazioni che non funzionano. Sta dicendo, in pratica, che Diego Piacentini di Amazon avrebbe fatto bene a restarsene lì, invece che accettare la missione di digitalizzare la pubblica amministrazione italiana…
Dal punto di vista dell’organizzazione è un bene che ci sia gente che prova a cambiare i contesti che non funzionano. Ma io guardo agli individui. A un giovane consiglierei tutta la vita di evitare di fare Don Chisciotte con i mulini a vento” ….

A questo proposito e per confronto, vi invito a leggere, osservare e capire, il caso dell’Estonia, un piccolo paese parte dell’Europa dove per necessità e volontà condivisa dalla maggioranza del paese, anche contro gli interessi di albi professionali, dipendenti pubblici ecc., è stato messo al vertice dei processi della pubblica amministrazione un CIO (Taavi Kotka) con pieni poteri e deleghe che ha saputo dare una svolta alla digitalizzazione del paese… i risultati sono visibili a tutti e reali (a ‘country as a service’), oppure a vedere i successi di Malta dove ora vivo nelle practice di e-Government. Insomma, ci sono gli individui e le tribù … la loro relazione con l’ambiente è il cambiamento, ci si attrae per valori comuni e ci si allontana per comportamenti non condivisi

MALTAWAY, per il tuo CONSIGLIO DI AMMINISTRAZIONE, BOARD GOVERNANCE & NON EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR (NED) 

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Siamo agli inizi della quarta rivoluzione industriale, in un’epoca veloce, alle volte brutale e di radicale trasformazione, non solo tecnologica. Abbiamo bisogno di ancorare la nostra vita di lavoro con i nostri valori. Il libro “La bussola del successo” ridefinisce il concetto di “avere una carriera di successo”. Non una corsa forsennata, tutti contro tutti, in cui pochi eletti vincono – alcuni imbrogliando – ma qualcosa di più profondo, significativo e rilevante, possibile per tutti noi. Sono pagine ed insegnamenti che ci aiuteranno a ragionare, basati su studi, ricerche e storie vere, collezionate in 25 anni di esperienza dell’autore. Questo libro aiuta a fermarsi a riflettere su chi siamo, cosa rappresentiamo e come possiamo avere una carriera di successo autentico con la nostra integrità, passione e talento. Tutti noi possiamo avere una carriera di successo e sviluppare il nostro talento. Tutti noi possiamo diventare eroi positivi, imparare le regole per essere vincenti, rimanendo liberi.

Paolo Gallo è Chief Human Resources Officer al World Economic Forum dal 2014. E’ stato Chief Learning Officer presso la Banca Mondiale a Washington DC e per sei anni come Direttore delle Risorse Umane presso la BERS a Londra. Paolo Gallo ha lavorato alla International Finance Corporation a Washington DC e all’inizio della sua carriera presso Citigroup Investment Banking a Milano, Londra e New York. Paolo Gallo è un coach certificato presso la Georgetown University, laureato presso l’Università Bocconi di Milano e Chartered Fellow FCIPD, Regno Unito, collabora con l’Università Bocconi e Hult-Ashridge Business School UK

Intervista all’autore pubblicata su LINKIESTA «Le regole per lavorare felici? Seguite il talento, non la passione. E non sacrificate la libertà per il successo»

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Anteprima del Libro:

