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Corporate Governance Assessment







Leading organisations have moved far beyond reporting compliance, appreciate the urgent environmental, social and governance challenges we all face, and apply an integrated sustainability response - known as ESG (that is, systematically covering the environmental, social and governance factors germane to their business)


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Fatiguing waves of change and disruption in the form of new business models, processes, products and services, innovations in information and communications technology (Big Data, AI, Internet of Things, Cyber threats, Robotics) continually alter the business landscape.

Add to this significant operational risks stemming from economic, geopolitical, technological, social and environmental sources - interconnected as clearly shown in the 2015 World Economic Forum Global Risks (10th Edition). Also add loss of trust due to frequency of disconnects between stated values and actual behaviours of (often prominent role-model) organisations. “Unethical behaviour of top executives, poor ethical leadership, lack of integrity, mismanagement, fraud, corruption, and violating corporate governance codes are the main contributors towards most of these scandals. Most companies approaches to corporate governance are extremely formal, bureaucratic, cosmetic, not holistic, and not authentic and therefore fail to address abovementioned shortcomings”. (Rampersad, H and Hussain, 2014)

And it is clear that a new approach to corporate governance must become the norm. A spiritual governance approach (characterised by higher purpose, meaning, ethics, transcendence, and acceptance of interconnectedness). Spirituality has been identified by Patricia Aburdene as “today’s greatest megatrend” (Aburdene, P. 2007) The approach is more about flourishing than it is about basic compliance. (Laszlo C & Brown, J.S. 2014)

Corporate responsibility has become huge. “We are the product of the process of evolution, and ... we have become the process itself, through the emergence and evolution of our consciousness, our awareness, our capacity to imagine and anticipate the future, and to choose from among alternatives” - Jonas Edward Salk, Medical Researcher, Virologist

We have entered the age of vastly expanded fiduciary responsibilities for Boards.

Corporations are faced with a choice in the sustainability decision-space: Ignore, Comply, Sustain, Regenerate, or Flourish. Corporations driven by a spiritual approach aimed at flourishing are most likely to succeed. (Whole Foods, Bereket, Patagonia, Green Mountain Coffee, The Body Shop, Buurtzorg, Sounds True, SouthWest Airlines, Zappos, Ben & Jerry’s, Menlo Innovations ....)

A balanced scorecard approach to measure outcomes should be used to measure progress, but also used to frame aspirations. Organisations who will succeed in future will be founded on solid virtues, humanise their workplaces, develop employee spiritual and ethical maturity, seek to make a public impact beyond customer service and to uplift communities, regenerate the environment, steer investment into sustainability and job creation projects, contribute to multiple bottom lines. Thus enhancing their value-creation potential, reputation, risk navigation prowess and attractiveness to customers, potential employees, marketplaces, suppliers ……… (Williams, G et al. 2015)

Meeting the corporate governance challenge means taking account of different levels of accountability throughout the enterprise; coping with different dimensions of time, depth and scope; ensuring harmonious and collaborative practices, tools, techniques that mesh with one another. These thoughts are expanded in our brochure outlining a conversational process that works. Our surveys are quick and focused AND a deep dive assessment. (Williams, G et al 2017)


Our brochure (see download option above) sets out a way to monitor your efforts to Sustain, Inspire and Produce by involving all stakeholders through strong internal and external conversation, reflective practices, being alert to strategic “snapping twigs”, deftly navigating liminal spaces - touchpoints within and between organisations and all of their stakeholders. One may think in terms of the liminal spaces that occur around real or imagined boundaries. Or gaps between states (similar to the Tibetan concept of bardo). Here is where the conflict may happen but it is also the space where innovation, change, learning and transformation occurs. In fact, the ‘assessment’ should be seen as a set of conversation-starters – between the Board, Leaders and Managers, but also employees, suppliers, customers, sustainability and innovation collaborators … - that provide solutions, uncover weaknesses, leverage strengths, build relationships, provide prioritised, focused ways forward.WE MUST MIND THE GAPS.

Here is an illustration of how a high-level view triggers the right conversations. A view of the Board’s scores by the different constituents.
In this case, the Employee’s view may well be influenced by the Manager’s view, so initial conversations on each of the three criteria between Directors and Managers (attended by Leaders) could be a fruitful place to start.
A leadership and management plan to educate employees, supported by Board Member’s informal engagement with Employees (Brown Bag Breakfasts) could make a huge difference
Similar pictures of the other constituents (Leaders, Managers etc. would yield further gap-closure conversations between paired constituents – for example Managers and Employees)
Five pictures in juxtaposition (all the constituents) could form the backdrop for a “mass” appreciative inquiry exercise going through discover, dream and then (a smaller representative group) moving ahead with design and develop initiatives – and report back.
Specific, detailed questions (single or sub-categories of questions, for example innovation or risk management) where scores are low could be the springboard for prioritising and addressing process improvement, training, coaching or other initiatives.





Following governance assessments, clients may wish to focus on closing gaps using our Conversations That Count process. Each population becomes a 'sounding Board' for the other populations. 

Many utilise our Corporate Governance and Sustainability Surveys in tandem.


In addition we offer an assessment for individual board members(existing or prospective) as a means to raise awareness. This is a necessary step towards pursuing mastery as a director, especially in a fast changing world and new, emerging perceptions, expectations and trends impacting on good corporate governance.


Rampersad, Hubert & Hussain, Saleh Authentic Governance: aligning personal governance with corporate governance Springer International Publishing Institute and Authentic Governance institute 2014
Aburdene, Patricia Megatrends 2010: the rise of conscious capitalism Newburyport, MA; Hampton Roads 2007
Laszlo, C & Brown, J.S. Flourishing Enterprise: the new spirit of business Stanford Business Books Stanford, CA 2014
Williams, Graham; Fox, Peter & Haarhoff, Dorian The Virtuosa Organisation; the importance of virtues for successful business Knowledge Resources 2015
Williams, Graham, Banhegyi, Steve and Chalmers, Carolynn Corporate Governance Assessment Surveys 2017

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