The Importance of Corporate Governance by William English, IoD Kent Ambassador

A week of political change with Prime Minister Truss confirmed in office and occupying 10 Downing Street.

On Wednesday 7th September 22, Prime Minister Truss held her first new Cabinet Meeting.

The challenges are significant, not least maintaining a balanced and desired growing economy with the cost of living rising, energy costs rising at speed, the war in Ukraine without apparent end, climate change and relations with Europe and the wider world. These issues will challenge the nation, the government and individual businesses, so preparing for the storm winds to come will be key to all business planning; uniting make us resilient. But what and how to unite.

As a Chartered Director and IoD Kent Ambassador with responsibility for leading the Policy and Governance brief at a time of great change and global stress, I have reflected on the IoD Principles (Objects) in our IoD Royal Charter in particular on Governance. Governance is derived from the verb ‘to steer’, Kubernáo – Greek. It is this principle that I personally put ahead of the other three as it is the one that helps us to weather the storms of business in times of real stress – it is the one principle that we can use to unite our individual and collective action, therefore the one that I invite readers to review as we navigate the coming months.

The IoD is charged with promoting good corporate governance for UK businesses. The IoD strives to model best practice to ensure its own governance complies with the highest professional standards. As a result, your IoD is well placed to advise you in fashioning your business plans in the ‘now’ and the ‘future’ while protecting your baseline assets. Available to you are the considerable resources found in the IoD Corporate Governance Directorate and for those preparing for the future, the IoD Academy has a range of courses to help guide your leadership under the thematic of Corporate Governance.

With Corporate Governance and Business Education being on hand from the IoD, the third Principle is your views drawn together by the IoD through the use of Policy Voice. Policy Voice is the tool that the IoD uses to form our collective views in order to influence government policy and direction of national leadership.

As we approach this challenging time, the IoD is here to help you navigate the coming storms – I encourage you all to use the IoD resources to help guide you through these difficult times, while at the same time preparing for the time after the coming storms. Our leadership in business in a time of stress will enable individuals and the nation to steer and navigate the coming period – I believe Corporate Governance is our key uniter in how we navigate successfully; our Purpose is leadership; Corporate Governance is how we can do it best. The IoD is here to help – we should use it.

William English CBE


IoD Kent Ambassador

Better directors for a better world

The IoD supports directors and business leaders across the UK and beyond to learn, network and build successful, responsible businesses.
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