Introduzione

IL PRIMO GIORNO DI SCUOLA

Mio padre aveva fatto una promessa impegnativa a me e a mia sorella gemella: sarebbe stato presente per il nostro primo giorno di scuola. Lavorava in Brasile e ritornava in Italia solo due volte all’anno, in agosto e a Natale. Giunto finalmente il fatidico giorno, quando ci svegliammo nostro padre non era a casa. Provammo una grande delusione, stemperata però dall’eccitazione di cominciare la scuola. Il primo giorno passò velocemente; quando squillò la campanella d’uscita, mio padre ci stava aspettando ai cancelli. Vederlo fu per me una gioia incontenibile e, insieme a mia sorella, gli saltai in braccio. Durante il tragitto per tornare a casa, lo inondammo con le nostre storie: cosa avevamo fatto, i nomi dei nuovi compagni di scuola, la maestra, la lavagna con tutti i gessetti colorati, la mappa dell’Italia sulla parete. A casa, durante il pranzo continuammo a raccontare. Alla fine del pasto mio padre volle parlare prima con mia sorella e poi con me; quindi lo seguii in salotto, dove mi invitò a sedermi di fronte a lui. Restò in silenzio alcuni secondi, poi mi guardò negli occhi e mi disse: “Paolo”, era la prima volta che mi chiamava con il mio nome, in famiglia per tutti ero sempre Paolino. “Paolo, da domani non dire che cosa hai fatto, ma chiediti se ami quello che fai, che cosa hai imparato e se sei riuscito ad aiutare gli altri: il resto non conta.” Mi mise una mano sulla spalla, mi guardò ancora negli occhi, come se fossi un adulto, e si alzò. Poche ore dopo, riprese l’aereo per tornare in Brasile: aveva mantenuto la sua promessa. Tra i milioni di parole che ho ascoltato e letto nel tempo, quella frase di mio padre, pronunciata il 1° ottobre 1969, è quella che ha maggiormente influenzato la mia vita. Cosa ho appreso da quella frase? Ho imparato a non pensare alle risposte corrette se non ho formulato le giuste domande: amo quello che faccio? Sto imparando qualcosa? Sto aiutando qualcuno? Il resto non conta. Lavoro da molti anni come responsabile della funzione del personale, chiamata anche Human Resources: nello svolgere il mio lavoro, ho potuto verificare quanto sia più importante partire dalle domande giuste, piuttosto che cercare di indovinare le risposte. Albert Einstein disse: “Se avessi solo un’ora per risolvere un problema e la mia vita dipendesse dalla soluzione, passerei i primi 55 minuti a capire quale sia la domanda giusta da porsi”. Ho potuto osservare centinaia di carriere e mi sono chiesto: “Come mai solo alcuni di noi hanno successo, molti si limitano a sopravvivere e tanti, troppi, falliscono?”. Abbiamo scelto un lavoro in base alla nostra passione e al nostro talento? Abbiamo capito le regole del gioco, la cultura organizzativa, per evitare di essere lost in translation, perduti nella traduzione? Siamo riusciti a costruire la fiducia, di chi ci possiamo fidare? Che prezzo siamo disposti a pagare per far carriera? Quando è il momento giusto di andarsene? Come valutiamo il successo professionale? Come rimanere liberi? Cosa conta veramente? Questo libro cerca, sempre partendo da domande, di fornire spunti di riflessione, strumenti e suggerimenti pratici per avere, o per meglio dire, essere una carriera di successo definita però secondo parametri decisi da noi stessi, non da altri e certamente non impostati solo sul profitto e su come fare carriera a tutti i costi, senza riflettere sulle conseguenze. Lo so, alcuni mi prenderanno per matto o anche peggio, mi considereranno una persona viziata e choosy e mi ricorderanno che è già un miracolo avere un lavoro. Sono argomenti comprensibili: anche solo ipotizzare di scegliere un lavoro, considerati i tassi di disoccupazione altissimi, può sembrare un’utopistica via di mezzo tra un lusso di altri tempi e un sogno poco realistico, se non addirittura irrealizzabile. Invece io sono convinto dell’esatto contrario. Solamente scegliendo e costruendo una carriera allineata ai nostri valori, ai nostri scopi e alle nostre motivazioni profonde, saremo in grado di fare un ottimo lavoro e di conseguenza avremo successo e gratificazioni. In questo piccolo gioco di parole, si cela uno dei segreti: se scegliamo consapevolmente la professione e la cultura giusta per noi stessi, non faremo un lavoro ma saremo il lavoro che facciamo. Parlo di autenticità, di essere ciò che facciamo, di non recitare per otto ore al giorno. Ho partecipato alla festa di pensionamento di una persona che aveva passato 28 anni nella stessa organizzazione. La sua ultima frase è stata: “Sono venuta in ufficio per quasi trent’anni, ma ho sempre lasciato il cuore a casa mia”. Una tristezza infinita, una vita professionale buttata al vento, un talento sprecato, tanti anni di recite mediocri, per giunta pagata maluccio. Ne valeva la pena? Se scegliamo una carriera sulla base di criteri erronei o stabiliti da altri, saremo eventualmente costretti a recitare in una squallida commedia scritta da altri in cui abbiamo solo una particina insignificante. Quando andiamo al ristorante chi sceglie cosa mangiamo? Noi vero? Bene, se siamo perfettamente capaci di scegliere in autonomia su questioni marginali come un piatto al ristorante, a maggior ragione abbiamo il dovere di farlo riguardo alla nostra carriera, perché siamo noi gli autori delle nostre scelte professionali. A questo proposito, Viktor E. Frankl, autore del libro Uno psicologo nei lager, ci ha lasciato un insegnamento fondamentale: ci possono portare via tutto ma non la possibilità di compiere scelte autonome, anche