Here is my commentary in @usnews ––A New Era Requires a New Type of Leader https://t.co/sbmdwpf5RS #leadership #business @HarrisPoll
The World Against Gen Z: How Companies Can Help Alleviate Generational Stress, by our CEO @johngerzema via @Forbes https://t.co/8iBTKezEdU featuring research from @APA 2018 #Stress in America study #genz
By John Gerzema, CEO of The Harris Poll | U.S. News & World Report
"MY GOAL IS TO BE THE least-powerful CEO ever," Ilkka Paananen told me in an phone interview in 2015. At the time, we had just published our book The Athena Doctrine (How Women (And the Men Who Think Like Them) Will Rule the Future. I was trying to document how modern leaders were adapting from the old 'command and control' style of leading. And Paananen's leadership ethos was not just humble, but practical. As CEO of Supercell, the Finnish mobile game studio (e.g. Clash of Clans), the decision to put the CEO at the bottom of the org chart was an intentional strategy to leave power in the hands of developers and those closest to their customers.
More leaders should take note of what's happening in Helsinki. Today, new demographics, new social movements and new attitudes on what makes a great leader are hollowing out the perch on which traditional leadership sits. And our Harris Poll data suggests there is a referendum upon leaders to build organizations that are more diverse, more inclusive and more in sync with society.
The movement toward inclusive leadership is everywhere. In politics, America elected the first Muslim and Native-American congresswomen to the House of Representatives, which is now the most racially-diverse and female in U.S. history. In the wake of #metoo and #blacklivesmatter, the world is awaking to the perils of privilege and the need to re-think leadership access. According to The World Economic Forum, 86 percent of people globally say, "we have a leadership crisis in the world today". And in our Harris Poll data, we discovered a fifteen-year inverted relationship between corporate reputation and the size of a firm. In fact, 60 percent of Americans today trust smaller companies over larger ones.
This 'Scale is Fail' phenomenon highlights a growing mistrust of power at the top. People see institutional self-interests – 79 percent of Americans think big company leaders are only looking out for themselves (tied with U.S. Congress) – as a reason why power is an obstacle to progress.
Yet no group demands more of leaders than millennials. Unafraid of the ongoing transformation – because they were born into it – 63 percent say they buy more from businesses who speak out on social issues, while 60 percent feel CEO's of large companies should be visibly discussing income, racial and gender inequality and their own personal views on social issues. That millennials are now moving into the c-suite (while Gen Z are becoming their interns), the top-down leader is being replaced by a bottom-up consensus seeker, who acts decisively by utilizing multiple streams of information.
Read more on U.S. News & World Report.
“The We Company is an ambitious strategy to broaden the company’s aspirations from places to people,” said John Gerzema, who is the CEO of The Harris Poll. “And it’s a sound move because WeWork remains as a famous sub-brand the same way Google is to Alphabet. This strategic evolution should please both investors and customers.”
Companies re-brand for many reasons, among them to modernize their image (AirBnB), to appropriate social currency (FedEx), or to re-make its image (Accenture). But there are massive pitfalls in lost equity, misread intentions and marketplace confusion. This makes it critical to understand how your brand evolution serves your intended business outcomes.
You can read the full article in Forbes here.
Leonhardt mentioned a key theme we gleaned from our 2018 RQ survey: The tarnishing of big tech's image. The reputations of tech giants, Google and Apple, tumbled this year. When we conducted the study in 2016 and 2017, tech companies such as Amazon, Google and Apple topped the list or stayed in the top 10. But in 2018, Google and Apple dropped in the ranking to #28 and #29, respectively. Only Amazon remained at the top of the list.
Facebook's reputation also took a hit this year and in another study we conducted for Fast Company, in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, we revealed a drop in the public's perception of the company's positive reputation and leadership.
By Chris Tomlinson | Houston Chronicle |
Reasonably or not, more and more Americans expect businesses to do more than offer a quality product at a reasonable price; they also want companies to do good by society.
