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18

Apr

The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase … What Exactly? by Justin Fox on the HBR Blog
Encouraging to read Fox’s review and response of John Taft's new book Stewardship: Lessons Learned from the Lost Culture of Wall Street. (Taft is CEO of RBC Wealth Management-U.S.)
Fox reinforces the role of culture and the ruin of organizations when they are devoid of it. Return-on-investment of workplace culture is crystalized in the lessons of the financial crisis. Good read (and good reminder).

The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase … What Exactly?

by Justin Fox on the HBR Blog

Encouraging to read Fox’s review and response of John Taft's new book Stewardship: Lessons Learned from the Lost Culture of Wall Street. (Taft is CEO of RBC Wealth Management-U.S.)

Fox reinforces the role of culture and the ruin of organizations when they are devoid of it. Return-on-investment of workplace culture is crystalized in the lessons of the financial crisis. Good read (and good reminder).

13

Mar

The Council for Economic Education (CEE), in collaboration with the Calvin K. Kazanjian Economics Foundation, released its seventh Survey of the States: Economic and Personal Finance Education in Our Nation’s Schools. The bi-annual report brings attention to the critical importance of economics and personal finance education by documenting its status in the fifty states and the District of Columbia.The recent economic downturn has brought nationwide attention to the dangers of a financially illiterate society. The new survey shows that while there has clearly been progress since the first survey in 1998, that over the last two years, the trend is slowing and in some cases moving backward.
This report gives great insights and benchmarks for goal-setting for moving ahead as a nation committed to finanical education.

The Council for Economic Education (CEE), in collaboration with the Calvin K. Kazanjian Economics Foundation, released its seventh Survey of the States: Economic and Personal Finance Education in Our Nation’s Schools. The bi-annual report brings attention to the critical importance of economics and personal finance education by documenting its status in the fifty states and the District of Columbia.

The recent economic downturn has brought nationwide attention to the dangers of a financially illiterate society. The new survey shows that while there has clearly been progress since the first survey in 1998, that over the last two years, the trend is slowing and in some cases moving backward.

This report gives great insights and benchmarks for goal-setting for moving ahead as a nation committed to finanical education.

19

Nov

Time for a Federal Mandate to Teach K-12 Financial Education
Dan Kadlec of Time magazine is good to call out Education Secretary Arne Duncan in his article last week, “Hey Secretary Duncan, It’s Time to Teach Kids about Financial Education (Not Just Talk About It).” Secretary Duncan gave a good speech last week to the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Education, created by Obama in January 2010. The Secretary used strong language promoting the need for financial education, but fell short by not calling for a federal mandate. It’s time that he make good on his words to promote greater teaching of financial literacy in K-12 education. 
As Kadlec points out, the work of developing the curriculum today is being provided by not-for-profits, like the Council for Economic Education (CEE). These programs are largely funded by business as part of their corporate responsibility commitments. 
Below is an excerpt of Secretary Duncan’s comments:
“As important as reading and math and social studies and science are, I think today more than ever financial literacy has to be part of that. To continue to have a population that is relatively illiterate in these matters, I think has real negative consequences to our democracy. … This is not a place where we just need to get a little better. We’ve got to get a lot better, and we’ve got to get better faster. … You have to start young. … There are some problems where I think we’re pretty close to solving them, we just need to tinker, and this is not one of those. We have to get so much better. … We have a state of crisis here. We have an emergency, and I feel this tremendous sense of urgency.”
Kadlec points out, “The committee’s recommendations will likely include an appeal for educators to engage with the stakeholders from the financial services industry to help devise finance planning curricula that address the core elements of personal finance.”
As the advisory committee works toward its final recommendations to the President and the Treasury and Education departments, it is important to recognize that the foundation for making this K-12 financial education broadly available is already well underway through the CEE and other organizations.
American’s have never had to assume so much personal responsibility for their own financial well-being as today — with businesses eliminating defined-benefit programs, social security a relic and the stock market uncertain. The need for action for the younger generation has never been greater. It’s a great gift that we can give them.
(Disclosure: As part of my deep interest to support economic empowerment, I serve on the board of the Council for Economic Education.)

Time for a Federal Mandate to Teach K-12 Financial Education

Dan Kadlec of Time magazine is good to call out Education Secretary Arne Duncan in his article last week, “Hey Secretary Duncan, It’s Time to Teach Kids about Financial Education (Not Just Talk About It).” Secretary Duncan gave a good speech last week to the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Education, created by Obama in January 2010. The Secretary used strong language promoting the need for financial education, but fell short by not calling for a federal mandate. It’s time that he make good on his words to promote greater teaching of financial literacy in K-12 education. 