nelle situazioni più disperate. Il volume è composto da storytelling, storie tratte da varie fonti, come la mitologia greca, lo sport, la politica statunitense, la storia, brevi casi aziendali e personali, fatti di cronaca e alcuni concetti e teorie di management e coaching, insieme a molte citazioni di libri, film, canzoni, articoli, video, discorsi, pagine web che hanno contribuito alla narrativa. Mi rendo conto di aver sempre giocato in trasferta, trascorrendo 23 anni all’estero: 12 a Washington, nove a Londra e due a Ginevra, dove vivo adesso. Ho avuto la fortuna di lavorare con persone straordinarie, in più di 60 nazioni diverse. Questa esperienza ha certamente contribuito a offrirmi una prospettiva particolare, incluse le lenti attraverso le quali osservo l’Italia, che, come disse Leonardo Sciascia, “da lontano duole di meno”. La mia vicenda professionale e soprattutto quella umana mi hanno convinto che tutte le persone hanno almeno un talento particolare che aspetta solo di essere scoperto, incoraggiato e utilizzato. Sono convinto di poter essere d’aiuto, di poter dare una mano e di convincervi non solo a non arrendervi ma a utilizzare strategie e sentieri che non pensavate esistessero. Le storie che leggerete sono tutte vere: svelerò segreti, mostrerò trucchi, offrirò strumenti, sperando possano essere utili, pragmatici e anche divertenti. Allo stesso tempo vorrei chiarire che non sarò certo io a fornirvi la Risposta che state cercando né tantomeno a dirvi cosa dovete o non dovete fare. Che titolo avrei per farlo? Il mio ruolo sarà quello di aiutarvi a formulare la domanda giusta e di accompagnarvi nel viaggio. Infatti, nessuno può fornirci le risposte corrette, dobbiamo trovarle dentro di noi. Il successo professionale non è un miracolo o un colpo di fortuna; se non riusciamo a ottenere questo successo, non possiamo incolpare qualcun altro: siamo noi a guidare la nostra vita, abbiamo sempre scelte da compiere, da persone libere, sapendo che la felicità consiste nel viaggio, non nell’arrivare. Nel viaggio non saremo mai soli, starà a noi scegliere i compagni di ventura. Il libro è diviso in tre parti: Passione, La bussola, Libertà. La domanda che caratterizza il Capitolo 1 è: “Come scoprire qual è la nostra Passione?”. Io lo imparai da un artista di strada, Gerardo, che dipingeva acquerelli nella via principale di Antigua, uno stupendo villaggio coloniale negli altipiani del Guatemala. Su questa strada c’erano moltissimi artisti che disegnavano paesaggi, ma le opere di Gerardo mi colpirono molto: avevano una luce particolare. Durante una giornata di pioggia torrenziale, notai che sulla via non c’erano artisti eccetto Gerardo che, sotto un ombrellone, continuava imperterrito a disegnare. Lo raggiunsi per acquistare un suo acquerello, ma aveva a disposizione solo quello che stava ultimando. Gli chiesi il prezzo per quella sua opera, mi rispose: “50 dollari”. Cercai di ottenere uno sconto perché non era terminata. Gerardo mi rispose che abitualmente vendeva i suoi acquerelli a 25 dollari, ma per quello che volevo comperare dovevo pagarne 50. Non capivo. Gerardo mi disse: “Ti faccio pagare il doppio perché tu mi neghi la gioia che provo nel terminare un lavoro che amo”. Gli diedi 50 dollari, felice di aver imparato una lezione indimenticabile, senza prezzo. La seconda parte del libro, La bussola, ci aiuterà a orientarci e si sviluppa in vari capitoli basati su una serie di domande. Nel Capitolo 2 ci chiederemo: “Come capire quale sia il Villaggio, la cultura giusta per noi?”. Dopo un’introduzione teorica su cosa sia la cultura, avrete a disposizione strumenti pratici per capire la cultura di un’organizzazione. Nel Capitolo 3 risponderemo alla domanda: “Come facciamo ad arrivare dove vogliamo, farci assumere dall’organizzazione che fa per noi?”. In questo capitolo otterrete molti suggerimenti pratici e utili come, per esempio, scrivere un curriculum, affrontare un colloquio, sapere se le organizzazioni vi dicono la verità. Il Capitolo 4 risponde a un interrogativo chiave: “Come ottenere fiducia, sapendo che questa è l’ingrediente più importante in ogni relazione?”. Qui troverete una formula con tutti gli elementi che contribuiscono a creare, o distruggere, la fiducia. Il Capitolo 5 sarà dedicato alle domande: “Di chi ci possiamo fidare? Come capire le regole del gioco?”. Entreremo in uno zoo – o forse dovrei scrivere in una giungla – dove troveremo vari tipi di animali che dobbiamo assolutamente imparare a distinguere. Vi sorprenderò dimostrandovi che siamo circondati da eroi invisibili o abbiamo, ora e qui, la possibilità di diventarlo anche noi. Il Capitolo 6 ci porrà di fronte a un quesito fondamentale, che ci costringerà a scavare profondamente nella nostra anima: “Quale prezzo siamo disposti a pagare per far carriera?”. Condividerò con voi storie di persone che hanno fatto un “patto con il diavolo”. Anche la terza parte del libro, Libertà, sarà caratterizzata da domande. I temi del Capitolo 7 saranno: “Come fare carriera? Cosa ci può aiutare? Quali errori dobbiamo evitare?”. “Should I stay or should I go?” scandisce il Capitolo 8: quando è il momento giusto di andarsene da un’organizzazione? Come veniamo veramente valutati? L’ultima parte del libro viene sviluppata nel Capitolo 9: “Cosa conta davvero? Cosa vuol dire avere successo secondo i nostri valori come persone, non in base a criteri stabiliti da altri? Qual è il vero capitale di cui noi siamo responsabili?”. Buona lettura, buon divertimento e buon viaggio.

