Corporate “Lessons Learned” from 2012

Corporate Strategy News is a news and information resource designed to help business executives in decision-making.  Recently they published an article entitled “Top Concerns for CEO’s in 2013.”  The basis of the article came from several top executives who were surveyed about planning for the business year ahead.  There were 3 main points that were emphasized in the article: building a contingency plan, minimizing risk and managing talent.  I view these points as the “lessons learned” from 2012.

Contingency plans are a hot topic for businesses as a direct result of Hurricane Sandy and other major natural disasters that have recently occurred.  For example, many businesses have been content to keep all records and files on site.  This tactic has been proven to be deficient in emergency planning.  Contingency plans address these issues and are more than just “disaster planning.”  Managers should have several plans that address numerous scenarios.  This provides organizations with greater flexibility so they can “weather any storm.”

Minimizing risk is also vital to a firm’s success.  Risk is inherent in any industry, but there are a number of ways it can be reduced.  One of the greatest ways to reduce risk is through improved internal auditing.  If a firm is more transparent it’s easier to find errors and improve business processes.  Given some of the uncertainties for next year, risk management also becomes increasingly more important.

The last major point of the article emphasized the importance of talent management and it’s impact to a corporation.  Talent management should be a role that extends beyond the human resources department.  Unfortunately many corporations often overlook this attribute.  CEO’s and other executives should take an active role in talent management so that leaders can be identified and rewarded.  Human capital will become more important next year as the economy strengthens.

I found this article to really hit on some key issues and problems that exist within various corporations today.  None of the above mentioned points should come as a surprise, but it should be an “eye opener” for executives that haven’t taken these critical points into consideration.  Of course these aren’t the only factors that impact success, but given the circumstances and some of the recent events that have occurred, these points should not be ignored.

This past year has been an exciting one, to say the least, for many corporations.  The challenges that lie ahead with the looming fiscal cliff, problems with major money-lenders and other uncertainties will make strategic planning a priority for all businesses in 2013.   Every corporation will need to have a unique competitive advantage going forward, and addressing some of these key issues can help them prosper next year.

If you would like to read this article you can find it at the link below.


3 thoughts on “Corporate “Lessons Learned” from 2012

  1. Many of these “lessons learned” described above are becoming the basic standard as opposed to something to be considered for the upcoming year. If an executive has to informed of what to watch out for in terms of emergency planning, risk control and talent management, then they are probably an unfit executive. Executive’s now are expected to have these items addressed long before the start of the new year. In my company risk assessment, talent management and emergency procedures are the top tier items to have plans in place well before 2013 starts.

  2. I agree with Pete in that if executives aren’t identifying these 3 topics as key issues going forward, then they probably aren’t very good executives. I would further add that it is short-term thinking and the inability to see the “big picture” that would probably ignore these sorts of issues. Executives that are only concerned with the quarter’s “bottom line” would tend to overlook investments in and spending related to these issues. And this is just not good for the business in the long run.

  3. I think these issues have been on people’s minds. I believe they continue to be a part of the “to-do” list. Some of the recent happenings between weather and human interruptions have proven how important these things can be and that’s why they are now “top concerns”.

    This past year at work we had a high priority exercise around “Business Continuity Plans”. It sounded easy at first until we dove into the detail. Since we try to leverage expertise around the globe, the IT architecture is extremely complex and the reliance of communications outside of the local office building proves to be challenging. We have completed our continuity plans for each business unit and plan to test these plans starting in the first quarter of next year.

    In terms of risk assessment, we staffed up our risk awareness officers and it’s getting a lot of focus in terms of resources and processes. It’s a company-wide issue we are all accountable for and it’s a part of our yearly performance contracts.

    Dave – I think you’re right that these are top concerns. It’s easy to talk to them and very challenging to address.

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