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Trend: Full Disclosure: Could It Fuel The Wheels Of Change?

I hesitated posting this: politics, religion and opinions about Mom’s apple pie are all topics to steer clear of! I am simply reporting actions and trends observed over the past several months. I hope you find them interesting.

For more than 25 years – my time in the energy business – “low profile” would be the only way to describe the oil industry. It never wants headlines, interviews, or exposeés (especially reported from 10k’s).

Recently, I remembered a quote from an old movie, “I’m mad (at the Administration) and I am not going to take it any more!” I hear this feeling stated several ways, but always with the same spirit, by the CEO’s who are our clients. When speaking to the C-Suite, I am observing a new bold approach to full disclosure, never before seen in the energy industry. Leaders from every segment of the energy industry are simply pressed to the wall, and they want full disclosure to their employees to clearly and simply explain the mountainous costs the government is imposing on business, that will affect their pensions, profit sharing, salary increases, healthcare co-payments, and other long term incentives. Several Fortune 50 Companies have already taken billion dollar plus write downs in anticipation (required per accounting rules) of these costs. Whether I am seeing true activist programs or frustration with the Administration remains to be seen, but it only takes a few to start the wheels of change. Here are just some of the activities recently observed:

  • Websites that clearly detail the cost to the company for each employee for:
    • New Health Care System
    • Wall Street Bail Out
    • Auto Industry Bail Out
    • Housing Crisis Bail Out
  • Register to Vote Seminars in remote regions
  • Absentee ballot seminars and web-based instructional videos for “rotating” domestic and international staff
    • I am being told the numbers of people who do not vote, have never voted and do not know how to vote on an absentee ballot has been absolutely startling within these organizations.

I share this as an interesting observation that is not quite the norm.