Board Governance and Sales Incentives scheme

Wells Fargo and the Slippery Slope of Sales Incentives

even a strong compliance function can’t counteract a compromised culture.

Get on Board the proper people, culture and behaviour….this is the primary interest to serve the shareholders as well, MALTAway is ready to serve you BOARD GOVERNANCE AND NON EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR (NED)

board-compensation-committee

In early September Wells Fargo agreed to pay a $185 million fine and return $5 million in fees wrongly charged to customers. The settlement stems from the bank’s employees allegedly opening more than 2 million bank and credit card accounts without customers’ permission. The CEO of Wells Fargo, John Stumpf, apologized in front of a congressional panel Tuesday, saying in a statement, “I accept full responsibility for all unethical sales practices.”

That speaks to why they did this in the first place: To meet sales quotas and earn incentives.

This is certainly not the first time that a high-profile sales scandal like this has hit the press. In the early 1990s Sears sought to restore its reputation with $46 million in coupons because some employees of its automotive repair division (who were paid a commission on sales of parts and services) had allegedly enticed customers into authorizing and paying for needless repairs. In 2005 the world’s largest insurance broker, Marsh Inc., paid $850 million in fines in the aftermath of accusations that it had received kickbacks from insurance companies for steering business their way — a scheme at odds with Marsh’s commitment to finding the best deal for customers.

Beyond the fines, Wells Fargo has fired at least 5,300 employees for “inappropriate sales conduct,” and the bank is making changes to its quota system. Stumpf said in an earlier statement: “We are eliminating product sales goals because we want to make certain our customers have full confidence that our retail bankers are always focused on the best interests of customers.” Politicians, predictably, have railed against the leadership at Wells Fargo and have called for Stumpf’s resignation. One of the intriguing facts to come to light is that the fraudulent account openings continued even after the bank was aware of it and had fired employees for it starting in 2011.

That suggests that firing employees was not enough to curb the actions. Will eliminating sales goals do it? Before answering this question, it is useful to understand why and how such sales practices begin and spread within an organization.

In these and many other similar (but often less high-profile) cases, much of the blame gets placed on the sales goals and incentives. Salespeople are offered a large monetary reward linked to the achievement of sales goals — goals that employees perceive as excessively high. Sales managers, too, are rewarded for goal achievement, so they put pressure on salespeople to deliver. Salespeople are enticed by the promise of the large reward, or perhaps they are fearful of losing their jobs. Either way, they do whatever it takes to make sales goals.

But large rewards tied to challenging sales goals do not have to be a deadly combination. Many companies have great success using incentives and stretch goals to motivate the sales force and drive revenue. The culture in such sales forces may be sales-oriented and even competitive, yet salespeople still behave ethically and remain focused on meeting customers’ needs.

What differentiates sales teams that play by the rules from those that break them?

Large-scale unethical sales practices often begin with minor ethical compromises. Things escalate and spread from there. Consider the following sequence:

A bank account manager, under pressure to make a sales goal, pushes a customer to add a credit card, even though the account manager knows it’s not in the customer’s interest
Still short of the goal, the account manager asks his friends and family to open accounts. (The accounts are to be closed shortly thereafter.)
With the goal still not achieved, the account manager opens accounts without asking customers and transfers a small amount of money. (The accounts are closed shortly thereafter and the money is transferred back.)
As soon as the account manager gets away with the first unethical act, it’s not a big step to the fraudulent ones. The justification moves from “it’s legal” to “no one is harmed” to “no one will notice.” When such practices are tolerated, they escalate in severity and spread throughout the organization.

To prevent that, the sales culture has to stop the first level of compromise, because the slippery slope begins there. As Wells Fargo has discovered in the last five years, even a strong compliance function — one that began firing people in 2011 — can’t counteract a compromised culture.

When things escalate to such a scale, the problems won’t stop with salespeople. Managers and leaders may be looking the other way, or aiding and abetting the behaviors.
What’s most insidious is that managers and leaders may be engaging in similar behaviors in their spheres and domains — in how they deal with other people inside the company, with partners, and with suppliers. Often, bringing about change requires going right to the top of the sales organization and bringing in a new leader who isn’t connected to the history of what’s happened. This individual can build a new culture based on appropriate values and the right workstyle.

Though not a question for customers and regulators, companies such as Wells Fargo have to ask how they can succeed in a sales world without heavy reliance on goals and incentives.

In 2011, about the same time that Wells Fargo began firing employees for questionable sales practices, we wrote a piece for HBR.org addressing that very issue. We called it “Is Your Sales Force Addicted to Incentives?” As we wrote back then, the key to success will be a new culture built around a more balanced approach to managing sales. This new approach will require using tools other than incentives — for example, interesting work, enhanced processes for selecting salespeople and managers, training and coaching, information sharing, empowerment, teamwork, manager assistance and supervision, and improved performance management systems — to motivate salespeople and guide and control sales behaviors.

