Toda Quinta (composição Marissol Mwaba)
Marissol Mwaba criou esta música para o TEDxSãoPaulo 2020. Ela gravou na casa dela durante o isolamento social devido ao Covid-19. Ela gravou 9 vezes, criou uma performance em formato de mosaico e surpreendeu todos os participantes do evento com o seu talento e voz maravilhosa.
Toda Quinta (Every Thursday) (composed by Marissol Mwaba)
Marissol Mwaba composed this music for TEDxSãoPaulo 2020. She recorded it at home while in isolation. She recorded herself 9 times, created a mosaic performance and surprised everyone with her talent and wonderful voice. Cantora, compositora e instrumentista brasileira de origem Congolesa.
Participou de shows com Alpha Petulay na França e esteve entre os cinco finalistas do concurso "Incroyables Talents" de Université Sorbonne em Paris, onde lançou seu primeiro CD, Luz-A-zuL. Participou do show da Mc Soom T com Alpha Petulay no Festival Woodstower em Lyon.
Uma de suas obras em coautoria com François Muleka ficou nacionalmente conhecida na voz de Luedji Luna (Notícias de Salvador). Estreou o show Palavra Mágica, lançou o álbum “Palavra Mágica Acústico Rec’n’Play”, e o single “Toda Quinta”. Participou no The Voice Brasil.
Participou de vários discos, como o novo trabalho de Chico César. Marissol já colaborou em palco e estúdio com artistas como Emicida, Fióti, Chico César, Rincon Sapiência, Drik Barbosa, Alegre Corrêa, François Muleka e Rael.
Atualmente apresenta o show Lamuka. Abriu o show do Emicida no Circo Voador e o show da Xênia França em Florianópolis.
A palavra Lamuka significa despertar/acordar em Swahili, segunda língua da artista de família oriunda da República Democrática do Congo. O show é executado nos cruzamentos entre palavras recitadas, violão e canção. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx
How do we get closer to those we love? This talk addresses this question of the heart and of our lives, sharing simple practices that will bring you closer to the people you care about most. People too often love from a distance or through clouds of confusion or from behind a mask, feeling at times poorly known and not well understood by even those they love most. We can change that, and learn to better understand and love, opening the doors to also become better understood and available to receive the love that others have for us. As an author, Marty Folsom has written a trio of books exploring the nature of personal relationships. As an academic, Marty earned a Ph.D. and taught in New Zealand and the Seattle area for 20 years. As a counselor, the Woodinville, Wash., native refers to himself as a Relational Theologian, affirming that God exists in relationships and all that God does is for the purpose of relationships. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx
The global spread of coronavirus has pushed Wall Street into a new era with little warning.
Bank executives, fund managers, and traders had to figure out how to keep employees and clients safe while also keeping their sprawling operations running with as little disruption as possible.
Now, early into the transition to working from home, some already considering how coronavirus will change the way they work in the long run.
Amid all this, financial firms are as busy as ever. The US went from an economic expansion with low unemployment rates and stock market highs to what is likely a recession with unprecedented numbers of Americans filing for unemployment and trillions of dollars of wealth evaporating. The Federal Reserve and Congress have pulled all the levers at their disposal to quell the unprecedented shock to the economy as the majority of Americans stay home to stem the spread of the virus.
Business Insider is tracking how Wall Street is handling this new reality. See below to read the latest.
Experienced chairpersons know that their success depends on how they walk the tightrope of being too involved or too remote in the company’s strategy execution. Yet when a crisis such as COVID-19 hits and the CEO transforms into Chief Crisis Officer, the chairperson may become increasingly unsure how to strike this balance.
Crisis breeds uncertainty and creates emotionally draining conditions for organizations that require fast decision-making with limited information on the part of leaders. The board’s role to monitor the crisis response of senior executives is crucial and in the interests of all stakeholders, but it also risks creating response delays and bottlenecks. Moreover, the chairperson’s objective to preserve future strategic options for sustainable growth might be difficult to implement when the organization’s short-term survival is on the line. These frictions can increase if the chairperson and CEO have conflicting views on crisis response measures, which in turn can divert the attention of both parties to preserving their image and reputation in the face of the media and key stakeholders — a typical “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation.
Research Updates From MIT SMR
Get weekly updates on how global companies are managing in a changing world.
In light of these dynamics, the interactions between the chairperson and the CEO to establish decision rules, guidelines, expectations, agendas, and communication strategies are an essential and often underestimated success factor for leading organizations through a crisis. We took a closer look at this relationship to explore how experienced chairpersons interpret their role during a crisis, and why success and recovery for companies depend on complementary roles, strategic alignment, and chemistry between the chair and CEO.
