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Temin and Co.

In the News

Temin and Company is often quoted in print, broadcast and social media on topical issues as well as industry trends.

Following is a list of links to those articles, beginning with the most recent.

Crisis of the Week: OSI Fights Back In China

Ben DiPietro, The Wall Street Journal's Risk & Compliance Journal, February 8, 2016

Food processor OSI Group is this week's crisis candidate, as it has taken an aggressive stance to fight a court ruling in China finding the company sold "inferior products" to fast-food chains. U.S.-based OSI called the ruling inconsistent and said the charges against it were part of a "smear campaign" by the Chinese authorities. OSI, by going public with its criticism of the Chinese justice system, is going against the norm for how western companies solve disputes in China.

Using only the statements made by OSI since the verdict was announced, the crisis experts evaluated the decision to challenge the government publicly—is it one they would have advised the company to take? Did the company's response strike the right tone? If not, how could it have been better? What are the next steps you would advise the company to take?

Says Davia Temin, "While there are some crisis counselors who believe that an organization's first response in crisis should always be to fight back, that is not my belief. I believe response needs to be based on the circumstance. In this one, OSI has shown it will no longer be backed into a corner, docilely. It is doing the right thing, and in the right way." [...read more]

For Interim CEOs, a Job Full of Pitfalls

Rachel Feintzeig and Joann S. Lublin, The Wall Street Journal, January 7, 2016

It's hard being the in-between boss. The temporary chief executives of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. and United Continental Holdings Inc. are currently getting a taste of the challenge while the firms' full-time leaders are undergoing medical treatment.

Few management assignments hold as many pitfalls as that of the interim boss, say those who advise and research such leaders. Temporary leaders must show strength and rally the troops during uncertain times, but they also can't make bold changes or act like they will run the place long-term.

"It's a short runway," says Davia Temin, CEO of Temin & Co. "An interim CEO will rarely be able to change the culture." [...read more]

How can directors address reputational risks?

Elizabeth Judd, Corporate Secretary, April 21, 2015

With three-quarters of companies naming reputational risk as a top risk concern, directors are increasingly seeking methods of risk oversight that are independent of management.

Reputational risk can come in many guises, from cyber-security to environmental, human rights, regulatory compliance, product recalls, fraud, succession planning, quality and even cultural risks. Beyond known risks, there are the 'known unknowns', sometimes called 'black swan' events.

'It's very hard for directors of any organization to get a full handle on what the reputational risks are,' says Davia Temin, CEO and founder of Manhattan- based reputation consultant Temin and Company. 'While there are always predictable risks – airlines will have crashes, for example, while consumer goods companies will have fraud or security breaches – some of the worst crises are the ones that come from left field.' [...read more]

Crisis of the Week: Tesla Slams the Brakes on Seat Belt Problem

Ben DiPietro, The Wall Street Journal's Risk & Compliance Journal, November 30, 2015

The crisis this week deals with Tesla Motor's decision to recall all Model S cars—about 90,000 of them—because of a problem reported with a seat belt in one of the vehicles. The company said even though the car in question wasn't involved in an accident, and no one was hurt—and the problem wasn't found on 3,000 other vehicles it inspected—it decided to proceed with a full recall nonetheless. "We have decided to conduct a voluntary recall as a proactive and precautionary measure to inspect all front Model S seat belts and make absolutely sure that they are properly connected," the company said in a letter sent to every Model S owner.

Using only the public statements made by the company, or the comments it sent to owners, we asked the experts to evaluate whether the company is doing the right thing with a total recall, or overreacting to a minor problem in one vehicle. Is there more to the company's response than just dealing with a seat belt issue?

Davia Temin, chief executive, Temin and Co. says: "In this highly unstable world of social media–where anything can catch fire or be totally ignored–Tesla has wisely understood that overreaction can keep problems from going ballistic. Throw every wise solution you have at an incipient problem, especially if human life is at stake, and no one will ever doubt your trustworthy intent." [...read more]

The Morning Risk Report: Can the Auto Industry Redeem Itself?

Ben DiPietro, The Wall Street Journal's Risk & Compliance Journal, October 2, 2015

Volkswagen's emissions deception. Fiat-Chrysler underreporting its death and injuries totals. General Motors' ignition switch scandal. Toyota's gas pedal bungle. Takata's air bag mess. The automotive industry has been taking one reputation hit after another, leading to costly recalls, criminal charges, hefty fines and unhappy customers, dealers and shareholders. What can the industry do to clean up its image? Or do they even have to, as the latest sales figures show the industry is poised to have its best year since 2000?

