Have you seen the new governance code that in being introduced in the UK later this year? It contains many good elements, and one that is quite scary. The new code will require (figuratively) directors to add a new line-item to their competencies: reading crystal balls. The new code seems to place a duty on directors to predict how long their company will remain viable. The so-called viability test is a big development, and one that may see directors running to check their insurances. While New Zealand and other jurisdictions utilise a solvency test (that directors do not trade recklessly and do not knowingly allow the company to trade while insolvent), this new development lifts director responsibility and accountability to a new level.
Directors of businesses that operate near the edges of moral, ethical and legal acceptability should be concerned, and rightly so. It will be very interesting to see how this development shakes out, and whether the boards of well-run companies have anything to be concerned about or not. What is your view?
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and effective board practice; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.