If the bank is successful in transforming to this balanced sales culture, then perhaps the money it once used for employee incentives can instead go to customer incentives — for example, a no-fee credit card or a better interest rate for opening a new high-balance account. Other companies would be wise to take the time to examine their own sales culture and ask whether incentives might be clouding otherwise good judgment.

https://hbr.org/2016/09/wells-fargo-and-the-slippery-slope-of-sales-incentives

MALTA BRexit EUROPE, partner instead of compete to offer better solutions for business and individuals

MALTA BRexit EUROPE, partner instead of compete to offer better solutions for business and individuals

maltaway valletta night

Corporate & Assets Governance, World Class, MALTA, Worldwide

We believe that many Corporations and Individuals  seek what we have found , and we want to share , we need only starting to think and act differently … and our contribution 

MALTAway is a web portal driven by an holistic vision to offer integrated services such as Corporate Services, Tax & Legal, Management Consulting, Governance, Investment, Business Advisory,  Relocation, in favor of the Corporations, Business, Finance, HNWIs;

MALTA is the best place to move in, with an Anglo-Saxon Business Culture and Regulatory environment in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, to prosper, develop and protect the Business and the Assets of a Corporation and HNWIs as well

Malta was not looking for the “spoils of war” following the Brexit vote, but would offer assistance to the UK and to companies interested in using the country as a gateway to the European Union

ince the surprising decision by UK voters, a number of European financial services capitals, including Luxembourg, Paris, and Frankfurt have been actively ‘propositioning’ UK-financial services institutions in a bid to lure them away from London amid the uncertainty following the Brexit vote.

Defending Malta’s apparent lackadaisical reaction to the result – which could see it lose out to a number of European capitals that have are promoting themselves to poach investment – the prime minister insisted that Malta does not view the UK as an enemy to be exploited.

“The best results would be obtained through friendship and offering to work together with the UK … those who are going to fight for investments by stealing companies away from the UK would find short shrift in their methods.”

“While others may try to knock down the door into the UK, we want that door to be opened for us because of our behaviour,” Muscat said.

Malta had immediately provided a voice of caution even within the EU, and called for Britain to be given enough breathing space to get its house in order before pursuing exit negotiations, he explained.

The prime minister – who in the wake of the vote ruled out any Maltese referendum on leaving the EU on the basis that it would be tantamount to “suicide” – argued that though he did not agree with the UK’s decision to leave the EU, he understood why people would voted in favour of Brexit.

“I can understand why a man living in a housing estate in the UK would vote against the EU when he suddenly finds himself the only Englishman in his neighbourhood,” he said, while denouncing as “shallow” those who blamed Brexit on the elderly, poor and uneducated in Britain.

“Unless the EU understands that immigration is an issue that is close to the heart of many people and countries, more EU citizens will be turning to extreme groups and parties in greater numbers in the future,” he said.

The Prime Minister also said he sympathises with Birzebbugia and Marsa residents who frequently express concern at the number of refugees in their localities, and argued that whoever discusses migration should not be accused of being xenophobic, racist or far right.

Muscat said the EU should not have anything to do with leaders of extreme parties, but should engage in discussion those people who turn to such parties in a bid to protest against the union.

“The EU cannot remain a union of a few elite that forgets and ignores those with a humble background, dismisses pensioners or makes the young feel totally ignored,” he stressed.

http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/67091/malta_will_not_lure_companies_away_from_britain__muscat#.V3omAJN978S

For Corporate Ethics you Can’t fill Boards’ meeting just with Compliance

For Corporate Ethics you Can’t fill Boards’ meeting just with Compliance

maltaway alberto balatti corporate board ethics

As Aristotle famously said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” Virtues in turn permeate the broader organizational culture and define “the way things are done around here.” That’s a force that’s a lot stronger than a narrow focus on following the rules.

MALTAway is your way for a better Corporate and Assets Governance

At companies across the globe, the layers of compliance mechanisms are growing. At first blush this seems to make sense: Perhaps the most obviously straightforward method of preventing unethical or damaging behavior is increasing the number of rules designed to curtail it. However, one of the more unsettling and unintended consequences of a singular focus on ethics-as-compliance is a checkbox mentality that gives the illusion of reducing risk without really doing so. Moreover, unless an organization is careful, a compliance-focused approach to eliminating unethical behavior can stunt a company’s efforts to innovate and to take intelligent risks.

So what can a company do to excel ethically? Instead of focusing on the poor choices you want employees to avoid, focus on the positive virtues you want them to exhibit.

Plato emphasized a virtue-based system of ethics 2,400 years ago in his Academy. The philosopher believed that virtues were best encouraged through questions and discussions rather than through statements and proclamations. In other words, we learn ethics in conversation with others.

So rather than getting together with senior managers to craft a “values statement,” corporate leaders should instead foster a series of structured conversations between leaders at all levels and their teams. The goal of these conversations should be to develop a common language to help frame examples of how people live out the organization’s values or classical virtues. This is inherently a social process — virtue is learned, not inherited. Leaders are already teachers of their culture, whether they are aware of it or not, so they should ask themselves how they can teach it better.

Here are questions for each of the seven classical virtues that companies can use to shape these conversations and shift their focus from complying with the rules to excelling ethically.

Trust: confidence in one another.

  • When has trust made us faster and more agile?
  • How can we restore trust?
  • At our best, how do we earn and deepen trust?

Compassion: an understanding of another’s challenges.

  • How does compassion support our business goals?
  • How does compassion increase engagement?
  • When have acts of compassion improved our business results?

Courage: strength in the face of adversity.