"Cynically, they're saying 'It doesn't matter to our bottom line whether we lie or whether you know we lie or whether x number of people die because of the things we lie about. You still have to buy from us. Maybe I've degraded the brand but you don't have anywhere else to go,' " said Davia Temin, president and chief executive of crisis management firm Temin and Co. Assuming the industry wants to clean up its reputation, she said it needs to stop making promises to fix its problems and actually fix those problems–then communicate to its constituencies. [...read more]

When Bad Things Happen: 4 strategies for managing reputational risk

Lisa Valentine, Banking Exchange, October/November 2015

Reputation is all about perception: how customers, employees, investors, and other stakeholders view your financial institution. The goal is alignment between the image you think you portray and what people really think. Reputation drives revenues--and it can also help insulate your institution from brand damage due to events such as cyber attacks and regulatory actions. They key is to build your brand resilience so that customers perceive your institution positively, even when unfortunate situations occur.

So how can financial institutions approach reputational risk, given the challenges of managing and measuring the risk?

For most financial institutions, the best defense will be a good offense: going out of their way to build goodwill that can carry them through a tarnish to their brand; monitoring their reputation on social media; and preparing for the inevitable event that can potentially damage reputation with a well-thought-out crisis playbook.

This article discusses these three strategies and a fourth - the importance of being flexible - with the experts.

"A great reputation can get you through a problem," points out Davia Temin, president and CEO of Temin and Company. "It's a simple concept, but people often forget it." [...read more]

7 Secrets Of People Who Have It All Together

Gwen Moran, Fast Company, September 24, 2015

You know them: Those people who seem to glide through life effortlessly. They get through the workday without getting flustered, usually looking great while doing it. They don’t seem to struggle with juggling the demands of work and life. They just have their acts together. Do they know something we don’t?

"In some sense, yes," says leadership coach Davia Temin, founder of Temin and Company, a New York City reputation management company. Temin says that, while no one has a perfect life, some people have figured out the key to looking like they do. And, often, they share some commonalities. [...read more]

Crisis of the Week: United Airlines Faces Turbulence Amid Federal Probe

Ben DiPietro, The Wall Street Journal's Risk & Compliance Journal, September 21, 2015

This week's crisis of the week takes a look at the statements and actions of United Continental Holdings Inc., which replaced its CEO and two of his top executives amid a continuing corruption investigation by federal prosecutors.

In a statement, the company said it decided to replace Mr. Smisek and the other two executives as a result of its own internal investigation into its dealing with the Port Authority. The airline's board apparently decided to cut ties with Mr. Smisek a few weeks before the announcement of his departure. During a conference call discussing its latest quarterly results, the company said it wouldn't comment further as the investigation is ongoing.

Looking only at what the company has said publicly in its statement and on the conference call, we asked the crisis experts to gauge how well United has handled this crisis.

"'By the book,' is how United Airlines said it conducted its investigation of former CEO Jeff Smisek, and by the book is how its board and new CEO have handled every communication regarding management changes. Communications have been textbook–word-perfect, well-vetted and bloodlessly on message. But there are times when 'by the book' is simply not enough to do the job, and this is one of them. Extraordinary measures are needed," says Davia Temin. [...read more]

Business continuity planning and disaster recovery

Larry Jaffee, SC Magazine, September 2015

The Sony Pictures hack should serve as a wakeup call for all organizations to consider the importance of business continuity (BC) and disaster recovery (DR) plans. However, an informal survey undertaken by SC Magazine of IT security professionals and crisis communications experts reveals that anyone could be caught with their pants down.

"A cyber breach can be an extinction-level event for an organization if it's handled wrong or unfolds at breakneck speed unaddressed. That could destroy the organization," says Davia Temin.

During a crisis, a company's various stakeholders must be considered, she points out, posing basic questions: "If you're a financial firm, how does trading continue? How do you communicate with your customers? How are your people using email? Do they have access to email?"

If a call center gets hit with a tornado or hurricane, a company obviously must have contingency plans to outsource to a third-party vendor and backup data off-site. "That's the nitty-gritty, tactical operational stuff that makes businesses work," Temin says. That kind of planning should be going on all the time. [...read more]

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