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An advisor to the world’s largest technology companies, Helen Yu passionately believes growth comes at the crossroad of tech and humanity. Whether she is speaking to a crowd of 5,000 or a small start-up leadership team, she brings global customer success experience from her work with tech titans like Oracle, Adobe, and many start-up CEOs who went on to achieve multibillion-dollar revenue growth and record profitability.
As the founder and CEO at Tigon Advisory, Helen drives growth for the largest technology companies in the world and is a board advisor for fast growth SaaS companies. She also serves as Vice-Chair and Board Director at the Global Cybersecurity Association.
A highly respected thought leader, she is a top Twitter influencer in AI, Cloud, IoT, Cybersecurity, 5G, Growth, FinTech, and Start-Ups with a weekly reach of more than 10M. Helen is recognized as a global thought leader by organizations including IBM and Thinkers360. She speaks regularly at conferences including SXSW, TiECon, Global AI and Big Data conference, DMS, and Money2020. She co-hosted Intel Innovation Summit 2021.
Available For: Advising, Authoring, Consulting, Influencing, Speaking Travels From: Chicago Speaking Topics: Startup Growth Hacking; CyberSecurity Awareness; AI; Customer Experience; Digital Transformation; Keynote or Panels
Points based upon Thinkers360 patent-pending algorithm.
In this role, I advised the CEO and co-founders on business growth strategies. Jebbit was named one of the Top 25 Most Promising Companies in the World by CNBC, and their co-founders are Forbes 30 Under 30 honourees. During my 2-year advisory service, the business achieved tremendous growth, with 2018 revenue more than doubling the revenue for the past 2 years combined.
Developer Community Key to Powering Workplace Innovation
May 25, 2023
My degree in international business and MBA in finance did not teach me how to code. I was an accountant for a tech company during the early days of my career and that meant learning to program on my own. My desk looked like a reference librarian’s with two-inch-thick product guides and technical manuals perched on my desk. I was lucky. I had great mentors (thank you, David, for patiently teaching me to design top performing applications!) and something else unique to many developers: endless curiosity.
Cybersecurity in Digital Age
April 27, 2023
I am delighted to share our latest newsletter featuring Boaz Gelbord, Chief Security Officer at Akamai Technologies. In this special edition, we explore the ever-increasing threat of cybercrime in the digital age and discuss how organizations can stay ahead of these threats.
Tags: Cloud, Cybersecurity, Digital Transformation
Multi-Cloud Cost Management: Navigating Uncertain Economics
April 25, 2023
Businesses are quickly realizing the benefits of using the cloud, and their decisions reflect this. According to Gartner’s ‘cloud shift’ research, by 2025, 51% of IT spending in application software, infrastructure software, business process services and system infrastructure markets will have shifted from traditional solutions to the cloud. Additionally, spending on cloud technologies in application software will increase from 57.7% in 2022 to 65.9% in 2025.
Three Ways Finance Can Create Value in an Uncertain Market
March 29, 2023
Digital transformation provides new options for finance professionals to add even more value to their enterprises. Whether it’s combining finance and enterprise data in new ways, building cross-functional partnerships by evolving service offerings, or reinvigorating finance talent, there are lots of opportunities to create value in this unsettled business environment.
Embracing Pragmatic Innovation to Build Resilience
March 15, 2023
Innovation is a key factor in determining the success of any organization, but many companies struggle with it because they haven’t defined or measured it properly. It’s hard to measure something as intangible as an idea, which is why tying innovation to a business outcome is crucial. By understanding how innovation can mitigate supply chain disruptions, add value to customers, reduce dependency on high-cost suppliers, optimize working capital and engineering capacity, companies can be driven to innovate and innovate in the right areas.
The 3Rs for CEOs Preparing for AI, Data – and a Recession
March 01, 2023
Many of the CEOs I talk to are hungry to grow at scale. This calls for increased revenue without substantial costs from pricey acquisitions or infrastructure investment. These same leaders, however, face unprecedented challenges: the race to integrate artificial intelligence (AI), data security and protection, and a looming recession (predicted to be anywhere from mild to catastrophic, depending upon your news source).