The Chairperson and the CEO in the COVID-19 Crisis
Traditionally, the board of directors’ job description is “control” and “advice.” As a control function, each board member ensures that senior executives act in the stakeholders’ interests. The advice function contributes to corporate decision-making via strategic guidance and counseling to executive teams. For both functions, the chair builds the bridge between the board and the senior executive team.
There is no question that this relationship between the chair and the CEO is critical for success, particularly during the current COVID-19 crisis. Monika Ribar, chairwoman at Swiss Federal Railways (SBB), focuses regular interactions with her CEO on the main crisis-related activities and actions implemented. By doing as much as she can to be approachable at any time for her CEO, Ribar says she keeps all means of communication open to help and learn as much as possible about the senior executive team’s approach to fight the crisis. Aware of her increased strategic responsibilities for the company amid a global pandemic, these regular exchanges allow her to be involved and informed early on. Effective chairs understand the role they must play in order to lead and use the board of directors as a highly effective team at the service of the company and its stakeholders.
The chairpersons at other organizations, such as Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH), A.P. Møller – Mærsk A/S, Nestlé, and Siemens AG, are similarly ensuring closer proximity and support for their CEOs. For example, Douglas Berthiaume (chairperson) and Sandra L. Fenwick (CEO) at BCH are strongly aligned about preserving the hospital’s core identity, “Until Every Child Is Well,” as well as the hospital’s mission and values for BCH’s clinical care work and its community engagement. This fundamental alignment is accentuated during crises. For example, during this crisis, Fenwick and Berthiaume worked together in communicating across multiple boundaries — to their boards, donors, and staff. Fenwick says, “Keeping people informed of changing situations and policies, answering an extraordinary range of personal and professional questions, and keeping people focused, healthy, engaged, resilient, and optimistic is key.”
Jim Hagemann Snabe, chairman at Mærsk and Siemens, similarly emphasizes that he collaborates closely with his CEOs to ensure the consistency of the company’s overall strategic direction. This collaboration provides a “catalyst for reinforcing the firm’s purpose and strategic intent,” says Snabe. And as chairman he guides the company “to stay committed toward its strategic direction despite a need for short-term focus and actions.” While all chairs maintain their traditional roles of control and advice during times of crisis, we found that experienced chairpersons double down on aligning with leadership and safeguarding their organization’s identity and mission.
Safeguarding the identity and mission. With any crisis response, companies face the major risk of reacting with shortsighted, routine-based actions rather than creating an overall strategic recovery plan. When crises unfold, CEOs are pressured to take immediate action and communicate a response quickly — even when the full scope and impact of the crisis is not known. Divestments, product eliminations, layoffs, and cost cutting help to ease the pressure for immediate performance improvements. Yet, they risk carving up the organization’s heart and soul when these efforts fail to recognize critical skills, capabilities, experience, and culture so crucial to the organization’s long-term recovery.
This critical point in the response is where the relationship between chairperson and CEO plays a key role. For example, at Boston Children’s Hospital, Fenwick and her board chair’s emphasis on “Until Every Child Is Well” accentuates the organization’s purpose, identity, and culture during the crisis. Such strong commitment to the organization’s identity functions as an overarching crisis vision that guides senior executives when formulating and implementing crisis response strategies. It helps to avoid confusion, aligns the guiding coalition toward one aspirational goal, motivates employees, and ensures various stakeholders’ support during the crisis. This is even more important in a crisis, says Snabe, “as uncertainty during crisis may confuse and require challenging prioritization in harmony with the firm’s purpose and strategic intent.” By aligning crisis communications with the organization’s purpose, the chair and CEO can help channel the organization’s energy and passion toward the most fundamental goal: to preserve the organization’s raison d’être.
In order to maintain this focus on purpose, the leadership team must be able to persevere in their roles despite stress and uncertainty. Resilience during a crisis not only helps leaders to keep a clear head but also allows the company to thrive. However, this is easier said than done. Dealing with negative emotions and anxiety, and thus creating a safe space, has surfaced as a critical component that requires the chair’s active attention during a crisis.
Resolving anxiety. Often, leadership teams are unprepared for the fallout of disasters and crises such as COVID-19, which can bring on stress, discomfort, and other negative emotions. The unique circumstances that each crisis presents also make it difficult for senior executives to apply similar action steps or past routines to cope with the current situation. These psychologically challenging conditions are counterproductive when the team could be instilling confidence in employees. Instead, this instability creates doubt and mistrust when responding to often very emotional stakeholder demands.