  • When have you witnessed courage in our company?
  • Who is effective at encouraging people to be courageous?
  • How can we help people to be more courageous?

Justice: a concern for fairness.

  • As a company, when did we go out of your way to help a coworker?
  • How can we further empower our people so they are more engaged in setting their own performance criteria?
  • When have we been our best in serving the needs of each of our stakeholders?

Wisdom: having good, sound judgment.

  • What have been our wisest decisions?
  • When faced with our most difficult decisions, when did we choose the best course and have strength to endure?
  • How can we be more intentional about integrating wisdom into decision making?

Temperance: having self-restraint.

  • How can we balance two competing rights, such as concern for the company and concern for the individual, or compassion and justice?
  • How can we help people practice self-control?
  • When have we been our best at encouraging life-work balance?

Hope: a positive, optimistic expectation of future events.

  • What are the parts of working for our company for which you are grateful?
  • What do we do well, and how could we do more of it?
  • When was our culture at its best?

Leaders can assess how well they’re modeling virtue-based ethics by asking employees five questions about how the company is exercising its moral muscle:

  • How well are we teaching character in our company?
  • How might character development benefit our company?
  • What is being done to encourage or discourage character development in our company?
  • How does character development reduce risk?
  • How does character development promote growth?

The goal isn’t perfection; organizations are neither completely virtuous nor completely free of virtue. The goal is for companies to be better than they have been and for leaders to teach virtuous behavior by example.

We suggest that it is strategically smart for an organization to make sure that stories about the practice of virtue are actively and intentionally shared throughout the organization. Character is the result of daily actions — planning meetings, quarterly reports, RFPs, customer interactions, and so on.

As Aristotle famously said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” Virtues in turn permeate the broader organizational culture and define “the way things are done around here.” That’s a force that’s a lot stronger than a narrow focus on following the rules.

https://hbr.org/2016/04/corporate-ethics-cant-be-reduced-to-compliance

MALTAWAY BOARD GOVERNANCE AND NON EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR (NED)

Even here in Malta this issue arises with relevant importance and validity , partly because the high number of foreign companies present in Malta, in order to be compliant with international standards for tax purposes (see the case of dummy company and tax inversion) , must have a board of directors with directors and NON EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR , residents in Malta, supporting and providing clear and convincing evidence that the foreign company is effectively managed from Malta.

Furthermore having a NED with international experience in the BOARD, reinforce widely the diversity, independence and compliance requirements for a better Corporate Governance, Leadership and Business results

30+ years Board, Governance, Investment’s  experience and practice for YOUR BOARD needs and solutions

BOARD MEMBER SEARCH

  • President
  • Board Member
  • CeO
  • Executive Director
  • NON-Executive Director
  • Independent NON-Executive Director
  • Committee’s Chair

BOARD ADVISORY

  • Analysis
  • Methodology
  • Benchmark
  • Assessment
  • Coaching
  • Compliance

For Corporate Ethics you Can’t fill Boards’ meeting just with Compliance

At companies across the globe, the layers of compliance mechanisms are growing. At first blush this seems to make sense: Perhaps the most obviously straightforward method of preventing unethical or damaging behaviour is increasing the number of rules designed to curtail it. However, one of the more unsettling and unintended consequences of a singular focus on ethics-as-compliance is a checkbox mentality that gives the illusion of reducing risk without really doing so. Moreover, unless an organization is careful, a compliance-focused approach to eliminating unethical behaviour can stunt a company’s efforts to innovate and to take intelligent risks.
So what can a company do to excel ethically? Instead of focusing on the poor choices you want employees to avoid, focus on the positive virtues you want them to exhibit.

Share how MALTAway think different on https://albertobalatti.wordpress.com/ as well

Hire an INDEPENDENT NON Executive Director (NED)

Commissione Europea, Malta deficit a 1,1% e debito sotto il 60%

Commissione Europea, Malta deficit a 1,1% e debito sotto il 60%

In Europa, con l’Euro c’è chi sa far bene e attira sempre più cervelli e capitali...MALTAway è il vostro accesso alle opportunità di Malta, per capitali, aziende, individui….servizi legali, societari, di investimento e di relocation, dalla vostra casa alla consulenza per passare alla struttura di miglior Governance aziendale

maltaway_lavoro estero

Strong wage growth and record-low unemployment boosted economic growth • Public investment is expected to decrease on the back of the phasing out of the capital injection to the national airline

The European Commission expects deficit in 2016 to further decrease to 1.1% of GDP whilst the debt ration is projected to fall further in 2015 to 64% of GDP, also thanks to the expected repayment of some tax arrears from the public energy utility corporation.

It is expected to follow a downward path and to reach 58.7% of GDP by 2017.

In its winter 2016 economic forecast, the European Commission described Malta’s economic performance as having a “robust growth outlook”

“Real GDP growth peaked in 2015 on the back of strong investment and supported by private consumption. Growth is expected to moderate in 2016 and 2017 with the phasing out of the major investment projects. The general government deficit and debt are forecast to decline further also thanks to the favourable macroeconomic conditions,” the European Commission said.

In an initial reaction, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that the European Commission estimates show that Malta will wipe out the increase in national debt accumulated by the three previous administrations.

