Monthly Archives: October 2016

Foxes and hen houses

Dodd-Frank says only independent directors can set executive compensation at some companies.  Does the fact that those directors also get paid to lobby for the company mean they are not independent?  Apparently, it is the Board that determines whether it’s directors are sufficiently independent.  And the Board knows that these folks do lobbying for the company, and aren’t concerned that the directors might tend to be more generous to the CEO who effectively pays both their salary and their consultants’ fees.

“Lobbyists Test Post-Crisis Rules For Boards,” The Wall Street Journal, October 5, 2016 A1.

What does it say about a company’s culture that the Board is a bit flexible on the whole “independent” thing?  Having lobbyists is fine, but do the same people really have the proper creds (both credentials and credibility) to be an independent check on CEO pay?



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Filed under Board, Compliance, Controls, Culture, Culture, Directors, Duty, Governance, Internal controls, Legal, Oversight, Oversight, Requirements

Three for all

What do you do when you have information that identifies a high-crime area, but to take action on that information may be viewed as racist? How can you use the information?  “Vegas Pits Data vs. Crime,” The Wall Street Journal, October 4, 2016 A3.

Better to state what your assumption were when answering questions from Congress, who may not understand the difference between operating profit and profit. Clarity of communications is key.  “Mylan Is Asked for More EpiPen Data,” The Wall Street Journal, October 4, 2016 B3.

Will blockchain provide information security?  Sort of like encryption.  Is this the next new information governance technology?  How will ediscovery work, where security is based on a long chain with a lot of math?  “J.P. Morgan’s Blockchain Project,” The Wall Street Journal, October 4, 2016 C1.

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Filed under Analytics, Board, Business Case, Collect, Communications, Controls, Corporation, Data quality, Directors, Duty, Governance, Information, Interconnections, Internal controls, IT, Management, New Implications, Operations, Risk, Security, Third parties, Use, Use, Value

Using information

On-line v. in-store shoppers have different expectations when shopping for food.

“What Wal-Mart Knows About Online Food Shoppers,” The Wall Street Journal, October 3, 2016 R4.  Wal-Mart is best-in-class on using information on the logistics side.  $10 billion a year in IT spend.  How do they use algorithms to improve your on-line food shopping experience.  Does this draw more people to their stores?  IT adding real value.

How do you use information?  As well as Wal-Mart?

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Filed under Analytics, Culture, Governance, Information, Interconnections, IT, New Implications, Uncategorized, Value

Labels are information, too

When you say your product doesn’t include chemical X, it better not include chemical x.  Especially if your company’s name is “Honest” and you’re marketing to folks seeking natural products.

“Honest Revamps Cleaning Products,” The Wall Street Journal, October 1, 2016 A1. Laundry detergent marketed as being “SLS-free” found to contain sodium lauryl sulfate.  The detergent includes sodium coco sulfate, which apparently is made by mixing together a bunch of other stuff that contains SLS.

What really hurt was that the company was/is in talk about a sale or an IPO.  That, and the consumer lawsuits in California.  Having a celebrity (Jessica Alba) as your CEO isn’t  a 100% deterrent.

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Filed under Accuracy, Board, Communications, Compliance, Compliance, Compliance Verification, Corporation, Definition, Directors, Duty, Duty of Care, Governance, Inform market, Inform shareholders, Information, Investor relations, Oversight, Oversight

Using information better

When one ponders data mining, it is often in the context of detecting consumer behavior.  Here’s a story of a company that unleashed unpaid interns on a bunch of internal data, yielding sizable cost savings.

“Future Crime Sleuths Upgrade Airline Security,” The Wall Street Journal, September 30, 2016 B1.  College interns poured over internal worker injury data and accident reports.  Result: safety warnings and process changes that reduced employee injuries by 25% and damage to aircraft by almost 33%.

What information do you have and where do you have it?  What’s that information worth?  If HP only knew what HP knew ….

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Filed under Analytics, Duty of Care, Governance, Information, Oversight, Value

Person of Interest

Life imitates art.  There’s a dark side to the Internet of Things.  In a story that resembles “Person of Interest,” a TV show, hackers are accessing security cameras belonging to others.  “Hackers Hijack Video Cameras,” The Wall Street Journal, September 30, 2016 B1.

Over a million video cameras and DVRs were compromised in an attack that slammed a French web hosting provider and the website of Brian Krebs, a US security guy who posted a lot following the Target credit card breach a few years ago. Hacks were possible largely due to the poor initial security, poor passwords, and the failure to update the operating software.

Do businesses appreciate the risks of devices connected to the internet?  Consumers certainly don’t.  All that convenience comes with hidden costs.

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Filed under Access, Business Case, Controls, Interconnections, Internal controls, IT, New Implications, Privacy, Risk, Security