Corporate Executive Board Responds to Customers’ Request for Increased Collaboration

Providing a Collaborative Environment for Sharing Messages about Compliance and Ethics

April 3, 2008

Corporate Executive Board's Compliance and Ethics Leadership Council respond to their members' desired for a collaborative environment for sharing information. Using BizWiki from CustomerVision, service members can contribute and share messages about compliance issues with peers from other member companies. Ronnie Kann, Program Director of the council talks about the collaboration efforts and how they have made it easy for customers to create and share content.


Corporate Executive Board, an organization that provides best practices and decision-support guidance to large corporations, is supporting customer-created content and collaboration. Within the Compliance and Ethics Leadership Council, one of the Corporate Executive Board membership services, the research team has created a collaborative space where members can share compliance and ethics “messages” that they have created. Built on CustomerVision BizWiki, the Compliance and Ethics Message Generator, allows members of the service to submit messages for posting, find messages that they can reuse, and easily download and customize these messages.

In this spotlight interview, Ronnie Kann, Program Director, Compliance and Ethics Leadership Council, shares how Corporate Executive Board has responded to its customers’ requests for increased collaboration.


Corporate Mission

Founded in 1983, the Corporate Executive Board provides best practices research, decision-support tools, and executive education to a membership of the world’s leading corporations and not-for-profit institutions. Its research addresses issues related to corporate strategy, operations, and general management. The Corporate Executive Board focuses on identifying management initiatives, processes, tools, and frameworks that will allow members to avoid reinventing the wheel in addressing problems they share in common with their peers. At its best, its work is able to shape strategic debate and to accelerate tactical implementation in even the most progressive organizations.


Corporate Executive Board provides research and analysis on an annual subscription basis to a membership of the world’s largest and most prestigious organizations. For a fixed annual fee, members of the Board’s subscription programs (see Table A) have access to an integrated set of services, including:

  • Best practices research studies
  • Decision-support tools
  • Executive education seminars
  • Customized research briefs
  • Web-based access to program content database

The business formula combines shared-cost research economics and a membership-based client model, providing data and insight at the level of strategy consulting firms but at a fraction of the cost.


The Corporate Executive Board covers 50 different disciplines in the following eight categories:

  • Financial Services
  • Human Resources
  • Strategy and Management
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Information Technology
  • Corporate Finance
  • Legal and Governance
  • Innovation and Operations

(The specific services are outlined in Table A.)

Corporate Executive Board Membership Programs
(Please see the PDF to see the table.)
Table A. The Corporate Executive Board offers services in eight subject areas, each targeted at a different high-level executive in a large corporation.


Interview with Ronnie Kann, Program Director, Compliance and Ethics Leadership Council, a Division of the Corporate Executive Board

PATRICIA SEYBOLD GROUP. We’ve provided a brief background on Corporate Executive Board. In your own words, how would you describe the Board and your role in the organization?

RONNIE KANN. Basically, we are a research and executive education firm, headquartered in a single location in Arlington VA, where we just relocated from our several locations in D.C. (I should mention that we also have smaller offices in London, Sydney, India, Chicago, and San Francisco.) The location issue is significant because, since we are now all within the same facility, our employees, from all the different programs, are now more easily able to communicate and work together for our members.

We’re an organization that serves over 4,700 different companies worldwide, with various types of research, decision support, and seminars. Our mission is to try to identify the best solutions to shared corporate problems—the common problems that most large organizations face.

There are 50 different research groups in the Board, each serving a different exec or officer in an organization, such as the CFO, the head of human services, the chief marketing and sales officers, etc. I work within the Compliance and Ethics Leadership Council which serves Chief Compliance and Ethics Officers (CCEOs), addressing the issues common to this role. As Program Director, I am responsible for the day-to-day operations of the group. I am also the head of the research team, so I wear two different–but closely related—hats.

Each research group has its own membership and has its own research team, account management team, and Web team. My research group serves more than 400 CCEOs around the world.

PATRICIA SEYBOLD GROUP. You say each group has its own Web team—so are there 50 different sites? Do they each have their own look and feel?

RONNIE KANN. Although there are different named sites for each research area, there is a single Web template and architecture corporate-wide that is managed by the central IT group and the CIO. So each site has the consistency of branding and look and feel, but they are managed and maintained individually.

PATRICIA SEYBOLD GROUP. What are the information sharing/collaboration needs within your group?

RONNIE KANN. The premise of what we do is that we have membership networks of executives at large organizations, and we try to identify and answer their common challenges. We do this by sharing ideas and identifying best demonstrated solutions. To more effectively share these ideas, we needed to “activate the member network” and find a way to use the Web to create a virtual sharing environment, both internally and with members.

In fact, the way we work here, our tools, templates, and decision support are based on member feedback on what they want. Members told us that they wanted a place where they can find compliance and ethics “messages” and exchange them with each other.

PATRICIA SEYBOLD GROUP. What are “messages?”

RONNIE KANN. Messages are information that is helpful to the compliance/ethics professionals in their day-to-day jobs. For example, around Valentine’s Day, companies might want to send out reminders about appropriate and inappropriate workplace behaviors. We would have a number of sample messages which could be customized by each member for his or her organization. This saves them a lot of time and effort creating new messages from scratch.

PATRICIA SEYBOLD GROUP. Who creates these messages?

RONNIE KANN. The research team creates some of the messages, but the vast majority comes from the members. Members send us messages that they have created and want to share. We then take out any specific references to their organizations, and we make them available to the compliance and ethics membership at large. The research team only creates messages to address specific questions that members might have for which no other member has yet volunteered a message.

This is why a collaboration environment is so important. Based on input from members, we recognized that we needed to create a place where members could go to find this helpful information. We have created what we call our Compliance and Ethics Message Generator based on the BizWiki technology from ComputerVision...


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