Last week, Corporate Excellence had the pleasure to attending to the London Insight Forum – The Future of the C-Suite: from CEOs to CCOS organized by Arthur W. Page Society, the most relevant association of Corporate Communications Executives in the United States. This is not the first time we have mentioned this association regarding our research about the New Communication Model Building Belief. In fact, Roger Bolton, president of the Arthur W. Page Society and also teacher in our flagship training programme: The Global Chief Communication Officer, was at Corporate Excellence some months ago to share some insights of this communication model.
The members of the Arthur W. Page Society are making progress implementing the model and it is for this very reason they were in London. This has been the third time we had the chance to learn from the members of the Arthur W. Page Society in Europe. We are very pleased to share goals and common challenges, among which we stand out: activate the role of the manager of intangible assets to the greatest executive power and demonstrate how it contributes to generate corporate value, reputation, brand, communication and public affairs.
Specific best practices were shared in the meeting: Heineken, Lundbeck and General Electric. A particular highlight was the participation of the head of Rolls-Royce that allowed us to know first hand what CEOs expect about the role and responsibilities of the CCOs. One of the main topics discussed at the meeting was about the skills needed by CCOs to be involved in the decision-making process and be able to add value to the organizations they work for. We took lots of notes and it was made clear to us once again how Corporate Excellence companies share a common future vision, along with the same concerns and challenges. Below we mention some of the main ideas shared in this high-level meeting, where only communication, responsibility or public affairs top executives meet:
The communication model Building Belief is set as guide for members in the Arthur W. Page Society.
The CCO has to take part in the strategic decision-making process and participate as a member of the C-suite.
The CCO has to manage corporate reputation and prove its strategic importance as a protector asset generating value. In order to achieve that, it is extremely important to strengthen the skills that a CCO needs.
There isn’t any agreement about the exact name of this role in companies. From Chief Communications Officer to Chief Relations Officer or Chief Reputation Officer, etc. But beyond terminology, the real important thing is to have this role in the companies to establish a multistakeholder and multidimensional vision in the company’s global strategy.
The CCO is considered as an agent of transformational change able to connect the organization with its stakeholders.
It is necessary to have non-financial indicators and to share international standards when evaluating intangible assets.
In most cases, the way to present these topics in the senior management is through a crisis, merger or a change in the corporate leaders.
As you may know, the model consists in two parts, the first one is to define a new, unique and differentiating character to be relevant for the stakeholders and able to build belief; the second one is to generate advocacy and engagement through a shared belief system so the stakeholders are committed, and advocate actively the products, services of the company itself with all the people they know.
The paper Corporate Character contains how to implement this first phase of the model. This report includes the cases of 25 of the 50 Fortune’s company regarding the redefinition, activation and implementation of the corporate values (Archer Daniels Midland, AT&T, Best Buy, Cardinal Health, Chevron, Dow Chemical, ExxonMobil, Ford, General Electric, General Motors, The Home Depot, IBM, JPMorgan Chase, Kraft Foods, Kroger, Lockheed Martin, Marathon Oil, Pfizer, Sears, United Healthcare Group, UPS, Verizon, Walgreens, WellPoint y Wells Fargo).
Progress in the second phase of the model can be found in the last report published, Authentic Advocacy, which Corporate Excellence strongly recommends. There you will find examples of best practices performed by Cargill, Chevron, Lundbeck, Southwest Airlines y USAA. Check this video if you actually want to know more about how implement important and influential processes.
In Corporate Excellence, we keep working and collaborating with the Communication Forum, which puts together an inter-university platform with more than 60 teachers in order to give the model a practical and theoretical approach so we can spread it in Spanish-speaking countries. We will share more information as we move towards with this. For the moment, you should know that we will be organizing some related panels and that the Arthur W. Page Society is planning new Insight Forums in Amsterdam and Germany for next year.