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27
Nov

Extending Compliance Programs to Suppliers Part II

This report, the second in a series of two, discusses the importance of exercising audit rights when extending compliance programs to suppliers.

25
Nov

Assessing the Strategic Planning Process

Strategic planning is an important and essential process for every company regardless of the size of its business and the time and other resources that the company has available to invest in the developing, documenting, implementing and monitoring a strategic plan.  The business environment and relevant technologies are constantly changing and new risks and uncertainties will surface on a regular basis.  It is not uncommon for larger companies to employ teams of experts in a dedicated strategic planning unit to work full-time on the planning process and to solicit input from hundred or thousands of managers throughout the organization.  For smaller companies, however, the process is necessarily more informal and compressed and may even be as simple as the founder or CEO sitting down with a handful of key employees to solicit their opinions on where the company should go over the planning period and what investments will need to be made in order to achieve the mutually recognized goals and objectives.  In any event, there are certain common steps that need to be taken in order to ensure that the development of a strategic plan flows smoothly and that all issues have been carefully considered.  Among the questions that should be asked are the following:

  • Has the company developed and clearly defined a clear mission statement or overall sense of direction?
  • Has the company decided upon a clear definition of the nature of its business, the markets in which it intends to operate, and the products and services it wishes to offer to customers?
  • Has the company clearly articulated the values that it intends to honor and follow in the way it which it conducts its business affairs?
  • Has the company identified and clearly described realistic and objectively definable and measurable business goals and objectives?
  • Has the company established a regular process for periodically evaluating its performance against its stated business goals and objectives and determining whether changes to those goals and objectives are necessary?
  • Has the company established a formal procedure for collecting, storing, organizing, reviewing and disseminating information regarding the company’s external environment?
  • Has the identified and describe the four or five key strengths and weaknesses of its business?
  • Did the process of developing the current strategic business plan include serious and thorough consideration of several possible alternative strategies and is it clear why the company ultimately decided to pursue the chosen strategy?
  • What are the key assumptions regarding environmental factors that have been made in developing the company’s forecasts for the planning period?
  • How effective has the CEO been in involving all of the members of the senior management team and employees in the planning process?
  • Has the strategic plan been clearly and effectively communicated to employees and what steps have been taken to address any concerns that employees may have raised with regard to the implementation of the plan and potential consequences to the employees?
  • Does the strategic plan include a realistic timetable for implementation including milestones that can be used to chart whether the company is making adequate and timely process toward its overall goals and objectives?
  • Does the company have the tools and resources in place to measure performance against the forecasts, goals and objectives included in the strategic plan? 
25
Nov

Extending Compliance Programs to Suppliers Part I

This report is the first of a two part series on extending compliance programs to suppliers.

18
Nov

Human Resource Management Research in Developing Countries

In spite of the sheer volume of workers in
developing countries, commentators have observed that little attention has been
given to human resource management (“HRM”) in those countries and more research
on HRM in developing countries should lead to improvements in identifying
effective ways to transfer HRM systems and practices to those countries and
perhaps illuminate new ideas for HRM that go beyond the traditional portfolio
based primarily on research on practices in developed countries.  To learn more read our report.

18
Nov

Training for Contract Management Activities

This report discusses tips for providing training to members of the in-house legal department on how to effective manage contracting activities.

11
Nov

New Product Development in China

In an interesting and comprehensive study of new product development (NPD) in China based on information collected from 122 firms listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange found that the main goal among the firms was to increase market penetration and that the level of support of top management for NPD in China lagged behind Western companies as did the prevalence of use of cross-functional NPD teams.  To learn more download our report.

11
Nov

Governance Counseling for Family-Owned Businesses

Just because a business is family-owned doesn't mean that it couldn't benefit from implementing basic, common sense governance principles, a process discussed in this report.