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Temin and Co.

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"Gynecologist’s Actions Bring Down USC’s President" 

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"Harassment Claims Cost Wynn Resorts its Leader" 

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"NBC News Faces Questions After Lauer Firing" 

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"Equifax Hit With Massive Reputation Breach" 

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"Fujifilm Addresses Accounting Problems" 

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"Hacked Twitter Account Gives McDonald’s Indigestion" 

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"Qualcomm Chips Away at South Korea Probe" 

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"Tyson Finds Itself in Game of Reputation Chicken" 

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"Delta Grounded After Computer Crash" 

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"Signet Confronts Diamond Debacles" 

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"NFL Goes for Knockout Against New York Times" 

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"OSI Fights Back In China" 

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"Tesla Slams the Brakes on Seat Belt Problem" 

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"United Airlines Faces Turbulence Amid Federal Probe" 

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 "Accounting Problems Hobble Toshiba" 

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 "Kiss-and-Tell Fears After Adult Friend Finder Breach" 

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"Ice Cream Recall Snags Blue Bell" 

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"Williams, NBC Between Iraq and a Hard Place" 

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"Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut" 

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"How Well Did Tesco Account for Itself?" 

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In the News-Leadership & Strategy

‘A new era’: Trump and 2020 hopefuls are singling out more American companies by name

Jena McGregor, The Washington Post, June 13, 2019

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On Monday, after Raytheon and United Technologies announced merger plans, President Trump weighed in again with an opinion about American corporate business decisions, telling CNBC he was "a little concerned" the defense contractor and industrial technology giant's merger could result in less competition if they become "one big fat beautiful company." It was the latest in a long string of examples of Trump — whether by tweet or by tirade — singling out American companies.

But the president has been joined more often in recent months by 2020 Democratic presidential candidates who are also increasingly calling out companies by name, directly challenging American businesses in a way that historians and communication experts say underscores a new era.

Communications experts advised companies not to get into Twitter wars, to be responsive but not respond in kind, and to prioritize connecting with White House or legislative staffers early on when making announcements that could come under fire. In most cases, companies should use the opportunity to explain their story or strategy again rather than fight.

"Don't escalate, don't shoot back," said Davia Temin, a communications and management coach on reputation issues. "The last thing an awful lot of people want is a one-upmanship match between the president or presidential candidates and an individual company." [...read more]

Temps at the top

Nancy Marshall-Genzer, Marketplace, April 23, 2019

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Right now, the Trump administration has acting heads at the Defense Department, Homeland Security, the Small Business Administration, and the Office of Management and Budget. By the time you finish reading this story, there could be more. And that's just the way President Trump likes it, as he told CBS's "Face the Nation" in February.

"I like 'acting' because I can move so quickly," he said. "It gives me more flexibility."

It's the kind of flexibility that's increasingly on display in the private sector. Intel appointed Robert Swan as interim CEO last June. Last month, Wells Fargo announced that its general counsel, C. Allen Parker, would become interim CEO and president. J. Crew, Comscore and Herbalife have also brought on interim CEOs this year.

Davia Temin coaches interim executives. She says they have a tough job.

"You've got the title — almost," she said. "You've got the responsibility — almost. You are acting as if you are the CEO, but when it comes to long-term strategy and planning and action and vision and mission, you don't have that nod." [...read more]

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The Fixer

Dora Mekouar, VOA Connect, April 12, 2019

Davia Temin is featured in this Voice of America Connect story with reporting by Dora Mekouar. In this video she shares the story behind her woman-owned crisis and reputation management firm and the different tools firms and people can use when faced with catastrophe. [...read more]

Is Wells Fargo stuck in the denial stage of recovery?

Kate Berry, American Banker, April 7, 2019

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Since Wells Fargo's phony-accounts scandal broke in 2016, the bank's public and private reactions have diverged significantly.

After an initial bout of blame directed at the thousands of employees who opened the fake accounts in an effort to meet aggressive sales goals, the bank pivoted to a public position of contrition, saying it was dedicated to fixing its corporate culture to ensure nothing like that could happen again. That line was offered by then-CEO Tim Sloan last month when he testified to Congress, in which he said the bank had made significant progress in atoning for its mistakes.

