Southwest Airlines Co.’s 2022 nightmare before Christmas is unlikely to inflict long-lasting damage to the carrier’s reputation if management compensates customers and makes good on vows of operational changes, communications and management professionals say.
In recent days, social media has been flooded by angry Southwest customers after storms and shaky computer systems forced the airline, the largest domestic carrier in the US, to cancel more than 13,000 flights. Chief Executive Officer Bob Jordan has issued multiple apologies while employees work overtime to clean up the mess, which officials in Washington vow to scrutinize.
“It isn’t enough for even a well-meaning CEO to give his word,” Temin said. “It has to start a real series of events and change.” […read more]
Corporate rules of engagement on social issues have shifted dramatically in the past few years, amid public pressure on companies to take stands on everything from police brutality and racism to climate change and voting rights. The fallout from the end of Roe v. Wade is forcing corporations to redefine their vision for social responsibility yet again, according to Davia Temin, chief executive of Temin and Company, a crisis management firm.
“It is illuminating who we really are, what we stand for, how we are changing, when we take a stand, and when we remain silent,” Temin said.
This time, corporations have largely avoided the sort of impassioned letters to employees and stakeholders that they usually put out while weighing in on key social issues, Temin noted. Instead some companies moved swiftly to expand their health-care plans despite the uncharted territory.
“What corporations are doing in a pragmatic manner is they are coming up with solutions for their people — because, of course, some of their employees are extraordinarily upset,” Temin said. “Instead of the persuasive and heartfelt letters, you’re getting action.” […read more]
Jeff Green and Matthew Boyle, Bloomberg, June 24, 2022
Some of the most recognized companies in the US indicated that they would extend coverage of out-of-state medical care, decisions that will cover more than a million employees after the Supreme Court overturned a half-century-old ruling that protected abortion rights.
Bellwether corporations from the worlds of finance, media, technology and health care said they would bankroll travel for workers who need access to safe, legal abortions and other procedures. The court’s decision overturned a decades-old precedent that backers say reshaped the modern economy by increasing opportunities for women.
“This is the hottest of hot potatoes,” said Davia Temin, founder of New York crisis consultancy Temin and Co. “Because companies are commenting on social issues more than ever before, the need to do the same around abortion is swirling through corporate America.” […read more]
Leadership is an always-on task these days…. So how do you find success heading into the second half of an unpredictable year? Resilience, with a dose of courage.
Resilient leaders push for real change…. Where there there are threats to hard-won equality, leaders are expected to take action, as Disney CEO Bob Chapek discovered earlier this year.
Leaders are also expected to add their voices to public debate. Davia Temin, a New York-based reputation strategist and leadership consultant, argues that “in a world where everyone is demanding their own voice, people expect the companies they work for, invest in or do business with to do the same.” The result, she says, is that brands have become like individual personalities that need to be articulated at the top and reinforced by action. On top of that, she adds, “there are moral imperatives that people in the C-suite respond to as human beings.” […read more]
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin said he regretted what he called an “unauthorized” Twitter swipe from his team to a teen. Biden administration science adviser Eric Lander apologized for his treatment of subordinates. Joe Rogan said he was sorry for his use of the n-word in past podcasts just a week after an earlier apology about conversations on his show with vaccine skeptics. And Spotify CEO Daniel Ek apologized to staff for the impact on them of the racial slur controversy as the streaming service’s P.R. crisis continues.
But how effective apologies are often depends on how much responsibility the person takes—and increasingly important, who’s doing the listening. Communication pros say that while good apologies take unfettered ownership for what happened, the practicalities of a divided country mean it’s harder than ever to offer an apology that will appease everyone.
“In any discussion today it’s almost impossible to make everyone happy—and apologies are the same,” says Davia Temin, a communications adviser who is also a contributor to Forbes. “If you string a few of the right words together it can sound to people like it was an apology. … The art of the non-apology has been refined tremendously.” […read more]
The pandemic has brought a flowering of the workplace romance — but most of the office lovebirds aren’t telling human resources about it.
About a third of U.S. workers say they’re currently in or have been a part of a workplace romance, up from 27% two years ago, according to a survey from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). But 77% of respondents said their employer doesn’t require them to disclose such a relationship. And so, not surprisingly, an equal number (77%) of survey takers haven’t informed their employer about office romances they’ve been involved in. That can lead to problems.
“A lot of people would rather kiss a rattlesnake than go to HR and say, ‘I’ve entered into a consensual relationship with my coworker,’” said Davia Temin, the CEO of crisis consultancy firm Temin and Co. “It’s not the most comfortable thing to do. And you don’t know whether it’s going to last.” […read more]
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]
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]
Richard Quest, Quest Means Business, CNN Money, September 10, 2018
It’s a pivotal moment for the #MeToo Movement and for CBS. Their Chief Executive, Les Moonves, is leaving the company immediately, pushed out by fresh accusations of sexual assault. Moonves is the first Fortune 500 CEO to be ousted through the #MeToo era.
The controversy isn’t over because the details of Moonves’ payout is still to be decided. CBS shares have regained some of the early losses. They are still down for the day, that’s partly because with Moonves gone, the battle for control of CBS has come to an end.
Richard Quest talked to media reputation strategist, Davia Temin, about Moonves’ exit and potential payout, the #MeToo Movement, how a board should respond to years’ old allegations, and Serena Williams’ response to her fine at the U.S. Open. […read more]
Eve Tahmincioglu, Directors & Boards, September 10, 2018
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]