When the CEO’s Personal Crusade Drives Decisions

The DM Bicycle Company (DMBC) had finally found itself with record hitting orders however, Gino Duncan DMBC’s CEO made it a point in the company’s budget meeting that a majority of the expected revenues will be used for the company’s new Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program focusing on Batten disease. This decision has been met with a lot of negative feedback from everyone in the company, they all believe that Gino wants to focus his CSR efforts on finding a cure for his daughter’s disease and that he does not have the company’s best interest in his actions.
Carolyn Bridges, DM Bicycle Company’s HR director has to make it a point to set Gino straight. First and foremost, Carolyn needs to get more people on her side to be able to convince Gino but, considering that a number of employees from Jim Mitner, DMBC’s CFO to some of the front liners of the company, have the same concers. Carolyn, as the HR director she is in charge of employee morale, development and compensation should act as the spokesperson and representative of the workforce.
She should confront Gino about how the employees feel about: (1) Gino prioritizing the budget on a CSR project to find a cure for his daughters disease which is backed up by his decision to set their current CSR program “Ride for Life”, a hard worked for program which had successfully raised employee morale and company public relations; on hold, (2) if participation in the new CSR will affect their evaluation and promotion, (3) and the scare of not having a CEO totally on board for the growth and benefit of the company.

If left unattended the company might find employee morale falling and productivity down at a time the company needs a well-oiled workforce to meet the record rate demands it is currently faced with. Carolyn needs to make it a point that we keep employee morale high at this very critical transition point of the company.
Moreover, Carolyn has to get others like Jim Miniter, DMBC’s CFO, and Gino’s close friend help come on her side to convince Gino that the company should prioritize improving the company’s financial position instead of spending it on noble causes because it has just gone through 3 tough years financially, they are in no position to spend most of its money in a CSR effort which will also give little gains to the company not like what “Ride for Life” has done for the DMBC.
If all of the plans fail to convince Gino Carolyn should escalate the issue as the spokesperson of the workforce to the Board of Directors who have the power to overrule Gino’s decision in what should be the parameters of the company’s CSR they will implement. Moving forward, the CSR policies should not be for the CEO to decide but, something that is agreed upon by each department and agreed upon by the Board of Directors to make sure that we do not get into an issue of conflict of interest like this again.

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