Yet in private, bank executives and many rank-and-file employees have taken the view that the bank's problems are largely not of its own making and have been overblown by overbearing regulators, scoop-hungry reporters, hostile members of Congress, and a system that has put its actions under an (unfair) microscope.

In short, the bank has appeared to be in denial that it has a problem at all, some argue.

"Denial is one of the hardest issues for a company to address after a crisis," said Davia Temin, president and CEO of management consulting firm Temin and Company. "It's not over just because Wells is ready for it to be over." [...read more]

'A Tremendous Insult:' Boardroom Leaks Irk Directors

Amanda Gerut, Agenda, April 1, 2019

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Leaks of information about CEO hires, potential acquisitions and boardroom deliberations about executives accused of misconduct have become an increasingly acute concern as more activists, first-time directors and directors with varying business backgrounds join boards.

The spread of confidential information about boardroom discussions is an evergreen source of disquiet among directors. But as more boards contend with messy, difficult issues about company culture, for instance, dissent and rifts can sometimes lead to directors' turning to outside sources to influence decisions. Staying abreast of group dynamics such as distinct majorities and minorities in votes, directors who feel their views aren't being heard and general board dysfunction that can breed an environment in which directors might turn to the press or social media to air their views is important in maintaining an open — but confidential — atmosphere.

Meanwhile, the issue of information seeping out before a board has decided to formally communicate remains a frustration for directors.

Most boardrooms, like a therapist's office or a confessional, are considered "sacrosanct," says Davia Temin, president and CEO of reputation, risk and crisis management firm Temin and Company. However, that confidentiality can break down in certain situations. For instance, leaks can occur when a director tries to influence a board decision and isn't successful. In frustration, a director might turn to the press to put external pressure on the board to get directors to vote a certain way. Activist investors may feel an allegiance to their firm or other outside parties, or founders could disagree with other board members and leak information to try to sway investors to their side. Confidentiality can also break down in a crisis, Temin says.

Still, "even in this world of social media and transparency, boardroom deliberations really do need to be opaque," she says. [...read more]

Fearing future #MeToo allegations, a growing number of companies are turning to reputation management firms

Harriet Taylor, CNBC Make It, January 29, 2019

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The business of protecting companies from sexual harassment scandals is booming.

Calls to reputation management firm Temin and Company quadrupled in 2018, according to president and CEO Davia Temin.

"Sexual harassment has not been one of our biggest areas of inquiry, up until now," Temin tells CNBC Make It. But with the rise of the #MeToo movement, companies are finding themselves unprepared and facing huge legal liabilities. Temin's business helps companies — including more than 15 in the Fortune 500 — find and address internal problems, before they become public.

When a company hires Temin and Company, the firm first conducts an in-depth study into the company's leadership and corporate culture. Temin zeroes in on how persistent a culture of sexual harassment is at an organization and what the company is doing wrong, then makes recommendations at the governance level, including, in some cases, firing senior people. Many of Temin's clients are in highly-regulated industries, like pharmaceuticals and finance. [...read more]

A Year of Reckoning for Davos Man (and One Woman) in the Alps

Jeff Green, Bloomberg, January 20, 2019

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These are uncomfortable times for the archetypal men of Davos — and at least one woman.

Established in 1971 to support a global, capitalist vision of the future, the World Economic Forum in Davos this year also offers a reminder of the public humbling of some of its most visible champions. Dozens of the assembled business leaders and exemplars present and past have been brought low by a wide range of misconduct allegations, including sexual harassment, mismanagement and financial misconduct.

"At Davos they are both reflecting and setting the culture," said Davia Temin, whose crisis consultant company has tallied more than 1,000 people, mostly men, accused of harassment and other misdeeds in the last year. That same list includes more than two dozen men who are present or past Davos attendees. "They reflect the culture of leadership, and sometimes looking in the mirror helps to spur the discussion." [...read more]

Between Cosby and Kavanaugh -- 810 High-Profile Public Figures Accused of Sexual Harassment

T&C Press Release, PR Newswire, October 3, 2018

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NEW YORK, Oct. 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- As the #MeToo movement has redefined "acceptable" conduct in every sphere of society — from the workplace to the university, from Hollywood to the Supreme Court — reputation and crisis management consultancy Temin and Company has logged 810 high-profile figures from Cosby to Kavanaugh accused of sexual harassment. This creates a comprehensive database of those accused of #MeToo-related conduct since the arrest of Bill Cosby in December 2015.

