We use cookies to make this site as useful as possible. Read our cookie policy or ignore.

Good governance goes unnoticed

04 September 2018 by Henry Ker

Good governance goes unnoticed

If governance is working well it is unlikely to be seen

‘Usually, if you notice good cinematography, then the cinematographer’s failing,’ says Rachel Morrison, the first woman ever nominated for a cinematography Oscar.

Effective governance is similar to good cinematography. It makes everyone else look good and when everything is going well, few outside the secretariat or governance teams pay much attention. Only when things go wrong is governance suddenly thrust into the limelight.

The Financial Reporting Council’s executive director Paul George, touches on this in our interview: ‘It is a challenge, especially during the good times, to explain the UK’s regulatory framework and our role in it. Once something happens, attention increases on our role…’ It is also discussed by our columnist Anthony Hilton, as he explores the differences between the US and UK systems and questions whether ‘companies perform better with or without governance?’

It is something that is difficult to quantify. Business is of course capable of succeeding without good governance, but, because of its partly preventative nature, it is also impossible to know how many problems have been averted because of it. And of course, by itself, governance cannot prevent unscrupulous actions or safeguard against wanton disregard for best practice. As George says, this can make it a difficult discipline to advocate outside the profession – and can explain why it is seen by some individuals as purely red tape.

“When everything is going well, few outside the secretariat or governance teams pay much attention”

But those who work in governance know its value to a company – the benefit of an engaged and effective board and a positive culture, which can maximise the potential of the workforce and protect it when problems arise. As George explains, ‘The telling factor is whether, when there is pressure on the organisation, the culture shines through – or have shortcuts been taken that are then exposed.’

The UK Corporate Governance Code is key to all this, setting the standards for organisations for over 25 years. The new code was released in July and we have explored it in detail. Alongside the interview with George, ICSA’s Peter Swabey analyses the code’s new developments and Charlotte Fleck of Pett, Franklin & Co explores the remuneration aspect.

ICSA and its members are the advocates for good governance and should be proud of the enthusiasm the profession has for its work. We know the worth of good governance, even if to the rest it goes relatively unnoticed.

Henry Ker is editor of Governance and Compliance


Core Values

04 November 2020

Mental and emotional wellbeing needs more attention than ever before. Read more...

Read more

How prepared is your organisation for a no trade deal scenario?

05 October 2020

Our community looks at how a no trade deal scenario could impact their organisation. Read more...

Read more

A Strong Bond

05 October 2020

There is a unique partnership between charities and the public. Read more...

Read more

ESG and the Board

02 September 2020

On 13 August, we held a discussion panel to develop the thinking for the third in our series of papers on ‘Building Board Resilience’ on which The Chartered Governance Institute is partnering with Diligent Corporation. Read more...

Interview: Victoria Penrice

27 August 2020

Victoria Penrice talks to Governance and Compliance about her recent appointment as UKRIAT President and her entry into the profession. Read more...

Room to Grow

27 August 2020

Branches offer a key service to professional members in their local area. Read more...

Change Ahead

29 July 2020

The Chartered Governance Institute has undergone significant change over the last three years. Read more...

Breathing Space

24 July 2020

The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act has made the biggest reforms to the UK’s insolvency framework for almost 20 years, as well as some significant changes to corporate governance law. Read more...

Interview: Chuka Umunna

24 July 2020

Chuka Umunna talks to Governance and Compliance about his new roles focussed on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and the need for responsible investing. Read more...

Read more

Crisis Plans

30 June 2020

The continued spread of COVID-19 has upended everyday life and business operations across the globe. Read more...

Have your say

comments powered by Disqus