In this issue
After the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, many companies announced that they would halt political contributions, either permanently or for a defined period. Some discontinuations involved a particular political party, some individual legislators and some were complete stops on all contributions.
In its 2010 Citizens United decision, the Supreme Court gave corporations relatively unlimited free-speech rights to spend corporate funds for political causes and candidates. A part of the majority’s reasoning was that if corporate media entities — for example, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News and CNN — have undeniable First Amendment rights to endorse causes and candidates, why should non-media corporate entities be denied the same rights?
If boards of directors and senior managers have not already examined their relationships with government entities from a “big picture” perspective, now is the time to get serious about the endeavor, and I don’t just mean laws and regulations that might fall under a compliance rubric. In an environment where societal and even judicial expectations of corporations have gone beyond maximizing profits, corporations need to reexamine their relationships with government entities to move closer to a form of partnership with government, rather than seeing government as an adversary.
My three careers have been in business, government and academia. I have found each to be populated with many extremely talented and dedicated individuals. But these key elements of America’s economy seem to have evolved a relationship that resides somewhere between disconnected and adversarial. As a result, the nation finds itself with a competitive machine wherein the whole is less than the sum of its parts. This matters.
When the nation was riveted by protests over police killings, should companies have added their voices to the discussion? Should every company have an official and public position on sustainability?
Questions like these are arising with increasing frequency, as companies find themselves under pressure — from employees, customers and the community at large — to speak out on issues that some might consider political. To answer them, companies need to evaluate whether to respond to an issue, what form the response should take, and who should deliver it.
Past Issues you might be interested in
Q3 2022 Audio
|Title||Article Sound Track||Audio Sound Duration||ID|
|Should Dual-Class Share Structures Be Eliminated?||/sites/default/files/2022-10/DualClass.mp3||10:54||nid=33763=nid|
|Defying Critics and Curbs, Buybacks Persist: Should Executives Benefit From Them?||/sites/default/files/2022-10/Buybacks.mp3||20:26||nid=33762=nid|
|Five Key Points on the New 1% Buyback Tax||/sites/default/files/2022-10/KeyPoints.mp3||01:18||nid=33761=nid|
|Your Company Exited Russia: Will China Be Next?||/sites/default/files/2022-10/China%20%281%29.mp3||14:39||nid=33760=nid|
|How Global Upheaval Influences Board Decision-Making||/sites/default/files/2022-10/GlobalUpheaval.mp3||05:41||nid=33759=nid|
|Guidelines for Taking a Stand on Social Issues||/sites/default/files/2022-10/Guidelines_0.mp3||03:10||nid=33758=nid|
|The Illusion of Corporate Governance “Best Practices”||/sites/default/files/2022-10/CorpGovBestPractices.mp3||10:02||nid=33757=nid|
|Should ESG Be Renamed?||/sites/default/files/2022-10/RenameESG.mp3||09:37||nid=33756=nid|
|Boards Must Help Fix a Flawed Health Care System||/sites/default/files/2022-10/HealthCare.mp3||11:40||nid=33755=nid|
|Should Boards Eliminate Corporate Officer Liability for Fiduciary Duty Breaches?||/sites/default/files/2022-10/DutyBreaches.mp3||06:09||nid=33754=nid|
|Final Two Dodd-Frank Provisions Could Hinder Boards’ Discretion||/sites/default/files/2022-10/DoddFrank%20%281%29.mp3||06:47||nid=33753=nid|
|What Directors Are Thinking||/sites/default/files/2022-10/WDATDorlisaFlur.mp3||03:00||nid=33752=nid|
|My Board Journey||/sites/default/files/2022-10/BoardJourneyCole.mp3||05:05||nid=33751=nid|
|Business Ethics: What Everyone Needs to Know||/sites/default/files/2022-10/BusinessEthics_0.mp3||04:00||nid=33749=nid|
|Strategy, First and Foremost||/sites/default/files/2022-10/Strategy.mp3||04:08||nid=33748=nid|
|Abortion and the Board||/sites/default/files/2022-10/Abortion.mp3||04:52||nid=33747=nid|
|All Corporate Boards Should Have Director Term Limits||/sites/default/files/2022-10/TermLimits.mp3||05:22||nid=33746=nid|