Holmes Report Blog

The Holmes Report blog focuses on news and issues of interest to public relations professionals. Our main site can be found at www.holmesreport.com.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Helping CEOs Be More Vigilant: Thomas Jefferson famously observed that “the price of freedom is eternal vigilance,” and now two Wharton business school professors suggest that the same vigilance might be the price of corporate survival too.

In an thoughtful article that comes as part of the excellent Knowledge@Wharton e-zine (subscription required, but it’s well worth it) George Day and Paul Schoemaker argue that issues can quickly become crises at companies where senior executives are more skilled at operational management than at vigilant leadership, citing Ford and Coke and Pepsi in India as examples of what can go wrong if managers are not sufficiently “open to new ideas, seek diverse perspectives, listen to a wide array of sources and foster broad social and professional networks.”

Much of what they discuss sounds like traditional issues management, but Day and Schoemaker make it clear that they see the function as more central to leadership than has traditionally been the case, and that the modern environment has made monitoring external issues a greater priority than ever before.

Needless to say, public relations people should have an active role in a vigilant organization—since vigilance requires engagement with the external environment. It’s another opportunity for PR to move up the value chain.


  • At 12:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Good article, I think the CEO are more vigilant in improving financial wellness these days, IMO they should have unified approach with their senior executives and welcome ideas.

  • At 9:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Interesting article!!



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    . Free SMS and free mobile ads!! Its fantastic

  • At 2:22 PM, Anonymous PENNY STOCK INVESTMENTS said…

    all these guys do is take the monet and run.


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