In all of the leading companies we’ve worked with, chairpersons focused on actively addressing the emotional and psychological impact on their CEOs. At Nestlé, Paul Bulcke emphasizes that emotions are already high during a crisis, and the chairman should not make the mistake of increasing stress and discomfort. By being approachable, expressing sympathy, and applying a team-oriented approach, the chairs display involvement, understanding, care, and empathy — toward their CEO in particular. They provide psychological support and avoid impaired decision-making driven by negative emotions, uncertainty, and fear.
Actively fostering positive energy functions as a catalyst that can help CEOs to remain rational instead of emotional as well. How a chairperson perceives and reacts to the CEO’s negative emotions is key to steering decision-making toward rational facts rather than emotional disagreements.
Creating a safe space. Because of the mutual dependence on a positive crisis outcome, all chairpersons value a trusting relationship with their senior executives and board members. This trust enables the chairperson to function as a sounding board for the CEO during the crisis. The creation of a safe space characterized by openness and honesty not only helps the chair to maintain a close relationship with the CEO but also allows for timely exchanges, feedback, and alignment on strategic actions before presenting them to the full board.
Safe spaces increase the consensus and decision speed during a crisis. However, they should not be forced upon CEOs, who might interpret them as the chair wanting to micromanage the overall crisis response. Instead, CEOs should be encouraged to make independent decisions and act at their discretion. While trust creates a foundation for CEOs to actively seek feedback and advice, it goes both ways. Violating trust can create a vicious cycle of blame and mistrust, causing serious damage to the organization’s chance for recovery post-crisis. This is detrimental to both the CEO and the chair. Consequently, a trusting relationship with the CEO should be built on mutual support and interest. As SBB’s Ribar says, this “we are both in the same boat” mentality brings the chairperson closer to the CEO. In uncertain times, companies need a united leadership front, and safe spaces allow chairs and CEOs to align their individual interests to fight the crisis together.
The Chair Matters
COVID-19 is an unprecedented crisis that has thrown the global economy into turmoil. Now more than ever is a time for companies to ensure alignment and mutual support from the board, the chair, and the CEO. The board and the chair need to stay disciplined, stick to their roles, stay detached from operations, and concentrate on being a sparring partner for the CEO when needed. Experienced chairs don’t interfere or micromanage. Instead, they help CEOs navigate challenges by providing consistent reminders of the organization’s identity and mission.
Moreover, chairpersons use a mix of proximity, positive reinforcement, and trust to ensure timely information flows and to build understanding for the CEO’s challenges and responsibilities. This combination of encouraging mindfulness of business purpose and using empathy enables chairs to help CEOs harness creativity and passion and psychologically anchor themselves when selecting, evaluating, and implementing short-term crisis responses.
Finally, it’s important that chairpersons remain committed to the organization above all — continuing their mission to challenge decisions, defending the organization’s long-term interests, and being prepared to take the lead when needed. After all, facing a crisis does not mean a board chair is invisible or unconditionally supportive. Just as the CEO needs to seize the day, so too does the chair, who plays an especially important role in the organization’s success and long-term survival. Or, as Nestlé chairperson Bulcke says, during a crisis, the chair feels like a “motorcycle driver that needs to look ahead of the curve, because if you keep looking at only what is just in front of you, your wheels don’t come out of the curve well, and you lose your balance.”
About the Authors
Achim Schmitt, a former turnaround and bankruptcy consultant, is a professor of strategic management and associate dean of graduate programs at École hôtelière de Lausanne, HES-SO University of Applied Sciences & Arts Western Switzerland. Gilber Probst, former managing director at the World Economic Forum, is the chairman of the board of the Swiss Bank of Geneva (BCGE) and honorary professor at the University of Geneva. He is also vice chairman of the Swiss Board Institute and the Swiss Institute of Directors. Michael Tushman is Baker Foundation Professor, Paul R. Lawrence Professor Emeritus, and faculty chair of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. He is also a founder of Change Logic.
Sustainability and digitization have been two of the most significant global business trends over the past several years. Sustainability concerns humanity’s relationship with the natural world, while digitization focuses on the virtual world. Lacking obvious common roots, they have developed more or less independently of each other, but it’s time for these two worlds to merge.
The need for this merger is simple. The risks to humanity of poor or unethical digital practices are increasing rapidly and can no longer be ignored. Imagine the damage that could be caused by a weapon controlled by malevolent AI, the impact of a total loss of personal privacy, or the social and economic costs of unregulated gig-economy jobs with few or no social protections. The potential outcomes of these and other scenarios are starting to be openly discussed within governments and civil society. Now corporate entities need to join the debate.
