Consulting and Coaching
Culture is a corporation of conversations.
Over the past 15 years, Rittenhouse Rankings Inc. has conducted linguistic and market research to determine if executives who offer high quality stakeholder conversations will build more trustworthy cultures and realize superior valuations. We have defined the standards that mark high quality, candid communications.
The 2012 Culture and Candor report released on July 25, 2013 confirmed that for the seventh consecutive year, companies top-ranked in the Rittenhouse Rankings Candor survey outperformed the bottom-ranked companies.
Why does this association persist during boom and bust markets? The connection seems obvious: candid communication builds trust internally and externally. Employees who see that a CEO walks his or her talk will feel safer. They will more likely speak out to avoid risks and seize opportunities. They will be more engaged, motivated and creative. Similarly, customers and bona fide investors (versus traders) will be more loyal and supportive of management.
The reverse is true at companies top-ranked in obfuscation. The F.O.G. associated with high-level obfuscation leaves employees fearful and confused and creates a survivor culture. When leaders choose communications that destroy trust, employees will strive to lay low; they will hide out and do the minimum to survive. Similarly, customers and investors will withdraw their support and when corporate reputations are comprised by excessive FOG, they will quickly head for the exits. Over time, obfuscation will lead to poor performance and results. .
To promote corporate candor, Rittenhouse Rankings offers the following services:
Candor and Trust Audits
Rittenhouse Rankings measures candor in annual reports (shareholder letters and MD&As), teleconference scripts, investor presentations, press releases, CEO speeches, website content and internal documents to measure candor and trust.
How is it possible to measure candor in corporate communications to determine if these reports nurture the growth of trustworthy, sustainable and profitable cultures?
Rittenhouse Rankings has developed breakthrough models, metrics and technology to measure the presence and absence of candor. These tools include Candor Audits which help to expose corporate blind spots and the “elephants in the room. The latter are important conversations that will compromise the execution of corporate strategies until brought out in the open for discussion among decision makers. After discussing the “unmentionable”, clients are often better able to anticipate the future and can strengthen operational performance, financial valuation and corporate reputations.
For more than a decade, the annual Rittenhouse Rankings Corporate Culture and Candor SurveysTM has provided a strategic benchmark to measure the relative candor quotient in company communications. This allows clients to see where they rank relative to peers and competitors. Recommendations from these Candor and Culture Audits are used to create effective action-oriented strategies and communications.
Rittenhouse Rankings clients gain competitive advantages by creating communications that:
- Mitigate business risk
- Reinforce adaptive and resilient cultural values?
- Promote the discovery of creative and innovation solutions to corporate problems.
- Position leaders to engage and more effectively influence external and internal stakeholders?
Coaching CEOs, CFOs and Operating Executives
L.J. Rittenhouse works with executives to see themselves as others see them. This strategic intelligence protects leaders from creating distorted perceptions in quarterly earnings calls, speeches, investor meetings and other external communications. It also increases the positive impact of internal messages.
Rittenhouse helps executives align their authentic leadership styles with perceptions of their leadership among key stakeholder groups.
The benefits of this focus include:
- Increased efficiencies
- More creativity
- Sharper intelligence about company’s competitive positioning and valuation potential
- The ability to anticipate and create the future.
Investor Relations and Corporate Communications Assessment, Benchmarking and Coaching
L.J. Rittenhouse works with CFOs and Investor Relations Officers to evaluate the effectiveness of IR and corporate communications programs. These assignments include, but are not limited to:
1) Conducting Perceptual Audits: Interviews of key external and internal stakeholders including, sell-side analysts and investors, employees, customers, and other key constituencies.
2) Linguistic Audits of key Investor Relations materials: Comprehensive reviews of quarterly earnings calls, key investor presentations and the annual shareholder letter;
3) In-depth Feedback Reports based on interviews with stakeholders after key events like investor meetings, quarterly earnings calls, and announcements of critical events.
4) Training for IROs and teams to develop unique Candor disciplines would include, but are not be limited to:
- Mastering Crisis Communications: Tell the Truth (First, discover what that is!)
- Becoming a F.O.G. Expert to Gain Strategic and Valuation Advantage
- Creating Great Meetings Using Perceptual Intelligence
- Building Context and Candor for Competitive Advantage: Mitigating the Dangers of PowerPoint
- Using Investor Day Best Practices