Women in Tech: The 4Ps Strategy to Address the Underrepresentation and Build a More Inclusive Industry
February 22, 2023
The tech industry has long been known for its lack of gender diversity, with women significantly underrepresented in tech occupations. Despite the growing demand for tech talent and the increasing awareness of the issue, progress in addressing this gender disparity has been slow. According to a 2021 report by the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), women hold only 26% of computing occupations in the US. The lack of women in tech is not only an equity issue but also a business issue, as companies with more diverse workforces have been shown to outperform their less diverse peers. Let’s look at the challenges faced by women in tech, the benefit of having more women in tech, success stories and the efforts being made to support women in tech.
Tags: Cybersecurity, Digital Transformation, Innovation
Leveraging the Power of Diversity: Women’s Vital Role in Rescuing Manufacturing
February 15, 2023
The future of manufacturing is not just about technology. It’s also about increasing the amount of diversity in the workforce. Despite women making up 47% of the total labor market, they only represent 29% of people working in manufacturing (US Bureau of Labor and Statistics).
Boosting Board Cybersecurity Literacy: An Organic Approach to Meet SEC Requirements and Enhance Resilience
February 09, 2023
The current business landscape is highly dependent on technology and the internet, making organizations vulnerable to a wide range of cyber threats. The consequences of these threats, including financial losses, reputational damage, and operational disruptions, can be significant. Therefore, it is crucial for board members to have a clear understanding of the cyber risks their organization faces and to adopt a proactive approach to managing them.
Manufacturing becomes inclusive as AI enables hiring of workers with disabilities
January 26, 2023
As we continue to shape the fourth industrial revolution, otherwise known as Industry 4.0, I believe we have an unbelievable story to explore with our workforce. Workforce development is closely tied to digital transformation, an undisputed requirement for a global supply chain, competitive edge, capacity building, time savings, cost containment, customer experience and capitalizing on the steep growth of emerging markets over the next decade.
Tags: AI, Digital Transformation, Diversity and Inclusion
5Qs for CIOs and CFOs to Ask About Corporate Travel and Expense in 2023
January 18, 2023
How important is the relationship between technology and financial leaders? Two words: game changer. Yet, according to Gartner, only “30% of CFO-CIO relationships can be described as strong digital partnerships – capable of outperforming their peers in financial management practices that are unique to funding digital.” One area where the two can work more closely together is travel and expense management. Why? Because business travel drives competition and revenue, and expenses are one of the largest sources of employee spending.
Tags: Cybersecurity, Digital Transformation, Innovation
3 Observations from the Recent Marriage of Akamai and Linode
December 08, 2022
I’m no stranger to mergers and acquisitions. During my dozen years with Oracle, the tech giant acquired 82 companies. I joined Adobe right after they acquired Ominiture and Day Software, then Marketo was acquired by Vista Equity. What I learned is this: the successful company in M&A gets the culture fit right.
Tags: Cybersecurity, Digital Transformation, Culture
Making AI Real - From Data to Wisdom
December 01, 2022
Let’s be honest. When most people think of increasing profit, they don’t immediately think of artificial intelligence. In fact, many business leaders I talk to struggle to find the real value behind AI. Why the disconnect? How can we transform data from information into wisdom? How can we connect AI with revenue generation?
Modernizing Cyber Underwriting to Turn Risk into Resilience?
November 10, 2022
In Vegas, there are no sure bets. The global cyber insurance industry, however, comes close when you’re talking about expansion and growth. According to MarketsandMarkets research, the global cyber insurance market is set to grow from $11.9 billion in 2022 to $29.2 billion by 2027. Reasons include more sophisticated cyber-attacks, increasing potential of financial losses and more complex regulatory compliance. Some areas of business are more vulnerable than others. Industries topping the list with the most cyber insurance claims include manufacturing, financial services and healthcare, plus all highly regulated industries. Cyber-attacks are on the rise with ransomware increasing by 93% in 2021.
Tags: Cybersecurity, Digital Transformation, Innovation
The Straight “A” Strategy for Outsmarting Inflation
November 04, 2022
Inflation is the highest in 40 years (8.2% at the end of September 2022). While we may not be able to change that, we can outsmart inflation with the same strategic prowess chess prodigy Beth Harmon uses in the popular Netflix mini-series “The Queen’s Gambit.” I call it the Straight-A Strategy: adapt, adjust and accelerate. As we explore these, you’ll see why this moment in history is actually your greatest opportunity to create a stronger company and win the game.
