Beach Walk 644 – CEO Pay Revisited

I like this concept of “marking the territory” – not like a dog, but as students of consciousness. It is so easy to get caught up in the robotic rush of repetition, day in and day out. I read in Fortune a few months ago about how AmEx has dramatically restructured its CEO pay for Kenneth Chenault. In brief, he gets a relatively low base pay, and then stock options (not restricted stock) if he meets performance criteria over an unusually long 6-year period. It’s worth noting that those options are worthwhile only if the stock price is preserved; there is no guaranteed price on them. I hope other companies will begin to pull back the reins on the exorbitant CEO pay packages that have become too common. Here was my early take on CEO pay: Beach Walk 129 – Math with Rox.

Hawaiian word:
Kumu hoʻolalelale: incentive

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Beach Walk 316 – CEO Pay Part 2

Several months after I first talked about this, it is becoming a well-discussed idea in the media. I take this optimistically!

There was a good piece in The Week Magazine about how investors can fight back regarding overpaid CEO’s. Mind you, there are a lot of obstacles to be surmounted, the fact that we are even having this discussion is a step forward I think. I first talked about CEO pay on Math with Rox.

Hawaiian words
Uku: pay

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Beach Walk 130 – Pushups for Fair Pay

Pushups are like consciousness – hard work some days but great return on “investment”!

h3. About Today’s Show

This is a continuation from yesterday’s show, so you can find the pay scale links there. It occurs to me that we could solve several societal and political problems by having more balanced pay scales. Taxes would be lower because there would be far fewer poor who need assistance. The poor would become empowered and be able to give rather than take. Let’s face it, there may always be those few who want to freeload, but the overwhelming majority of people take great pride and energy in their personal accomplishments, and are motivated to continue when they receive appropriate compensation.

The internet is playing a major role here, one as information is so much more readily available and two because people can do so many things for themselves instead of waiting to be discovered (as in producing media) or having to pay a lot (in terms of advertising and tech). This is changing the balance of power in society and politics, as AOL recently learned when a customer recorded a phone call lasting 21 minutes just to cancel his account!

Please note I am NOT talking about equal pay for all or pay regardless of performance. Nor am I talking about requiring companies to comply with a specific formula for pay. I am talking about learning from human behavior, observing the trends in pay discrepancy, and managing companies with conscious choices to enable the company, the employees, and their communities to live happily together. Companies will still succeed and fail; employees will be hired and fired. But we will acknowledge that not only is there is plenty to go around but that it may actually backfire. Fortune has a great article indicating the CEO’s are concerned about this problem.

OK! Let’s call this a wrap for now.

Hawaiian words
Kūpono: fair

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Beach Walk 129 – Math With Rox

Let’s do some math and see how to use consciousness to conquer greed.

h3. About Today’s Show

I think as humans we are transitioning from pure “old brain” behavior to more conscious choices. Jen was talking about this in her and Kent’s video review of “An Inconvenient Truth.” It’s more efficient perhaps to change ourselves than to wait for others. We don’t have to be at the mercy of our fear and greed; we can choose to act otherwise, without losing the thrill of the game that so many enjoy.

I found the original source for the study I mentioned regarding average CEO pay. I was then shocked to read that CEO pay is actually 821 times more than a minimum wage worker. As recently as 1978, the CEO pay was only 78 times more than a minimum wage worker.

So today I propose a plan for changing how money gets distributed in a company. Ben and Jerry came up with it first, but they were sooo radical, with only a 5x differential between top and bottom pay scales, that they were dismissed by most “serious” business people. I think it is time to revisit the concept.

I think companies can arbitrarily set salary levels to more fairly compensate each employee, and if all employees benefit when the company is more successful, then I believe they will pull together to produce a better product – good for the company, its employees, and the customers who buy the stuff the company makes.

Here’s Dilbert’s take on the topic.

Hawaiian words
Hoʻokaulike: to balance

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