James Lockhart (Massey University, New Zealand) presented a paper which challenged the underlying foundation that has supported the majority of the governance research and practice over the last four decades. Lockhart opened by contending that the focus that many boards have on compliance has produced a generation of defensive, reputation-protecting boards, as opposed to boards that focus on business performance. Lockhart asserted that governance attention needs to change, away from compliance and towards factors that effect performance:
These points provide a useful basis for future governance research, and for practice. However, they assume that directors and boards have the competence and inclination to change their behaviours and embrace them—an assumption which, unfortunately, cannot be taken for granted.
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and boardcraft; our place in the world; and other topics that catch my attention.