One of the most common requests I get in my advisory and research work, and at speaking engagements, is to provide a definition of 'governance'. I think it keeps coming up because there's no universally accepted definition. To press the point, when Africa Zanella asked for a definition of governance on LinkedIn recently, her question generated over 50 replies.
Notwithstanding this, we need to try understand what governance is and what it is not. Here's my take (which also appears as one of the 50 replies): I have come to understand that governance is an activity. It has a purpose (what) and a process (how).
To be effective in governance, boards need to understand their purpose, and have a process through which to determine performance goals (develop a strategic plan, together with management) and oversee performance against plan (a monitoring regime). In contrast, the primary role of management is to implement the approved plan (having contributed to its development, with the board).
Hopefully, this view is helpful. Love to hear what you think!
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and effective board practice; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.