Why Do So Many CEO Compensation and Employment Contracts Go So Wrong?

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Michael Graham examines the challenge of creating a responsible value exchange strategy to attract and retain the right CEO to head a business, while at the same time ensuring this is compatible with the over-all objectives and business strategy of the company.

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The Next Revolution in People Strategy May Not be so Much about People

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The problems of workers finding jobs will be exacerbated by the expansion of cognitive technologies  …thinking robots, if you will. Michael Graham looks at how the cozy synergy between increased automation and worker productivity (resulting in increased wages and job opportunities) seem to have derailed, leaving many workers un-and under-employed and the middle class at risk of obsolescence.


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Customers First, Investors Last: What Were They Thinking?

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All companies have stakeholders, which often have competing interests. In this article, Nancy May, President of Boardbench Cos. LLC., provides her thoughts on where corporate leaders should focus first, to ensure better outcomes for their companies, shareholders, and all stakeholders.


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Didn’t Split Dollar Life Insurance Plans Go Out With “High Button Shoes”?

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The renaissance of Split Dollar using loans as leverage can present an excellent opportunity to solve a number of issues facing executives today. As Bob Birdsell illustrates, this leverage allows participants to invest in the S&P that contains downside risk protection. And the only cost to the participant is the tax cost on the imputed interest tied the short term AFR and his/her cash contribution.


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Maximizing the Utility of Executive Retirement Plans

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In his article, “A New Look at Executive Retirement Plans,” Phil Currie of Fulcrum Partners explains why current downtrends may be compelling organizations and compensation committees to revisit a venerable standby in the benefit plan lineup: DC SERPs: the hardest-working component in a retirement plan line up.


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Organization Design for Business in the New VUCA Economy

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Your goal is to achieve competitive advantage. But is your company doing everything it can to succeed in this VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) economy? Are you sure? Tim McConnell shares how organizational design can be a powerful tool for improving performance.


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Trick or Treat?: Fear and Anxiety in the 2014 Workplace

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Is fear subtly infused in your organization’s culture?   Jim Finkelstein, along with Sheila Repeta and Molly Gauss, share how organizations can identify and overcome the lethal culture killers: employee fear and anxiety. 
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Part Time for Economic Reasons

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mdg #1As the economy recovers the unemployment rates drops, albeit slightly, but the real information underneath that declining unemployment isn’t so good for the chronically under-employed.   The percentage of part time jobs has increased as full time positions have decreased.  And that situation looks like it may be here to stay.  Michael Graham examines this new “workscape” and what it means for the economy overall.

This article was published in the September issues of PSX: The Exchange for People Strategy.  


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To Defer or Not? Part 2: Unlocking the Possibilities

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A unique “loan enhanced” after tax plan can deliver participants all the economic advantage of a pre-tax plan along with added security, no worries about tax increases eroding their benefits, and no concerns about 409A restrictions on deferrals and distributions.   Bob Birdsell shows us how this can work when a sponsor provides a loan to the participant to cover the taxes on his after tax investment.
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From Total Rewards to Total Value Exchange: A Mandate to Engage Key Stakeholders in the Organization’s Vision, Mission, and Values

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fulcrum #1Fewer than one in five companies say that its compensation, benefits, and rewards programs are meeting their objectives, according to research conducted by Grahall LLC.  The not-surprising result: instead of motivating employees, the majority of rewards plans are ineffective and often counterproductive.

How can you get better results from your firm’s compensation and benefits plan? In an interview, Michael Graham, of Grahall LLC and Bruce Brownell of Fulcrum Partners LLC discussed how a Total Rewards Strategy ties employees’ success to the company’s success, unleashing a CEO’s most powerful tool: compensation and rewards. They suggest instead of thinking in terms of total rewards strategy, organizations need to consider the new concept of total value exchange strategy.

This article was published in the September issue of PSX: The Exchange for People Strategy. 


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