The Commission found that the “main engine of growth continued to be investment” with large ongoing energy investment projects, while private consumption expanded by 5.1% on the back of strong wage growth and record-low unemployment.

http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/61915/european_commission_forecasts_further_decline_in_maltas_deficit_debt#.VrOFnvnhDIU

Board members, a guide to get on board your CeO

Board members, a guide to get on board your CeO

a great post from pulse…..

MALTAway is for your governance and board  members

alberto balatti_murakami

When we work with boards of directors to help them prepare to interview CEO candidates, we develop an interview guide that will organize the conversation, which typically runs for 90 minutes.  While interviews are only one step in a CEO hiring process, along with in-depth referencing and executive assessments, it is not an over-statement to say that they are the lynch-pin in the process.

Boards and search committees will always put credence in analyzing track records and relevant experience, reviewing written reports, and talking to referees.  But it is in the interview where chemistry is established and essential intangibles like passion, energy, and fit are determined.  As a result, at the CEO level, as well as at every step in your career, being a strong interviewer is a major advantage.

In conducting CEO candidate interviews, many questions posed by a search committee are, of course, customized to the company’s particular situation.  But many of the questions are based on the essential areas in which a CEO needs to demonstrate capability: strategy and vision; growth, financial, andoperational management; leadership and team building; and Culture.

Here is the interview guide that we recently created for a board as part of a public company CEO search.

If you are an active or aspiring CEO candidate, it will serve you well to be prepared to answer these types of questions.  Even if you’re not yet at the CEO level, reflecting on these questions will give you an edge when you prepare for your next big job interview.

INTRODUCTION

The typical CEO interview begins with the chair welcoming the candidate, thanking them for coming and inviting the members of the search committee to introduce themselves.  He or she will then tell begin with what I believe is the best opening question:

“You have had a chance to begin to get to know our company.  Why do you think this could be the right opportunity for you at this point in your career and why do you think you might be the right leader for us?”

The best candidates will answer this with a crisp 4 to 6 minute narrative about their career, their relevant experience, their professional interests and aspirations, and a top-line assessment of the opportunity.  Often times this is the most important question of an interview, because as we all know, first impressions are lasting impressions.  It is in this questions, along with the hellos, handshakes, and introductions, where those all-important first impressions are made.

INTERVIEW GUIDE

From that point, each area of CEO capability are probed, with selections from the following questions (all of these questions would require several hours of discussion):

Growth, Financial, and Operational Management

  • Describe an instance where you have driven a company or business to accelerate growth, expand EBITDA and profitability, increase efficiency and enhance shareholder return. What was the vision and what needed to change?  How did you get the organization to respond?  What was the outcome?
  • Describe your experience managing significant budgets and P&Ls. How did you prioritize your investments?  What process did you use to gain support?  What have been your experiences with tough decisions regarding budget cuts, restructuring or reallocating resources?
  • With an example or two, tell us about how you have grown or changed a business or an organization through strategic partnership, joint venture or acquisition. What was the long-term effect on your business?
  • Have you ever created and/or launched a new product or business that resulted in a new revenue stream? 

Strategy and Vision

  • What do you think are the most-important strategic priorities for our company over the next three years? What would you do as CEO to achieve success against these priorities?
  • How have you developed strategy when your business faced new market entrants and competitive threats? What were the short- and long-term goals that you put in place?  How did you involve others in designing and implementing change? What was the result?
  • Describe your experience managing an organization as it creates new business models, products, content or initiatives that are essential to the company’s growth. How did you develop a vision and a strategy to support it?  How did you communicate and gain buy-in from key constituents as the organization evolved?  What were the results?

Leadership and Team Building

  • How would you describe your management style? How would your staff and peers describe you?  What would they say are your major strengths and/or weaknesses as a leader or manager?  Where do you think you might improve?
  • Explain some of the different environments that you have worked in. Where have you been at your very best?  Describe the environments in which your leadership style is most effective.  Where have you been frustrated and less successful?
  • With an example or two, tell us something about your communications style in the workplace with your direct reports, your superiors and your staff more broadly? Also with the external community – clients, and investors?
  • Tell us about a time when you took over a team that had been under the leadership of another person for a long period of time. What did you do to build support, rapport, trust and followership quickly?

Technology

  • Like many companies we are experiencing changes in our operating environment due to continued digital transformation, the shifting patterns of content consumption and aggressive competitors. What have you done to implement technology improvements, e.g., platform integrations, new enterprise management systems?
  • Can you share a time when you have had to expand a core product set through innovation, and particularly in a mobile environment?
  • How would you bring greater innovation to our company? What innovations have you led at other businesses that are most germane?
  • What business that has adopted new technology and evolved their business model do you admire most? Why?   

Culture

  • What is most important and valuable to you? What serves as a guiding principal in your life?
  • Think back and share a story about a personal life experience that defines who you are today. What was the value/lesson?
  • How have you changed cultures to facilitate innovation?

