Dan WalterManaging Consultant, FutureSense
Bio

I can answer your corporate compensation questions. Dan Walter is a nationally-respected compensation expert. He has provided solutions for equity and performance-based compensation for more than 20 years and is considered one of the compensation industry’s “go-to” experts on the topics of equity and performance-based compensation. He has co-authored several books, is an active blogger and is also available as a dynamic, engaging speaker who uses expertise and humor to provide innovative and practical solutions. Dan has extensive experience with both executive and broad-based programs with an emphasis on the design and management of performance share and units. Dan assists public and private companies of all sizes with a focus on the “not Fortune 1000″. He creates effective, company-specific solutions paired with post-consultation support. Expertise includes diagnosis of issues, plan design, communication, administration best practices and reporting solutions. Dan founded Equity Compensation Experts (ECE). He is a Board Member for the NCEO and an award-winning member of the NASPP. He is also an active member of World at Work, Global Equity Organization (GEO), the Society for Certified Equity Professionals and many other organizations. Speaking engagements include: Annual conferences for World at Work, NASPP, GEO, NCEO, AICPA, numerous webinars, regional and local events.



Recent Answers


First figure out the correct "metrics". These are the things (tasks, results, drivers of results etc.) that you will be measuring and creating goals for.

Example: Having a "goal" of increasing revenue, when margin or number of clients may be more important, is a waste of time.

So first determine what you need goals for. Then prioritize these. You won;t be able to focus on everything as you get started, so make sure you focus on the most important things.

Second. Determine target goals for each metric. Targets should be something you think you can accomplish with 60-70% confidence (or probability). Targets should stretch you, but be realistically obtainable if you perform well.

Next determine the acceptable or possible Goal Best Case, Worst case and "expected case" (what you feel in your gut) scenarios for each metric. Make sure you understand the high level ramifications of each.

Next. Determine what will drive you to reach each goal. Determine who will need to be involved. Determine the cost (and the associated ROI) for each.

Then get to work.

There is a ton more to say about this, but this should get you started.

You will read a lot about SMART goals. Here' my article on DUMB goals. http://performensation.com/the-best-performance-goals-are-d-u-m-b/

You can contact me through Clarity if you want to discuss this further.


Great question. I think its important to remember that the goal of visualization is to provide useful information from relevant data. It does not replace data. I work with made corporate boards. Some love the columns and rows and see charts as a nice-to-have extra. Some depend on visual charts to help them understand key items and make quick decisions. The most important thing if that your visuals tell a quick and easy to understand story that can be easily cross referenced to data if needed.

To many people try to use visualization to show their artful expertise, rather than support data decisions and understanding.

It should also be noted that as you move deeper into organizations, where the use and love of spreadsheets is not as common, visualization provides a way to make complex concepts accessible to those who need the information, but may not understand the data.


Equity compensation serves a purpose as a Long-Term Incentive. Alternatives include long-term cash (including performance-based cash), higher base pay, some form of profit sharing (although perhaps not a formal "profit sharing plan") and synthetic equity.

Research shows that benefits generally have little impact on recruiting and motivation. They can be effective bolstering retention.

The first question I would ask is what do you believe equity compensation is intended to deliver? This will help define the hole you are trying to fill with one or more alternatives.

Also, remember that there are key benefits to equity that most other tools cannot provide. Among these are potential tax planning strategies for participants, and creating a low, fixed compensation expense for the company. There are, of course, downsides as well (like communication issues), which I would be happy to go in a different forum.

Short-term incentives may also serve your purpose, if they are structured well.

Lastly, I would ask why you DON'T want to use equity compensation. There are many legitimate reasons, but I find that many companies avoid this tool out of myths and misunderstanding.


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