People who try hard to do the right thing always seem mad.
~Stephen King (The Stand)
Governance is a fascinating – and increasingly an all-embracing – area of corporate obligation. All organisations are heavily immersed in what they fervently hope are “best practice” approaches to governance.
In the public sector, governance frameworks are usually underpinned by the “six foundation principles” defined by the Australian Public Service Commission: accountability; transparency and openness; integrity; stewardship; efficiency; and, leadership. There is an associated set of seven interrelated “Elements”, and seven “Mechanisms” for implementing the framework.
In the private sector, the Institute of Company Directors suggests that the common goal for most organisations is to have, “the most effective governance framework in place that best meets their individual circumstances and needs”. This specifically recognises the need to drive enhanced organisational performance while aiding conformance with various legal and other requirements.
But in all cases, formal compliance with the “rules of governance” runs the risk of generating a large quantity of plans, guidelines, frameworks and so on. These can then be happily pointed to on the bookshelves as evidence of “compliance”, while remaining impenetrable (and irrelevant) to the majority. And sadly in practice few people – directors, executives, managers and staff – rarely make use of them as the key planks of management that they should be.
We’re not blasé about this and there are no simple answers. But we do think there are better ways of ensuring widespread engagement in the process of corporate governance. Or if you prefer, getting greater value from the dollars you’re currently spending on ensuring that you are governance-compliant!
Why not get in touch and we’ll share some of our thoughts?