Among the 810 Temin's "#MeToo Index" has tallied are: 234 in arts and entertainment; 192 in politics and government; 159 in business; 114 in media and broadcasting; and 63 in colleges and universities. "Every sector has been affected," says Temin CEO Davia Temin, "and leaders — CEOs and board directors – are looking for insight on why, why now, and how we can address the reputational risk of toxic workplace cultures."

Weinstein was the Watershed
"We are at a pivotal moment when several aspects of the movement, and its pushback, are converging," Temin continues. "As the nation is fixated on the Kavanaugh hearings and FBI investigation, as well as Cosby's sentencing as a 'sexually violent predator,' October 5 also marks one year since the explosive revelations of Harvey Weinstein's decades of sexual misconduct. Our data tells us that these revelations opened the floodgates and set off the spike in allegations around the world." Accusations averaged 6 per month between Cosby and Weinstein, and jumped to 78 in October 2017, 119 in November, and 103 in December. The average in 2018 is 42 per month. "We are seeing the public impact of these accusations in real time, and the power they have to marshal public sentiment, outcry, and action."

No One Wants to be a "#MeToo Company"
As allegations around sexual misconduct and toxic culture increasingly dominate the news cycle, the consequences for organizations have risen exponentially. An SEC filing by CBS on September 28 revealed CBS has received subpoenas from the New York County District Attorney and the NYC Commission on Human Rights, as well as a request for information from the NYS Attorney General's Office regarding allegations against Les Moonves, "CBS News and cultural issues at all levels of CBS." "A dramatic shift is occurring in organizations everywhere, and corporate boards – especially women board members — are paying serious attention," says Temin. "No one wants to be a '#MeToo company' today."

Metrics Bolster Narrative
"Personal narrative, fueled by social media, has transformed the #MeToo movement into a powerhouse very quickly," Temin says. "But I believe it takes narrative combined with metrics — with research — to put the issue in context and fuel its next wave. One person's story on social media, even anonymous, strikes a chord with others who have experienced the same thing, sometimes perpetrated by the same individual. Victims may have felt alone before, but then recognize that they have been part of a pattern. They then post their stories, sometimes anonymously as well. Their stories attract others who do affix their names, and a powerful trajectory of truth is begun.

"But you can lie with narrative as well. We all know that. It is the wise combination of metrics, personal narrative, and pristine due process that will bring us closest to long-hidden truths that have damaged women's progress forever. That is why I started this Index."

#MeToo Index: Highlights
Compiling data of allegations around sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape, workplace misconduct, and other related behavior, the continuously updated Temin #MeToo Index defines "high-profile" accusations as receiving at least seven mentions in the popular media. The database includes over 25 information fields, ranging from the accused's age, industry, date of accusation and resolution, to political party. Highlights from the Index include:

