November 3, 2015 By FTI Consulting
Unfortunately, too many companies rush down a path based on perception, intuition, or anecdotal evidence.While sometimes it works, more often it’s a pure gamble. Unless the information is quantifiable, betting big stakes results in big losses.
That’s why it’s important to conduct the research that will inform decision-making. The benefit of that approach can be seen in a recent U.S. Chamber of Commerce report containing 28 highly detailed recommendations to the U.S. Securities and Exchange.
Focusing on the “rules of the road”, the recommendations centered on ways to ensure that SEC actions are predictable, efficient, and unambiguous for businesses. In its report, the Chamber emphasized the need for “a strong Enforcement Program that helps to keep bad actors out of the marketplace.” But at the same time it said, “SEC Enforcement should have a fair process for all to ensure that the rights of the accused are preserved while allowing the process to achieve its goals of finding the truth, punishing the wrong-doers, and preventing future harm.”
The SEC may not embrace every recommendation, but the Chamber had the benefit on knowing what was on the mind of general counsels and other corporate attorneys as it crafted its report.
That’s because the Chamber team began with rigorous research.
A partnership between FTI Strategic Communications’ Research team and its Public Affairs team – with guidance from FTI Consulting’s Forensic and Litigation Consulting team – went to work surveying more than 75 companies over a four-month period. The detailed questions looked to identify the range of experiences various companies had had with the SEC and its processes.
As the Chamber notes, “Given the confidential nature of SEC investigations, the data collected by FTI provide a unique insight into the investigative process.”
While we encourage you to read the full report, its 67-pages isn’t for those in a rush. But the survey results – broken out in charts starting on page 47, do offer a look at how a data-driven approach to problem solving can make a difference.
It’s true whether the goal is governmental action – or a company working to reposition its brand or get ahead of a controversial issue.