Email Updates on Digital Culture & Strategy
Get monthly email updates on platforms, digital leadership, digital transformation, and ethics.
The corporate world is, in fact, beginning to realize its responsibilities for protecting the planet. Large entities like Unilever have long championed sustainability as a key corporate objective. The 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, chose “how to save the planet” as a guiding theme. Even the cutthroat world of private equity is taking note, as evidenced by BlackRock’s recent announcement that it will prioritize investments in sustainable entities.
These organizations realize that sustainable practices are not only good for the environment but for business as well. Unilever’s Sustainable Living Brands have accounted for more than 75% of the company’s recent growth.
Within most companies, however, the digital aspects of sustainability have been spread thinly across various corporate departments, if not entirely overlooked. Bringing these disparate and fragmented elements together under a single umbrella allows them to be addressed in a consistent and complementary manner. This new, consolidated focus is known as corporate digital responsibility. CDR is a subset of corporate social responsibility, an already established entity in many organizations.
I define CDR as a set of practices and behaviors that help an organization use data and digital technologies in a way that is socially, economically, technologically, and environmentally responsible.
The Four Categories of CDR
Each of CDR’s four categories contains components that engender significant opportunities to create competitive differentiation. (See “The 4 Categories of Corporate Digital Responsibility.”) They may also become threats if not appropriately addressed.
Social corporate digital responsibility involves an organization’s relationship to people and society. The vital topic of data privacy protection of customers, employees, and other stakeholders is included in this area. It also incorporates aspects of digital diversity and inclusion, such as bridging an increasing divide between digital haves and have-nots across geographies, industries, social classes, and age demographics.
Economic corporate digital responsibility concerns responsible management of the economic impacts of digital technologies. Much has been said about the replacement of human jobs by robots and other digital technologies, and this is certainly a relevant part of economic CDR. Economic CDR also relates to the creation of new digital-era jobs that are enriching, purposeful, and interesting. Emerging evidence suggests that jobs created by the so-called gig economy are often uninteresting, repetitive, and low paying. Questions are also arising about how companies share the economic benefits of digitization with society through taxation of digital work, and if and how the original owners of monetized data are fairly compensated.
Technological corporate digital responsibility is linked to the responsible creation of technologies themselves. For example, biased or inaccurate AI decision-making algorithms can lead to unfair or discriminatory practices, as has been noted among many recommendation engines. In 2017, more than 1,000 AI researchers, including luminaries such as Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking, signed an open letter calling for a ban on the weaponization of AI and similar digital technologies. Other technologies, such as so-called deepfake videos in which people are realistically made to appear to be saying or doing things that they did not, can also have harmful effects on society.
Finally, environmental corporate digital responsibility concerns the link between digital technologies and the physical environment, including issues of responsible recycling or the disposal of old computer equipment. Extending obsolescence cycles by one year, for example, could have an enormous positive impact on the environment. Another consideration is limiting power consumption, including reducing the use of electricity to support bitcoin mining.
A Consolidated Approach to Digital Sustainability
Many organizational processes, practices, and projects exist to address digital aspects of social, economic, technological, and environmental responsibility, but they’re rarely coordinated or optimized. Cybersecurity, for example, tends to be the responsibility of IT departments, whereas workforce automation may fall under the purview of operations, and yet other elements may sit with HR, legal, engineering, R&D, or particular business lines.
To ensure better mitigation of risks and the capturing of rewards, these disparate areas should be coordinated collectively. The responsibility for this consolidated approach could sit with a CDR office that coordinates and oversees the role of digital technologies to promote ethical and sustainable business practices. This office should consist of a cross-functional team of key decision makers from areas such as IT, legal, supply chain, and administration rather than yet another siloed corporate function.
Organizations need to examine how their digital technologies and practices impact employees, customers, and society at large. Failing to do so may lead to a whole host of problems, such as employee resistance, as we have seen recently at Amazon and in Silicon Valley giants such as Google. Unexamined or insufficient digital sustainability practices may also lead to falling revenues and profits as civil society demands more-responsible practices, targeting organizations that are seen to fall short. Failure to act could also lead to more stringent regulations, such as the EU’s GDPR legislation, which includes severe penalties for noncompliant behavior or inaction.
As sustainability and digitization trends continue to grow, CDR will become increasingly relevant for organizational performance, both to mitigate risks and to delight increasingly digitally and sustainability-savvy consumers in new ways. Organizations that fail to take a synergistic and coordinated approach to CDR may find themselves in trouble with customers, employees, and regulators.