Customers have long expected business people to contribute to their community. And it makes sense because no business can thrive if their customers do not. But after decades of businesses prioritizing shareholder returns over everything else, a backlash is underway.
A company’s reputation for social good can affect its revenues, recruitment and expansion, according to research by Harris Poll and public relations firm Finn Partners.
Since 1999, The Harris Poll has surveyed perceptions of the 100 most well-known companies in the U.S. The 2018 poll of 25,880 people generated what Harris calls a reputation quotient, which gives executives a sense of how consumers feel about them.
Harris asked people to rate companies on their products and services, emotional appeal, social responsibility, vision and leadership, financial performance and workplace environment.
A company with a solid reputation finds it easier to attract top talent and investment, researchers found. Companies with a lousy reputation must work harder to achieve their business goals.
On the 100-point scale, a quotient of 80 or above is considered excellent, while anything below 70 is fair to poor. Only two Texas companies ranked excellent in 2017: San Antonio-based H-E-B and Austin-based Whole Foods.
Many Texas companies, though, scored below 70: AT&T, J.C. Penney, Exxon Mobil, American Airlines and Halliburton. Also near the bottom was BP, which has its U.S. headquarters in Houston.
Companies that sell us food spend a lot of time building customer trust, which makes sense. Down the list, Exxon Mobil and BP are responsible for major oil spills, AT&T and American Airlines have had customer service problems and J.C. Penney’s bankruptcy and failed reboot ruined its reputation.
Harris and Finn researchers, though, dove deeper and found that people judge companies on visible values, ethical stewardship and civic-mindedness. These are things CEOs can influence.
“Those three areas together are the new yardstick that the public uses, and remember, the public are voters, the public are future talent, the public are the people who are going to say whether you can put your name on a baseball stadium, or not,” said Wendy Salomon, managing director of corporate reputation at Harris.
Read more on Houston Chronicle.
It’s the centerpiece of the biggest holiday of the year for many American families: the Christmas tree, the focal point for parties and presents, replete with favorite ornaments and lights.
Some cherish the scent of a real tree and the tradition of bringing it home, while others prefer the tidier and easier option of the plastic variety.
But which is better for the environment? Here’s a look at some of the central claims — and the common misconceptions — in that debate.
Cutting down trees is always bad for the environment. (False.)
Don’t feel bad about cutting down a tree for the holiday. Christmas trees are crops grown on farms, like lettuce or corn. They are not cut down from wild forests on a large scale, said Bert Cregg, an expert in Christmas tree production and forestry at Michigan State University.
A five- or six-foot tree takes just under a decade to grow, and once it’s cut down, the farmer will generally plant at least one in its place. The trees provide many benefits to the environment as they grow, cleaning the air and providing watersheds and habitats for wildlife. They grow best on rolling hills that are often unsuitable for other crops and, of course, they are biodegradable.
Oregon is the country’s biggest grower, followed by North Carolina. Many other states also have sizable Christmas tree farms, which preserve open land from development by their very existence.
Big growers tend to dominate in Oregon, like Holiday Tree Farms, which uses helicopters to harvest about a million trees annually, for sale at big box stores and other locations.
In western North Carolina, the farms tend to be smaller, like the one owned by Larry Smith, who has been growing trees for more than 40 years.
“Tell the kids and grandkids to keep buying real trees so we keep the local economy strong and we don’t have to sell the land to the rich people from New York City to make condos,” Mr. Smith said.
Prices for real trees have reached record highs over the last few years because farmers planted fewer trees during the 2008 recession. That may have driven some families to make the leap to a manufactured one. The average price was $75 for a real tree last year, while the average price for an artificial tree — which can be reused — was $107, according to a Nielsen/Harris poll conducted on behalf of the National Christmas Tree Association, which represents sellers of real trees.
Read more at The New York Times.