  • A steep explosion in numbers of public accusations occurred after Weinstein revelations in the New York Times – October 5, 2017:
    • June, 2017: 10
    • July, 2017: 10
    • August, 2017: 9
    • September, 2017: 11
    • October, 2017: 78
    • November, 2017: 119
    • December, 2017: 103
  • After the spike in accusations following Weinstein, the number of accusations per month has held relatively steady over the last 6 months:
    • April, 2018: 28
    • May, 2018: 39
    • June, 2018: 24
    • July, 2018: 39
    • August, 2018: 41
    • September, 2018: 35
  • Entertainment, politics, and business draw most accusations:
    • Arts & Entertainment: 234
    • Politics & Government: 192
    • Business: 159 (including 40+ in finance)
    • Media & Broadcasting: 114
    • Colleges & Universities: 63
  • Final resolutions of cases (many still pending) include:
    • 75 Arrested (Some before or after being fired)
    • 18 Deceased (3 committed suicide)
    • 146 Fired
    • 211 Resigned
    • 18 Retired
    • 53 Suspended/Are on Leave
    • 104 Lost Work (including entertainers or sports figures)/Other
    • 221 No Repercussions
  • 56 CEOs are the subject of accusations to date. 21 CEOs of public companies and 29 CEOs of private companies have had accusations revealed in the media, in addition to 6 nonprofit CEOs. In the nonprofit sphere, there are also 20 CEO-equivalents, including directors, founders, and presidents of prominent, heavily-funded national and international organizations, who have come under fire, with all 20 leaving their positions, although one was re-elected after being exonerated of the charges.
  • Accusations of sexual misconduct cross party lines fairly evenly. For those in political office accused of misconduct, the split is fairly even between Democrats and Republicans: 76 Democrats vs. 70 Republicans.
  • 97% of accused are male. Asia Argento captured media attention by being on both sides of the #MeToo debate – accuser and accused – but 787 of the 810 alleged perpetrators of sexual harassment or assault on the Temin #MeToo Index are male.
  • The time between accusation to resolution has been growing shorter. As #MeToo begins to be seen as a real reputational risk, organizations are paying attention to and acting on complaints more quickly. Some are even announcing the resolution of a complaint at the same time they announce the accusation.

And, separately, in the business sphere:

  • M&A deal risk: Financial impact in the M&A space came with the arrival of the "Weinstein clause" in mid-summer '18, mandating additional due diligence of executive conduct in target companies and allowing acquiring firms to pull out if they found something they didn't like.
  • Asset management flight: Investors are seeing firms with sexual harassment complaints as an investment risk; some portfolio managers are staying away and others are questioning company management about their workplace culture issues and how they are dealing with sexual misconduct.
  • Corporate investigations into company culture: "The best organizations are conducting deep dives into their corporate culture to better understand how sexual harassment is tolerated, and the dynamics at play in their workplace. Boards themselves are also more involved in addressing cultural insufficiencies in their companies than ever before – a role that used to belong almost exclusively to management and HR."

"We are at the tip of the iceberg as more and more organizations continue or begin investigations into their cultures in general and #MeToo incidents in specific," says Temin. "More incidents will come to light. Different sectors are reacting on different timelines, and with different levels of seriousness, but this is a movement toward fairness and safety that will not be stopped. It is inexorable.

"Organizations seeking to create cultures not only of safety, compliance and security, but of mentorship, innovation, purpose, and excellence, are demanding zero tolerance for this kind of misconduct and are demonstrating greater willingness to mete out consequences when required."

Leading in a 'MeToo' Era

Wanda Wallace, "Out of the Comfort Zone," Voice America, September 14, 2018

In the era of #MeToo, less and less silence surrounds cases of sexual harassment. Companies and leaders need to know what to do to prevent the problem in the first place as well as how to respond to accusations whether the case can be proven or not. Tune in to hear the experiences and advice from Davia Temin, who counsels boards, companies and leaders on how to manage their reputations especially in times of crisis. [...read more]

To download the episode, CLICK HERE.

From Pot Podcasts to Taboo Tesla Tweets, Musk’s Antics Continue

Eve Tahmincioglu, Directors & Boards, September 10, 2018

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The Air Force is reportedly looking into Tesla CEO Elon Musk's recent appearance on a popular podcast because it appears to showing the embattled executive smoking marijuana.

It's the latest in unusual behavior by Musk, including a tweet storm last month when he claimed he wanted to take Tesla private and then changed his mind. The claims apparently surprised the company's board; and they prompted a Securities and Exchange Commission inquiry.

Clearly, Musk marches to the beat of his own drummer, but in cases like this, what's a board to do?

Corporate crisis and reputation adviser Davia B. Temin, CEO of Temin and Company Inc., weighs in:

There have always been "force-of-nature" CEOs. These are the geniuses who single-handedly build or propel organizations to new heights of innovation, achievement, profitability and impact. As a society, we tend to revere them, as much for their sins as for their sainthood. But, as directors, we are plunged into a conundrum. How much leeway do we give them, and when do we need to pull in the reigns? [...read more]

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