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The need for good Governance

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26 July 2009

The need for good Governance

Just recently, I spent a few days on a training course for Good Governance - in particular for third sector organisations (charity, voluntary and not for profit). This is part of a newly launched venture by a good friend and business associate of mine, Karl George MBE. Karl has successfully created The Governance Forum which will aim to help organisations have, understand and action their vision and purpose.

The GF is based on three core areas, RESOURCE, COMPETENCY and EXECUTION. I think I should also mention that Sir Adrian Cadbury has also endorsed the Forum and it's work, this is partcularly significant as he was a pioneer of corporate governance and his Cadbury Code was used within the Combined Code: PRINCIPLES OF GOOD GOVERNANCE AND CODE OF BEST PRACTICE.

Through very simple diagnostics, the trained and approved specialists will then work with organisations to ensure a plan is implimented whilst supporting Boards and Chief Execs. With increasing regulations, political bureaucracy as well as the need to perform well there is an ever evolving need to have Boards and Trustees equipped to deal with important issues whilst achieving the original vision of the organisation. Simply put "governance" means: the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented (or not implemented). Governance can be used in several contexts such as corporate governance, international governance, national governance and local governance. The demands and responsibilties placed on organisations and those committed to them is significant. This isn't an alien concept however. To ensure any family, schools, businesses, groups or organisations functions effectively we must have excellent leadership and 'governance'.

Clear aims and objectives, understanding, skills and communication and ensuring things are actually done... shouldn't we all do this? It's amazing how this often isn't the case, the difference is that this can't be allowed to happen now. Funders for charitable organisations will not allow it and banks certainly won't, especially in this climate. In my experience and opinion, family owned and run businesses have some of the poorest standards of governance. The Board's lack diversity, skills, understanding and a commitment to the 'company interests'. But the whole area of family businesses can wait for another day! There is such a vast area to improve within all organisations - it's great to see that the GF have a wide range of tools and services to help bridge the gaps and ensure organisations funtion to the best of their ability and within the framework that is needed.