Other Questions (if not previously addressed)

  • What is your assessment of where our company stands today? From your vantage point, what is the company doing right and what needs to change?
  • What do you believe would be your biggest obstacles to succeed as the next CEO? What development needs and gaps in skill/experience will you need to pay attention to, and how will you address them?
  • Can you give us an example of where a gap in skill/experience led you to be less effective than desired? What have you done to ensure you do not fall into the same trap again?
  • Describe one or two specific accomplishments that you are especially proud of over your career and why.
  • How would you approach your first 100 days in the job? How would you learn the business, build trust, generate buy-in, and develop a plan?

And finally, the all-important concluding question:

“What questions do you have for us?”

 * * *

Be prepared to answer these types of questions and you will maximize your chances of acing the interview and getting a step closer to your next big job.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-boards-interview-ceo-candidates-james-citrin?trk=hp-feed-article-title-share

https://albertobalatti.wordpress.com/

Treat Employees Like Business Owners, do it basic, simple and straightforward.

Treat Employees Like Business Owners, do it basic, simple and straightforward.

The rest is boredom and noise, keep it far away

Employee loyalty and engagement are hot topics, and for good reason. Companies want to attract and retain talented people who really dig into their work. But most employers ignore two of the most powerful tools for making that happen.

MALTAWAY Board Governance and Business Advisory, a different WAY from Malta

Tool #1 is enabling employees to build real ownership in the business.

Of course, many public corporations offer stock-purchase plans or the like as part of their retirement benefit. And everyone knows about the options collected by a select few in Silicon Valley and other tech centers. But meaningful ownership — sizable grants of stock to rank-and-file employees year after year, to help them acquire a significant stake in the company — is all too rare.

It doesn’t have to be. Many large corporations manage to find big bundles of shares (and huge amounts of cash) for executive compensation, even though there’s little relationship between senior-management pay and financial results. A portion of those assets can be redirected to regular stock grants for employees. And companies — except for the very smallest — can implement an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), often funded through borrowing. So long as it’s sufficiently generous, either approach gives employees the kind of stake that makes them feel like true owners.

Just look at the supermarket industry to see such ownership in action. H-E-B, the big Texas-based chain, recently announced that it would give up to 15% of company shares over time to 55,000 of its employees, distributed according to a formula based on salary and seniority. That’s a chunk of stock estimated at more than $1 billion. Publix, a large chain headquartered in Florida, is majority owned by its employees and regularly makes the annual “best companies to work for” lists. And there’s WinCo, a grocery retailer based in Boise, Idaho, with 14,000 employees and 86 stores spread across eight western states. Every WinCo employee is an owner. Cathy Burch, who has worked there for 20-some years as an hourly employee, now has close to $1 million in her retirement account.

You don’t think that kind of generosity builds commitment and passion? “We work our tails off,” an employee with 28 years at WinCo told Forbes. “We’re more of a team than just working for a typical company. There’s a carrot out there you’re working for, for the rest of your life.”

Tool #2 goes by different names: open-book management, economic transparency, ownership culture. Whatever you call it, it means encouraging employees to think and act like businesspeople rather than like hired hands.

If you work for a conventional organization, your job is to show up at the appointed time and perform certain tasks. At open-book companies, it’s part of everyone’s job to contribute to the success of the business. Managers help employees understand, track, and forecast key numbers. They welcome ideas for improvement. They reinforce the ownership mindset by sharing profit increases with everyone, usually through bonuses funded by the increase itself. Many of these businesses also have a stock plan in place.

The approach is easiest to understand in a small company. The Paris Creperie, a Boston-area restaurant that’s about the size of a McDonald’s outlet, recently adopted open-book management. Creperie employees learned the basics of the restaurant business, including determinants of profit such as cost of goods sold (COGS). Then, last summer, they launched an initiative to reduce COGS, cutting food waste, reconfiguring some dishes, and coming up with ways to operate more efficiently. COGS dropped from roughly 30% of revenue to 26.5% over a four-week period, and continued to hold in the mid-20s. Operating profit rose by more than 10 percentage points in just four months and has stayed in the 18% to 20% range, compared with a restaurant-industry average of less than 4%.

This year, employees there are on track to get bonuses averaging $6,000. “Any other restaurant, I would just be scraping by,” shift supervisor Amanda Norton told theBoston Globe. “Seeing those bonuses really helps me breathe easier, knowing that it’s not the end of the world when I have to pay bills.”

You can imagine what all this does for employee loyalty and commitment. “Actually,” says Harvard Business School professor Leonard A. Schlesinger, “when employees know more about the business and have an economic stake in the outcome, there’s a high probability that turnover rates would go down exponentially.”

These tools also address two fundamental challenges of today’s free-enterprise system. An ownership nest egg helps mitigate inequality by putting more money in the hands of rank-and-file employees. And open-book management teaches people the basics of business, so they can thrive when they have to change jobs, as most inevitably will in our fast-changing economy. “People are learning what it means to run a business,” says Joe Grafton, a consultant who works with the Creperie. “That’s something they can take with them as they move forward with their careers.”

Both measures give people a stake in the system and the wherewithal to live a more secure life. A company that puts these tools to work helps its community while helping itself.

https://hbr.org/2015/12/treat-employees-like-business-owners