Tags: Digital Transformation, Innovation, Business Strategy
What's On the Priority List for Cybersecurity Leaders in 2025
October 28, 2022
When asked about what 2025 looks like, some people fear it will bring a greater divide between the haves and the have-nots. The culprit? Pew Research points to technology companies amassing greater power through Big Data, surveillance, privacy invasion and the power of social media to spread both useful facts and misinformation.
Tags: Big Data, Cybersecurity, Digital Transformation
From Cloud Chaos to Cloud Smart
October 21, 2022
“Cloud Chaos” refers to undefined enterprise cloud architecture, with co-existing public and private clouds, along with edge computing. The multi-cloud complexity is especially challenging for industries with more legal and compliance requirements, such as fintech. At the recent VMExplore event, Raghu Raghuram, CEO of VMware, painted an exciting vision of transformation from “Cloud Chaos” to “Cloud Smart” in the era of the great re-platforming.
The pandemic accelerated the introduction and adoption of new technologies in order to help ensure productivity and collaboration from anywhere. It is an era of “do anything from anywhere world.” But what about underrepresented areas? 66% of world’s school-aged children have no internet connection at home. Over 1.3 billion children are impacted worldwide.
Ascend Your Start-Up: Conquer the 5 Disconnects to Accelerate Growth
Made For Success Publishing
May 25, 2021
Ascend Your Start-Up: Conquer the 5 Disconnects to Accelerate Growth is an industry-defining panacea for start-ups who have stalled out on their journey to the top of the mountain.
Dedicated to her late grandmother, author Helen Yu inhales multiple generations of wisdom and exhales a revolutionary framework for tech founders and CEOs that enables their businesses to scale faster and fearlessly.
From Yu’s 15 years of first-hand experience in tech start-ups, readers will learn the 5 fundamental growth disconnects that trap start-ups in the cliffside, keep them from reaching the summit and touching the sky. Ascend Your Start-Up also empowers founders and CEOs to self-reflect and grow, posing a thoughtfully architected set of 26 essential questions you can ask yourself in order to scale your business.
Inspiration flows freely through the book’s pages as Helen draws parallels between the journey of growing a start-up and her sacred promise made to her grandmother to climb Mt. Everest.
Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Startups
ASCEND YOUR START-UP
May 25, 2021
From Yu’s 15 years of first-hand experience in tech start-ups, readers will learn the 5 fundamental growth disconnects that trap start-ups in the cliffside, keep them from reaching the summit and touching the sky. Ascend Your Start-up also empowers founders and CEOs to self-reflect and grow, posing a thoughtfully architected set of 26 essential questions you can ask yourself in order to scale your business.
Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing
Founder & CEO
October 12, 2017
Tigon Advisory is a Chicago-based firm that equips start-ups to tackle go-to-market challenges that must be met before they can scale; among them: capturing the nuances of customer demand, matching products to market segments, engineering "marketability" into every product, and creating processes to systematize success.
Publications publication titleStart-ups: Beware of Those “Pocket Aces” publication dateApr 25, 2019 publication descriptionMedium publication descriptionUsing "pocket aces" as a metaphor to discuss challenges facing Start-ups ecosystem and what c
Journal Of Accounting And Finance Research
September 30, 1998
Investors rely on financial statements for their investment decisions. Empirical studies have shown that stock prices often change dramatically with the release of earnings reports and earnings per share estimates. In considering earnings reports, Wall Street Analysts and investors generally ignore restructuring changes when determining the quality and persistence of corporate earnings. Are restructuring activities insignificant or do they signal value to investors? This paper discusses challenges found in the current GAAP treatment of restructuring charges.
Tags: Customer Experience, Cybersecurity, Digital Transformation
What Mt. Everest Taught Me about Scaling Tech Startup
August 09, 2019
Over 17,000 feet up in the Himalayan air sits Base Camp Everest – a gray, barren, rocky place that could serve as a model for camp grounds on the moon. Climbers arrive at Base Camp excited and apprehensive, confident and anxious – much like companies leveraging emerging technologies to improve customer experience. Helen Yu should know: Twelve years ago, she scaled Mt. Everest to Base Camp, and two years ago she founded a firm called Tigon Advisory – it helps start-ups cure the strategy-to-execution gaps that threaten their go-to market plans. Ms. Yu will share four lessons that apply to scaling mountains and companies.
Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Startups
Startups, Cure Your Disconnects
May 11, 2019
All start-ups have them: strategy-to-execution gaps that disconnect “where you are” from where you want to be; where you need to be. You’ll need to cure these gaps to reach the promised land of traction – home to sustainable revenue growth. Said differently, you’ll need to survive the gauntlet that is “go-to-market” – a minefield whose vagaries doom 80% of start-ups. In this invaluable session for entrepreneurs, Ms Helen Yu shows start-ups how to do exactly that. It begins by dissecting the “traction gap” into five disconnects – like process inadequacies and poor product-market fit – and applying strategies and tactics proven to cure them. Among them: solutions that will strengthen customer experience, support customer success, and create technological advantages from proof of concept and prototyping to product launch.
Manufacturing's Digital Revolution
September 17, 2022
Talking to Alicia Nieves at Cheddar News about Manufacturing. Shared my POV on how manufacturing benefits from digital revolution and the seismic impact of 5G and IoT on manufacturing growth. Thank you AT&T Business for the sponsorship.
TiEcon 2021 I Day 2 I AI/ML I Leading trends in AI/ML [Panel Discussion]
May 20, 2021
Panel discussion about the latest trends in deploying AI/ML in a number of verticals using tools such as Platform for Healthcare, Computer Vision, and Deep Learning. We also have subject matter experts in AI algorithm, unsupervised AI, and tensor methods along with Data Science, who are making these latest trends possible. One trend more relevant lately is Responsible AI which focuses on ensuring the ethical, transparent and accountable use of AI technologies in a manner consistent with user expectations, organizational values, and societal laws and norms.
Tags: AI, Customer Experience, Digital Transformation
Global AI Conference
Global Big Data Conference
September 12, 2019
Over 17,000 feet up in the Himalayan air sits Base Camp Everest – a gray, barren, rocky place that could serve as a model for camp grounds on the moon. Climbers arrive at Base Camp excited and apprehensive, confident and anxious – much like companies leveraging AI to improve customer experience. Helen Yu should know: Twelve years ago, she scaled Mt. Everest to Base Camp, and two years ago she founded a firm called Tigon Advisory – it helps start-ups cure the strategy-to-execution gaps that threaten their go-to market plans. Ms. Yu will share four lessons that apply to scaling mountains and companies.
Tags: AI, Customer Experience, Digital Transformation
May 17, 2019
Over 17,000 feet up in the Himalayan air sits Base Camp Everest – a gray, barren, rocky place that could serve as a model for camp grounds on the moon. The month of May is peak season for climbers, who arrive at Base Camp excited and apprehensive, confident and anxious – much like founders arriving at their first investor pitch! Helen Yu should know: Twelve years ago she scaled Mt. Everest to Base Camp, and two years ago she founded a firm called Tigon Advisory – it helps start-ups cure the strategy-to-execution gaps that threaten their go-to market plans. Ms. Yu will share four lessons that apply to scaling mountains and companies.
Honoring Mae Jemison, the first African American woman to travel to #Space, and Danielle Lawrence
, both trailblazers in STEM. Celebrating their impact and paving the way for the future. http://infy.com/3Y8nV22
AT&T Fleet Complete Unboxing
January 25, 2023
AT&T Fleet Complete combines Fleet Tracker and Asset Tracker on a single web-based management portal. It uses advanced GPS fleet tracking to track vehicles and assets in near real-time, allowing fleet managers to see the entire fleet and assets on a map and route the appropriate driver to each job
CXO Spice_Smart Traveling [Episode 29]
January 19, 2023
After grinding to a near halt during the COVID-19 pandemic, business trips are bouncing back beyond pre-pandemic levels, per a recent survey from Morgan Stanley Research. However, 2023 brings a whole new set of economic uncertainties. And working capital optimization remains a priority.
The Software-Defined Car for the Human-Centered Experience
January 21, 2021
I believe growth thrives at the crossroad of technology and humanity. This is where technology creates solutions that help people reach their greatest potential.
When it comes to innovation in transportation, we again see this intersection shaking up an industry on the verge of a technological leap: the next generation, connected software-defined car for an elevated human-centered experience.
A futurist viewpoint of the automobile’s role in our lives
“The next gen vehicle is a connected vehicle. Connectivity and 5G specifically is predicted to have a huge impact on the automotive industry overall with almost 20% of the projected global economic effect coming from the broader automotive sector translating into $2.4 trillion in economic output by 2025,” said Nakul Duggal, sr. vice president and general manager, automotive, for Qualcomm Technologies, in his keynote address for Automobil-Elektronik Kongress – Special 2020.
