Category Archives: Handbook

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The last phase of CEO succession? A new board

CEO succession and board renewal are typically seen as separate concerns. In fact, a comprehensive review of board composition—creating “Board 2.0”—is the last, best act directors can do for a new CEO
By Beverly Behan
December 15th, 2016

Good work! Your board has completed a robust CEO succession process and everyone’s confident about your choice of a new corporate leader. He/she has now spent about a year assembling an outstanding executive team and either confirming or changing the … Continue reading

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Poloz: selling life in the slow lane

It’s in business leaders’ DNA to expect big returns. So what should we make of the Bank of Canada’s rush to embrace and preach the doctrine of slow growth?
By Ian McGugan
December 15th, 2016

Senior executives have one overwhelming goal, at least so far as shareholders are concerned, and that goal is to create decent returns on the money invested in their companies. But what constitutes a reasonable profit in this age of low … Continue reading

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Much ado about little

Both of Canada’s current signature international trade pacts are foundering just shy of completion. But given the paltry contributions the TPP and CETA are expected to make to our economy, should anyone care?
By Ian McGugan
October 11th, 2016

Can you hear the gnashing of teeth in Ottawa? Both of Canada’s flagship trade initiatives are in trouble and all the usual suspects are predicting problems as a result. Without the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to help Canadian exports expand in … Continue reading

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Confronting the road next taken

Strategic reviews? Sometimes they’re a company’s do-or-die moment. At minimum, change is afoot. We asked veterans of the process to tell us what to get right and what not to get wrong
By Paul Brent
October 11th, 2016

In good times and bad, whether the economy and markets are up or down, there appears to be no shortage of companies calling for a public timeout. The infamous “strategic review” can be called because the business is running out … Continue reading

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Met your match?

A simple guide to the tricky economics driving today’s top companies
October 10th, 2016

A traditional business challenge is to reach customers. Matchmaker businesses do something else: they bring different groups of customers together, providing value through their network or their platform. It’s not a new concept—think magazines or shopping malls—but it is one … Continue reading

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A helping handbook

An ambitious new volume, edited by Listed contributing editor Richard Leblanc, explores the state of play and state of the art in board governance
By Listed staff
August 2nd, 2016

What do you get when you combine 50 world-calibre governance researcher and practitioner authors, from eight countries, writing on the latest trends, regulations and emerging best practices in corporate governance? The Handbook of Board Governance, a new 39-chapter collection, edited … Continue reading

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As go home values, so goes the economy. But why?

Many agree with Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz when he says big-city house prices are too high. Even so, there are two different schools of thought—with wildly different outcomes—on how to handle the issue
By Ian McGugan
August 1st, 2016

Across the street from my family’s modest Toronto house, workers are building a condo tower. From Monday through Friday, the rumble of dump trucks and clank of bulldozers punctuates our breakfast. Mind you, we’re not unusual: the creaky clatter of … Continue reading

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How to use your network to get on a board

If board headhunters don’t find you, how do director-to-be hopefuls find a board? By all means tap into your network, but do your homework first
By Beverly Behan
August 1st, 2016

Only about half of board searches for public companies involve the use of headhunters. So, where does the other half find their new directors? A few go into databases at the Institute of Corporate Directors or Board Prospects—or if they’re … Continue reading

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Sorry shouldn’t be the hardest word

Executives are trained, conditioned and typically believe its their job to stick to a positive script. But when an apology is called for, the good ones get it right
By Ken Mark
August 1st, 2016

It might no longer fall into the category of “things they never taught me at business school,” but there’s no doubt the art of the public apology for corporate wrongdoing, failure, error or just plain stupidity still doesn’t get the … Continue reading

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Taking back the dialogue

The ICD’s new guide to director-shareholder engagement is more than a helpful how-to. In encouraging Canadian boards to initiate dialogue with shareholders, it also signals a shift from defence to offence. With directors no longer back on their heels, where do meetings with shareholders go next?
By Paul Brent
May 30th, 2016

The Canadian Coalition for Good Governance didn’t invent board-shareholder dialogue. But in 2009, the CCGG’s decision to start arranging meetings with the boards of large public companies in which its institutional investor supporters had significant holdings, marked the beginning of … Continue reading

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Two words: revenue neutral

National action on carbon emissions is coming. It’s expected, it’s needed and rather than fight it, smart businesses should weigh in on the discussion to help create the best outcome
By Ian McGugan
May 30th, 2016

Should Ottawa tax carbon emissions? British Columbia already imposes a levy on greenhouse gas emitters and Alberta will begin doing so next year. Meanwhile, Quebec forms part of a cap-and-trade system with California, and will soon be joined by Ontario … Continue reading

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Micromanagement: the dirtiest word in governance

Make no mistake, directors and boards that micromanage can be a problem. But it’s far from cut-and-dried. There are many reasons micromanagement occurs—and circumstances where it’s warranted
By Beverly Behan
May 30th, 2016

“The board is micromanaging.” How many times have we heard this lament from CEOs, corporate executives and even board members, themselves? Essentially, it is an accusation that the board is delving into picayune details and/or making decisions that should be … Continue reading

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Boards must re-up on responsibility

Most Canadian mining management has kept pace with corporate responsibility’s growth and complexity. But the makeup of mining boards has not. To help: a look at the new skills required and how to find directors that have them
By Craig Ford
March 6th, 2016

In the business of mining resource development, the past decade has seen a dramatic rise in the scope and complexity of corporate responsibility issues. This has been driven by two primary factors. First, societal expectations of business and especially resource … Continue reading

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Will the giants inherit the earth?

Grim as the economics of mining and minerals are for everyone right now, looking ahead, things are lining up strongly in favour of the industry’s biggest players. Expect them to dominate increasingly large swaths of the business for years to come
By Ian McGugan
March 4th, 2016

After four years of relentlessly bad news, the one bright spot for the mining industry in 2016 is that there are no high hopes left to disappoint. The compelling question that hangs over the sector is no longer how bad … Continue reading

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In vogue for 2016? Pay cuts

Their share prices have been falling for years. Now more mining boards, having signed off on cuts to everything else, are wondering if it’s time executive pay followed suit
By Paul Brent
March 4th, 2016

Mining companies are accustomed to working with long lead times: potential plays can take years to assess, mines can take a decade to develop and operate for decades more while commodity cycles rise and fall. This year, as those companies’ … Continue reading

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