Waltzing with the Raptors: A Practical Roadmap to Protecting Your Company's Reputation

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John Wiley & Sons, Mar 26, 1999 - Business & Economics - 285 pages
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The Velociraptor was among creation's most ferocious predators, and its killer instinct lives on in the form of well-intentioned but deadly activist groups ready to shred and devour your company's reputation.

Waltzing with the Raptors presents the cutting-edge concept of Reputation Assurance, an indispensable system for measuring a company's reputation and social accountability. Adhering to the belief that business has the power to build prosperous global communities, Glen Peters identifies the practical steps that any company can take to achieve, monitor, and maintain a solid reputation. Based on a global study of multinationals in North America, Europe, and Asia, Reputation Assurance is used by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the global thought leaders.

The first step in learning how to waltz is listening to the music, or rather, listening to the wishes of the wide constituency of institutions and people who inhabit the world market. As recently as the last decade, products were still being launched based almost entirely on the opinion of the R&D department. Today, a product launch without detailed market research would be considered reckless if not suicidal. Likewise, it is no longer safe for senior executives to take management actions and make decisions in the belief that they can interpret the wishes of their shareholders, employees, customers, and the society in which they operate. When Shell went ahead with plans to sink a defunct North Sea oil platform, it sought the approval of the U.K. government, but failed to acknowledge Greenpeace and the millions of Shell customers who forced a company U-turn. Civil rights groups, religious organizations, single-issue parties, and many others make up the stirring medley of people companies have to listen to, to keep waltzing.

Reputation Assurance applies a framework of principles for business excellence across the company. The new paradigm ensures fair and competitive returns for shareholders, understands and meets customer expectations and guarantees, offers employees fair compensation, honesty, and openness in communication, and takes suggestions and complaints seriously. Finally, the framework promotes corporate accountability to society as a whole by contributing to the economic power of its citizens, promoting human rights, disclosing relevant information, and respecting at all times local culture and laws. Waltzing, after all, isn't just fancy footwork but an art. Once companies learn and practice the steps, they will find their reputations admired by all.

"I have long believed that companies can only hope to operate successfully if they have an invisible 'License to Operate' from their employees, customers, partners, and shareholders, together with society as a whole. This excellent book points out that these relationships are under increasing threat from predators and require cohesive, coherent, and well thought out management if companies are to succeed. The company's reputation is no longer in the category of 'nice to have', it is now absolutely crucial for continued survival."-Sir John Harvey-Jones, former Chairman, ICI (U.K.).

"Glen Peters's fine book focuses on the importance of the employees and the environment to a company's bottom line, in addition to stockholders. His recommendations fit with findings that large companies that pay attention to these factors historically outperform those that don't."-Jeff Seglin, Visiting Fellow, Center for the Study of Values in Public Life, Harvard University.

"Waltzing with the Raptors cogently and engagingly shows how managers who actively listen and are responsive to their company's stakeholders, who monitor, verify, and report on performance, can transform powerful and feisty critics into partners, thereby protecting and enhancing their company's reputation."-Alice Tepper Martin, President, Council on Economic Priorities.
 

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Contents

APPLYING REPUTATION ASSURANCE
119
Mission Statements
223

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About the author (1999)

GLEN PETERS is a Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers and has written two previous books, Beyond the Next Wave and Benchmarking Customer Service. He lectures and consults in the United States and lives in London.

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