One of the most confronting aspects of business in today’s challenging and volatile marketplaces is the increasing demands of bureaucracy and the frustrations this can cause to board expectations of acceptable returns on investment.
Many business owners today will say that bureaucracy simply gets in the way of enterprise development which indirectly tests executives relative to corporate governance and keeping right from wrong in true perspective.
What I certainly recommend to CEO’s is this is part of today’s business environment and must be an integral part of their strategic business intent/plans including exercising good management as an example to all key stakeholders in the company.
There is no doubt that I do see the underlying conduct of businesses improving over the years as there is a greater awareness of the needs for compliant corporate governance. Without this approach there would be a giant question mark over the sustainability of ongoing operations. This applies to all types of business. No one is exempt.
I was recently speaking at length with a senior church leader who was of the opinion that because he was a church, there was little need for corporate governance. Sadly, how wrong can you be?
There is a fundamental element of a business which I address during my consulting reviews. Is the board/management carrying out their respective and collective duties in a manner with which the mainstream of society would consider ethical and proper behaviour.
There is little doubt in my mind that if directors and managers slip away from their corporate and statutory responsibilities, this invite invite scrutiny from authorities no matter how they much they feel they are in the mainstream of their own industry culture.
I have seen too often the performance of senior figures, however viewed as unfair by industry, cause authorities to further extend the regulatory regime as a remedy for flaws in a free market economy. What this ultimately does for business is increase our costs and make it so much harder for Australian business to compete on the world stage. It also deters overseas investment in our great Australian nation. My advise to companies is simple. Do not attempt to blame any particular political party because there is little difference in terms of their approach to business ethics.
Simply put today, Corporate Governance is perceived as being all about honesty and fairness. If a business is highlighted for a lack of corporate governance they could well be branded as crooks and/or cheats. As a CEO, there would be absolutely no excuse for this to happen.
My advise to CEO’s and key stakeholders of any business would be to market their operation, small, medium or large as credible and of uncompromised integrity in the publics viewpoint.
Do not be influenced by internal greed.