As Kadlec points out, the work of developing the curriculum today is being provided by not-for-profits, like the Council for Economic Education (CEE). These programs are largely funded by business as part of their corporate responsibility commitments. 

Below is an excerpt of Secretary Duncan’s comments:

“As important as reading and math and social studies and science are, I think today more than ever financial literacy has to be part of that. To continue to have a population that is relatively illiterate in these matters, I think has real negative consequences to our democracy. … This is not a place where we just need to get a little better. We’ve got to get a lot better, and we’ve got to get better faster. … You have to start young. … There are some problems where I think we’re pretty close to solving them, we just need to tinker, and this is not one of those. We have to get so much better. … We have a state of crisis here. We have an emergency, and I feel this tremendous sense of urgency.”

Kadlec points out, “The committee’s recommendations will likely include an appeal for educators to engage with the stakeholders from the financial services industry to help devise finance planning curricula that address the core elements of personal finance.”

As the advisory committee works toward its final recommendations to the President and the Treasury and Education departments, it is important to recognize that the foundation for making this K-12 financial education broadly available is already well underway through the CEE and other organizations.

American’s have never had to assume so much personal responsibility for their own financial well-being as today — with businesses eliminating defined-benefit programs, social security a relic and the stock market uncertain. The need for action for the younger generation has never been greater. It’s a great gift that we can give them.

(Disclosure: As part of my deep interest to support economic empowerment, I serve on the board of the Council for Economic Education.)

24

Oct

Back to the Future: A Green World by 2020?

Brigid Milligan is a colleague with a good eye for corporate leadership that can be validated through solid metrics. Always a good read.

measure-4-measure:

If you’d asked me when I was a child what the world would look like in 2020, I would have predicted flying cars, hovercrafts, transporters and a colony on the moon. So, when I read that the nonprofit firm Forum for the Future (yes, such a thing exists) had published a report claiming that sustainable products and services will be mainstream by 2020, admittedly, I was skeptical.

Read the rest of my article at MediaPost

22

Sep

CGI Wraps Up to Record Success

More than $6B has helped 100M people around the world in education, IT, health, CO2 emission and microfinance.

At this 7th Annual Clinton Global Initiative, half of the attendees were from the business community, one third were from NGOs and the balance were world leaders – 55 in total. These included President Obama, Desmond Tutu, President Calderón of Mexico, and President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, to name a few.

In CGI’s first year, only 5% percent of the commitments for social good were partnerships. Most companies chose to fund and operate individually. At this year’s CGI, 25% were partner commitments that had been borne and fostered through the CGI network.

As stated by President Clinton, “When you put people first and politics second, you can get things like this done.”

14

Sep

America’s Reputation is Every Company’s Responsibility
In the wake of 9/11, I began thinking about our role as Americans and as business people in improving U.S. standing abroad. We seem to be suffering an all-time low in our global reputation, which cannot become the new status quo.
As American’s, we must refuse the role of observers or complainers. We are the doers — with lots that needs to be done. In my latest article for the Forbes Leadership Channel, I highlight some great examples of global leadership driven by U.S. business.
Image: Google Images

America’s Reputation is Every Company’s Responsibility

In the wake of 9/11, I began thinking about our role as Americans and as business people in improving U.S. standing abroad. We seem to be suffering an all-time low in our global reputation, which cannot become the new status quo.

As American’s, we must refuse the role of observers or complainers. We are the doers — with lots that needs to be done. In my latest article for the Forbes Leadership Channel, I highlight some great examples of global leadership driven by U.S. business.

Image: Google Images

21

Aug

Pinched: How the Great Recession Has Narrowed Our Futures and What We Can Do About It
I enjoyed a lecture today from The Atlantic Features Editor Don Peck on his new book, Pinched. Rather than more finger pointing and crystal ball gazing, Peck offers realistic suggestions on how we improve the situation — and the U.S. global reputation while we’re at it.
Peck calls on government, business and individuals to take actions necessary to get the macro economy back on the right track.
Ultimately, it’s up to all of us after all.
 

Pinched: How the Great Recession Has Narrowed Our Futures and What We Can Do About It

I enjoyed a lecture today from The Atlantic Features Editor Don Peck on his new book, Pinched. Rather than more finger pointing and crystal ball gazing, Peck offers realistic suggestions on how we improve the situation — and the U.S. global reputation while we’re at it.

Peck calls on government, business and individuals to take actions necessary to get the macro economy back on the right track.

Ultimately, it’s up to all of us after all.