What is underway in transportation comes from a mindset shift on par with putting a thousand songs in your pocket afforded, of course, by the iPod. Where is this sea change coming from? We are at a pivotal moment when it comes to redefining the customer experience, the role of mobility in our lives, how we choose to spend driving time, and even lowering stress levels during daily commutes (one 2015 study found that driving is the most stressful of all commutes).
During the previous century, transportation was about moving people from one destination to another. Today, it’s about the driver and passenger experience, driven by technology – specifically the software inside the car – to create safer, more efficient and reliable modes of transportation.
Necessity is the mother of invention, as they say. The result: a software-defined car for a more human-centered experience.
Pivot technology: advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS)
New technologies give way to new driver experiences, business models and strategic partnerships that are now reshaping the automotive industry. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers: “The automotive future is electrified, autonomous, shared, connected and yearly updated.” The Automobil-Elektronik Kongress mentioned earlier, for example, reveals how Qualcomm addresses the evolution of next-gen vehicles and, in collaboration with other partners, advances the transformation of the entire automotive industry. One technology, in particular, races to the top.
When it comes to the connected, software-defined car, we must look at the core technology driving (pun intended!) the new era of automotive travel: ADAS (advanced driver-assistance systems).
Simply put, ADAS is an electronic system that assists drivers with driving and parking functions.
There’s a broad set of stakeholders who influence ADAS: drivers, passengers, auto makers, pedestrians, cyclists, service providers, transportation networks, fleet operators, businesses, road owners, insurance companies, finance providers, cellular network operators, cities and government agencies.
The three most important components of ADAS are safety compliance, integrated software and integrated circuitry (think of this as the “hardware” of the vehicle). Like a classic jazz trio featuring piano, bass and drums, these three elements synchronize to become a scalable and upgradable solution with computing, connectivity and cloud service capabilities.
For instance, the Qualcomm® Snapdragon Ride™ Platform, designed to support the top three industry segments in automated driving, addresses the complexity of autonomous driving and ADAS. It leverages high-performance, power-efficient hardware, industry-leading artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and a unique autonomous driving stack to deliver a comprehensive, scalable and energy-efficient systems solution.
The role of 5G and connectivity is also key. Qualcomm is amplifying its expertise in 5G to fuel the automotive industry with products enabling OEM and auto makers to create best-in-class in-car experiences. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Automotive 5G Platform offers advanced telematics systems that connect infotainment features with integrated multi-mode modems to support ultimate performance and provide multi-Gigabit low-latency speeds, lane-level navigation accuracy, and integrated cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) functionalities. The 5G capabilities allow for added safety and reliability on a platform designed with energy-efficiency in mind.
The redefined human-centered automobile experience
Why now? In a post-COVID world, there will be more emphasis on the “in-car experience”. The next new normal makes the in-car experience become more relevant and critical. People can do all the things they could do sitting on an airplane while in a car. What can an auto manufacturer do to improve the experience?
Qualcomm, along with other industry partners like GM, BMW, and Jaguar Land Rover, are breathing life into a new story for the future of transportation.
● Preventing accidents by connecting to other vehicles and infrastructure on and off Wi-Fi networks.
● Organizing traffic flows more efficiently, so that carbon emissions can be reduced overall
● Coping with incidents in cities to keep traffic flowing, and prevent gridlock
● Helping people find places and parking more easily, reducing stress for drivers, helping reduce emissions and increase city efficiency
● Improving the experience for car users by providing better information to drivers and passengers
● Improving road planning and operations by providing better and more real-time information about road use to road authorities
See it for yourself
In 1900, railroad engineer John Elfreth Watkins Jr. wrote an article for The Ladies Home Journal in which he predicted that the automobile would have widespread impact and put the “horse in harness” out of work. Ford ramped up his assembly line in 1908 so Watkins’s article had to have shaken readers to the core and created scores of naysayers.
Today, we sit on the threshold of yet another almost fairytale-like prediction: the connected, software-defined car as a personal assistant, safety manager, partner in snap judgements, stress reducer and efficiency expert. What does the future hold for transportation?
Qualcomm and its industry partners will address the future of transportation at Qualcomm’s Automotive Redefined: Technology Showcase, an exclusive two-day, virtual event to be held on January 26-27. Stay tuned for updates and announcements from Qualcomm on January 26.
Could the Pandemic Be an ESG Wake-Up Call?
