Website of the Month: The Conference Board

Article excerpt

The Conference Board's website, www.conference-board.org, provides access to materials in four main practice areas: corporate leadership; economics, market, and value creation; mgh-r^rforming organizations; and human capital. Materials are displayed in many formats, including blogs, articles, webcasts, and links to other organizations. Although Ms review will focus on topics related to corporate governance and ethics, readers are encouraged to browse the entire website, where they can find a much more extensive collection of resources. Some available materials are free to the general public, whereas others can only be accessed with free registration or purchase, or by corporate members.

The homepage promotes recent additions to the website's four main subject areas, which can be accessed through the "practice areas" drop-down menu on the homepage's main menu bar. Corporate leadership topics cover governance and business ethics, philanthropy and citizenship, risk management, strategy and leadership, and sustainability. The economics, markets, and value creation section groups its resources under the subjects of consumer dynamics, economic indicators, global economies, innovation and productivity, and labor markets. Topics in the high-performing organizations section include corporate finance and measurement, global sourcing, marketing and communications, and operational excellence. The human capital section also groups its materials under several subject areas, such as diversity and inclusion, employee engagement, and workforce readiness.

The homepage enables users to browse selected resources according to type, such as webcasts and publications. Users can also access selected sustainability resources, such as a video, a chart of the week, and blog posts related to the Conference Board's job satisfaction report. Located on the right-hand side of the homepage, a useful summary of U.S. economic indicators provides information on employment trends and CEO confidence. Below the U.S. indicators, a link to global economic indicators provides brief updates on 10 countries and offers downloadable PDFs with technical notes and detailed tables and graphs.

Corporate Governance Resources

In the corporate leadership section, the governance and business ethics page presents links to a calendar of conferences and events; economic data summaries and analyses; peer networks, such as the Chief Audit Executive Council of internal auditors; Conference Board publications; and on-demand webcasts. Users can also download the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute's free, 36-page report, Visionary Board Leadership: Stewardship for the Long Term, via a link on the right-hand side of the page.

Another additional resource can be accessed from this webpage: the Conference Board Governance Center (http://www.conference-board.org/governance). On the Governance Center webpage, users can find a link to the Governance Center Blog (http://tcbblogs.org/governanee/). Both resources are discussed later in this article.

The Governance and Business Ethics webcasts are either part of the "Governance Watch" series or are special webcasts. Most of the on-demand webcasts listed on the website last about one hour and include a PDF of presentation notes in order to guide viewers. Some examples of free webcast offerings include "Corporate Governance Strategies for the Next AGM [annual general meeting] Season," which addresses the need for companies to anticipate major investor issues and communicate with shareholders prior to proxy voting season. "Economic, Political, and Regulatory Risk: External Challenges for CEOs" is a series that examines how companies can manage risks through technological innovation, the growth of internal talent, and global expansion, among other strategies. Another webcast, "Business Ethics: The Board of Director's Role," reviews the results of a recently published report indicating mat boards are creating new links between the traditional governance, ethics, and compliance roles. …