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Reputability are thought leaders in the field of reputational risk and its root causes, behavioural risk and organisational risk. Our book 'Rethinking Reputational Risk' received excellent reviews: see www.rethinkingreputationalrisk.com. Anthony Fitzsimmons, one of its authors, is an authority and accomplished speaker on reputational risks and their drivers. Reputability helps business leaders to find these widespread but hidden risks that regularly cause reputational disasters. We also teach leaders and risk teams about these risks. Here are our thoughts, and the thoughts of our guest bloggers, on some recent stories which have captured our attention. We are always interested to know what you think too.

Monday, 25 April 2011

PWC appoints Reputation Tsar

It takes years to build a reputation and minutes to lose it. Since it gives a company its 'licence to operate' as a respected citizen of the world, its loss can be devastating.

Things are far starker for pure service providers such as lawyers and accountants.  They have few assets beyond human wits and their reputation.  Their ability to attract clients and to borrow depend on it.  It is by far their most valuable and important asset.  The redoubtable Lex has suggested that regulators should attack accountants' reputations, and the House of Lords has been critical of the "disconcerting complacen[cy]" of the Big Four in relation to their role in the financial crisis.  

Now PWC is appointing a reputation tsar,  Richard Sexton.  To judge by the Telegraph's report, Richard Sexton's focus will be on reputation management.  If so, PWC is making a common mistake in trying to fix its reputation.

The task PWC needs to address is more profound.  They need to fix the fundamentals.  That means finding - and admitting to and dealing with - more profound problems than how regulators and politicians see you.

The stakes are high, and not just for PWC.

Anthony Fitzsimmons

1 comment:

  1. I agree with your ceterum censeo: address the underlying issues!
    Reputation is a mirror of the sense of trust. And trust is always the consequence of irreproachable behaviour. May I draw your attention to a Report by the Information Commissioner: http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/library/corporate/research_and_reports/what_price_privacy.pdf and it’ sequel: http://www.ico.gov.uk/news/current_topics/~/media/documents/library/Corporate/Research_and_reports/WHAT_PRICE_PRIVACY_NOW.pdf
    in which the facts about illegal trade in information between the police and the press are in the public domain. If the MET does not command trust of much of the citizens anymore, it might have something to do with the fact that Sir Paul has obviously never bothered to clear up the mess within his realm.