August 22, 2020
Image by skeeze from Pixabay.
It has been an unprecedented year for corporate America: First the pandemic, next the social justice movement, and finally a 9.5 drop in the U.S Gross Domestic Product in the second quarter of 2020. The first two events have raised costs and lowered profits. This has forced top executives and boards to reevaluate strategic plans and consider changing priorities.
Unfortunately, the push toward embedding ESG metrics in U.S. corporate structures could be one of the initiatives temporarily put on hold. Also known as “sustainability,” the term ESG stands for a loose collection of factors including the environment, social forces, and governance which are believed to lower risk and increase profitability long-term when embedded successfully throughout a corporation.
Despite this widely held belief, U.S. corporations have lagged behind European firms in measuring ESG. According to a survey by the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA), the U.S. had $11.9 trillion in global sustainable assets in 2018, compared to $14 trillion in Europe. In fact, sustainable investing now makes up only about 25 percent of assets under management in the U.S., as reported by the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment (US SIF).
But the pandemic should not dampen U.S. corporate interest in ESG—for several reasons. One is the attitude of institutional investors. A growing number show a strong commitment to sustainability. Take the case of Larry Fink, chairman and CEO of BlackRock, one of the largest investment firms in the world. “I think sustainability and the pandemic are one in the same,” Fink said in a recent online interview. “Many investors believe sustainability represents investment risk. “ In fact, today ESG criteria have become a major component for four-fifth of global institutional investors, according to the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance.
At the same time, more and more academic and financial studies are coming out that prove the value of ESG. A good example of this is the Bank of America’s recent study, Why ESG Matters, which shows a positive correlation between strong sustainability practices and lower risk. It states:
“Based on a detailed analysis of thousands of publicly traded companies, ESG from A to Z: A Global Primer finds that companies with better ESG characteristics performed better financially within the time frames studied while those with poor records posed higher risks for themselves and for investors.”
In addition, the study reports that “In the US, ESG is the best measure we’ve found for signaling future earnings risk, and is superior to leverage or other risk and quality factors.”
Such data strengthens the justification for institutional investors to invest in these top sustainability performers—and for companies themselves to have strong ESG initiatives. Yet obstacles remain, especially for U.S. corporations. For instance, rules and regulations on the environment and social issues frequently change along with the political landscape in the United States.
Secondly, many companies self-report, since no universal accounting standards for ESGs have been developed. That is not for lack of trying. A number of organizations have developed systems from the The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) to the United Nations with its UN Sustainability Development Goals. Yet, because of industry differences, and the fact that the sustainability umbrella ties together a number of seemingly unrelated factors, none of these measurement systems has been widely accepted. Even the World Economic Forum (WEF) has tried, but not yet come up with metrics which satisfy all its criteria. “What we are seeking is a general framework for companies to demonstrate their long-term sustainability,” the WEF says in its January 2020 Toward Common Metrics report. “[It would be] a framework that integrates financial metrics along with relevant non-financial criteria such as ESG considerations, gender equality, compensation practices, supply chain management and other activities.”
With the global impetus toward ESG measurement so strong, it would be a mistake for U.S. corporations to pull back in this area right now. In fact, the global pandemic should make U.S. companies go in the opposite direction—either improve their existing ESG metrics, or, if they have none, assess where they stand in terms of ESG factors.
This assessment should start by conducting an internal analysis of the four pillars described in the WEF Toward Common Metrics report: government, planet, people, and prosperity. Next, goals must be set for each pillar and the barriers which stop companies from reaching them identified. Third comes the creation of metrics for each pillar. At that point, ownership of the initiative should be taken on by either a top executive and or a completely new board committee. It is essential that the company’s ESG initiative stands on its own and not be seen as a side issue swept into existing board committees.
The pandemic has shown the world the power of unanticipated events. At the same time, analytic data has revealed that one of the best ways to plan for these risks, and lessen their impact, is to have a system of ESG metrics in place for early identification of when such changes are most likely to occur. Most foreseeable—and even unforeseeable events— fall under the sustainability umbrella of ESG--environmental, social and/or governance factors—since it is so broad.
Given this growing evidence, perhaps the pandemic should be seen as a wake-up call for companies, rather than a major unexpected, one-time disruption. With a strong ESG initiative in place, corporations can reduce the financial impact of these factors, while at the same time ensuring long-term profitability. If companies and their executives know and understand this, they will realize that the time to act on ESG is now!