Taking the reins as a new CEO: The vital importance of proactive internal and external communications at Chesapeake

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What You’ll Learn:: 

Is your organization a great place to work? Splendid! But here’s a cold cup of reality in the face.

Activist investors such as Carl Icahn don’t care how chipper your staffers feel as they arrange their desktop toys or drop off their kids at your onsite day care.

“Carl Icahn does not care if it’s a great place to work,” says Robert D. "Doug" Lawler, is president and chief executive officer of Chesapeake Energy Corporation. “Carl Icahn cares about green money.”

If you don’t tend to business so that the iconic Icahn doesn’t swoop in to take over your business decisions, the opportunities that companies you enjoy could be at risk, Lawler says in a Ragan Training video, “Taking the reins as a new CEO: The vital importance of proactive internal and external communications at Chesapeake.”

In this session you’ll learn:

  • Why it’s more important to be a great business than a great place to work
  • Why you have to make it possible for every employee to innovate and share cost-saving ideas
  • Why core values matter—and your staffers better know them well
  • How to pursue goals that matter to your CEO

Lawler’s words are a reminder of what’s at stake in the grow-or-die atmosphere of today’s big business. This talk also is noteworthy coming from the head of a company that is often praised as a great work environment.

Find out why it’s essential to create a workplace where the best ideas rise to the top. After all, the bosses don’t have all the answers.

Gather hints for how to make ideas flow up to the decision-makers. Hear why it’s essential to capture and act upon ideas.

Every employee has thoughts about how to save money and improve processes, Lawler says. The key is how organizations capture and execute those ideas.

Hear why organizations need a redefinition of what makes a best place to work, focusing on being a best-in-class organization. Such firms are more competitive and attract top employees. They focus on training and learning. They advance employees with good money-saving and business-improving ideas.

To be a great place to work, be “a great business first and foremost,” Lawler says.

Which begs the question: Which of these mindsets are you fostering in your organization?

Learn more about this and other topics in Ragan Training executive communications. Sign up here.

November 2013

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Presenter bio: 

Robert D. "Doug" Lawler is president, chief executive officer and a director of Chesapeake Energy Corporation. Prior to joining Chesapeake, he served as senior vice president for international and deep-water operations at Anadarko Petroleum Corporation and as a member of Anadarko's executive committee. He also was Anadarko's vice president, international operations, vice president of operations for the Southern and Appalachia regions, and vice president of corporate planning. Lawler began his career in 1988 with Kerr-McGee. He graduated from the Colorado School of Mines in 1988 and from Rice University in 2002.