A Brief Guide to Ethical Governance for CEOs, COOs, and CCOs

  • September 2, 2021
  • Quantivate

After over a year and a half of living through the new normal of a world shaped by the coronavirus pandemic, building a robust governance program hasn’t gotten easier. Crises test, shape, and reveal resiliency, and organizations with management frameworks that support good governance and ethical practices emerge as the frontrunners.

Corporate culture can make or break an organization. Senior management and employees alike contribute to a culture of ethics and integrity, which sets the foundation for an effective governance strategy.

Why Is Governance Important?

The role of governance is to ensure that your organization’s operations align with strategic objectives throughout its processes and policies.

How management and stakeholder expectations set the tone for ethical governance will echo throughout the organization’s practices, operational measures, and financial objectives.

Read more | Setting the Tone for Governance and Ethics: Guidance for GRC Leaders >

While the allure of rapid scaling by any means necessary is a powerful force today, such tactics can often leave companies vulnerable to bad actors or unforeseen risks. The standards set by sound governance can be the force that drives long-term success.

Defining Good Governance

Executive leadership teams can take steps to create or sustain a culture of governance through developing processes and structures that support: 

Transparency

Organization-wide transparency is essential for effective governance. Developing policies and procedures using fragmented processes that vary by department or team doesn’t support successful governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) management. Organizations need a holistic approach that enables complete, cross-functional awareness of risks and issues and their impact on objectives.

Integrity

Institutions need clearly defined values, ethics, and a commitment to compliance requirements that demonstrate their accountability to all relevant stakeholders and regulators — avoiding the temptation to treat compliance as a checkbox exercise in avoiding penalties. A strong compliance management program equips organizations to act with integrity in achieving objectives, whereas absentee compliance management often results in corporate cultures with systemic risk.

Making ethical governance a pillar of your organization’s culture not only builds trust between management, employees, and clients, but will also help your institution withstand and thrive through uncertainty and crises.

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