Have you noticed how 'corporate governance' has pervaded the modern lexicon? The term is used in all manner of contexts nowadays. Some are appropriate and some less so. I wrote about this last year, off the back on a comment made by Rob Campbell. Here's a couple of fresh examples that I've heard used in the last sixty days:
Both of these examples might sound a little contrived, but they are not. All three phrases were spoken, spontaneously and in my hearing, by capable and well-intentioned people. The people in the room knew what was meant, I think. However, these three vignettes set me thinking. Is our usage of the term 'corporate governance' starting to change—away from the original intention (describe the functioning of the polity, i.e., the board of directors) to something different, or have we become somewhat lazy in our usage? I'd be interested in your views on this one!
Peter, my research indicated that to locate governance in a particular sector, even corporate, obfuscates the application of the generic principles of governance. In the health sector, for example, leaders are actively discouraging the use of the term "clinical governance " because it usually only deals with aspects of probity, especially quality and safety, and not any of the other foundation principles.
Thanks Lee, you make a good point. I'll re-read your findings. Over time, I have moved around a little on this one
We should stick to the origin of the word - old Greek "kubernetes" = steering the ship = simultaneously orchestrated team effort of setting the direction, controlling ever changing circumstances and adjusting the course of the "ship". However I do agree that term governance doesn't serve the purpose anymore I.e. In family owned businesses we stil use Family governance as term which is generally not recognized nor accepted among owning families. GRC is another awful example of narrow interpretation... We do need broader vocabulary and diversity of terms in order to separate corporate governance from bad influence of her twin sister - political governance.
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Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and boardcraft; our place in the world; and other topics that catch my attention.