Corporate governance in the 21st century:
· What issues are truly the responsibility of a corporate board?
· How does a board influence business management and ethics?
· In the electronic age, do old models work, or must new models be developed to help business – and its overseers – cope with the ethical issues confronting a global economy and a workforce with unprecedented diversity?
These are some of the issues explored by June R. Klein, CEO of Technology & Marketing Ventures, Inc. (T&MV Inc.), at the Oxford University Fourth International Conference on Social Values. During her 20+ years working at Fortune 50 corporations in positions of ever-increasing responsibility and scope, Ms. Klein was confronted with a variety of complex and challenging issues. Over those years, she developed a rigorous methodology for problem solving, and, since 1992, she has been helping corporate boards of directors and educational boards of trustees create new models for effective governance that can accommodate today’s challenges.
Ms. Klein focused on her tried-and-true methodology, which involves applying a four-pronged analysis to organizational structure and behavior. She took the four forces shaping all of business, education and governance and applied them to the complex issues facing boardrooms today. The four key elements identified by Ms. Klein include:
· Technology – critical to all enterprises today, as demonstrated by the Year 2000 problem and director liability
· Marketing – without which no entity can survive, exemplified by crisis management, marketing control and director oversight
· Ventures – an enterprise’s affiliations and positioning, which can include coping with troubled subsidiaries and consortium management
· Inc. – pulling an enterprise together, including turnaround techniques critical to boards of directors
The overall discussion also includes the “business of the boardroom” as it specifically relates to the social values issue: lifetime employability vs. lifetime employment. If employees are not adaptable to changing business directions and unforeseen market conditions, the company may not survive, and this is where responsibility to stakeholders intersects with the long-term interests of the shareholders. The board’s perspective needs to expand to face 21st century social, ethical and survival realities. The issues arise globally at the intersection of technology, marketing and ventures and asking the right questions requires a new profile boardmember. One practical implementation: every board executive committee should ensure that an INDEPENDENT INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SPECIALIST IS PLACED ON EVERY AUDIT COMMITTEE.
Technology & Marketing Ventures, Inc., through its Electronic-Boardroom TMV® Division, markets integrated research, consulting services, and information products to corporations and educational institutions. The focus is on unique information content that is created, updated, and packaged with a policy-level perspective, and delivered in whatever way works for the director, trustee, financier, and respective support communities. All Oxford University Conference participants were eligible to be on the Electronic-Boardroom TMV® Advisory Committee On Social Values, and to receive a password to the Electronic-Boardroom TMV® Web-site. T&MV Inc. hosts the site and provides tailored methodologies and programs, in order to continue collaboration on needed solutions to boardroom issues.
At two other sesssions, Ms. Klein used her business professional model and university funding model to link other aspects of the boardroom to business and to education.
· CHOOSING A SECOND CAREER USING TMVI PROFESSIONAL MODEL – Ms. Klein shared her own “long-term employability solutions” in a seminar originally conducted for New York University’s federated alumni association. She uses the TMVI methodology to continually balance the relationships between social values and work experiences within a global economy.
· HOW BUSINESS EDUCATION QUANTITATIVELY BENEFITS CAREER, COMPANY & STATE USING TMVI JOINT FUNDING MODEL – Ms. Klein discussed “win-win” venture experiences in a paper originally presented to the Council of Governing Boards, the Commission of Independent Colleges and Universities, and the New York State Governor’s office. NYS Universities contribute $30 billion to the economic impact of NYS and constitute an industry. Further, if you are the one who sits on a three-legged stool (education, business and government), each is an equally important leg of a model solution for higher education/public policy/creative financing.
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