Corporate Eye

NEXEN — Corporate Governance Done Right

I briefly mentioned Nexen in a previous post, but I thought it worth a more detailed look. Let’s look at their comprehensive Corporate Governance site.

You will see a few items of note —

  • INTEGRITY. HONESTY TRANSPARENCY is boldly displayed. They get it that these are the key to good Corporate Governance and they explain how they execute what they say.
  • All relevant documents are easily accessible.
  • Board meeting documents are also clearly displayed and accessible.

OK so far so good. Let’s take a closer look. The next navigation option is Integrity, click it and you see the CEO and the statement —

Integrity is not just a value at Nexen – it’s a way of life. Employees are educated to make ethical business decisions and are encouraged to ask questions about the integrity of a decision or course of action. Operating with integrity not only improves our reputation and helps our performance; we believe it’s the best way to successfully do business.

This is an excellent example of “tone at the top” being cascaded through the employee ranks. I find it noteworthy that the Code of Ethics is at the bottom of Integrity Navigation. Nexen first explains what it does to promote Integrity throughout the company.

An interesting feature is that in the Integrity Resources section (upper right), there is a link to Company Policies to “help employees and stakeholders comply with our core values”. This takes you to what has to be one of the most comprehensive displays of a company’s guidance on a wide variety of issues.

If you want a model of doing Corporate Governance right, look at Nexen. No wonder that they have received awards for effective Boards and Governance.

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Ed Konczal has an MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business (with distinction). He has spent the last 10 years as an executive consultant focusing on human resources, leadership, market research, and business planning. Ed has over 10 years of top-level experience from AT&T in the areas of new ventures and business planning. He is co-author of the book "Simple Stories for Leadership Insight," published by University Press of America.