What’s at the core of corporate wrongdoing ? Leaders, Culture, Ethics….

Selon Dennis Levine, dans un article paru dans Fortune le 29 décembre 2011, la culture organisationnelle est au coeur des problèmes de malversation. Que doit faire un membre de C.A. pour se sensibiliser à celle-ci ?

To believe that the people who commit fraud are different from us might make us feel safe. But real safety comes from building an organization that stops these acts before they can take place. Dennis Levine, who lectured an NYU MBA ethics class as part of his community service many years ago, described the mentality that led to his insider trading conviction as a mentality of having to win the next game, competing with oneself for the next victory, where enough was never enough.

His explanation is applicable to both individuals and entire corporate cultures, such as MF Global and Olympus, where losses were allegedly buried from public view on purpose.

But Levine’s explanation doesn’t address why enough is never enough. What underlies the motivations to hide losses? And why does it often take a very rude awakening for a person (or a company) to change?

L’évolution du rôle crucial de président du conseil d’administration

Voici un extrait d’un article, publié dans le Financial Times du 27 décembre 2011, qui note un changement significatif dans la nomination des présidents de conseils d’administration. Dans le passé, plus de la moitié des présidents de conseils du FTSE 100 (UK) étaient d’ex CEO, et la plupart étaient nommés immédiatement après avoir quitté leurs postes de CEO. L’article montre que les comités de nomination accordent maintenant plus d’importance à l’étendue de l’expérience des candidats et, en conséquence, le nombre de CEO accédant directement à des postes de présidents de conseils a tendance à diminuer. Lire l’article pour plus de détails.

The UK’s largest companies are increasingly looking beyond business leaders who are just stepping down as chief executives when they choose their chairmen, according to a leading firm of headhunters.

While in the past it was quite usual for outgoing chief executives to move straight into the role of chairman, the nominations committees of large quoted groups now prefer to see candidates with wider experience.

Analysis by Spencer Stuart suggests that out of the 60 chairmen of FTSE 100 companies who have held chief executive responsibilities, just over half have had a gap between finishing their executive career and embarking on life as a company chairman.

The practice of moving from chief executive to chairman within the same company has become less common since the UK’s corporate governance code made it clear that such a succession plan required explanation to shareholders. If those following this route are excluded, the bias towards chief executives who have acquired some non-executive experience first becomes even stronger.

“The chairman’s role has evolved from being the leader of the board to being the conductor of an orchestra,” says Will Dawkins, head of Spencer Stuart’s UK board services practice. “Nowadays, the chairman of a classic quoted company is leading a board composed of non-executive directors who are also very senior and powerful.”

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