Director – Professional Services organisation
It has become clear to most that the UK, and the rest of the world, is headed for a recession. Belt tightening will ensue, and many teams will slow down hiring while others may freeze hiring altogether. However, with companies hunkering down to weather the incoming financial storm, it is an excellent time for organisations to turn to governance as a way to help navigate the future.
Often previously overlooked, governance teams truly had an opportunity to show their value during the Covid-19 pandemic and they did not disappoint. Ambitious teams demonstrated how good governance with proper planning and proactiveness can help their organisations mitigate downturns and come through the other side with an emphasis on fostering responsible decision making. Those governance teams who have hoped for the best but planned for the worst will be in a much better position throughout the recession than those who haven’t.
The key to successfully manage a recession is to proactively plan processes and ensure structures are in place so that individuals from the very top are in the best possible position to help advise and guide business through these troubling times. Having good governance in place from the beginning ensures that, when attentions turn to focusing on critical manners, the culture and ethos of the organisation is sustained, and individuals are still confident in working together towards the same goals and aims.
While no one looks forward to these inevitable downturns, company secretaries do have an opportunity to make the most of the silver linings - a recession allows governance teams to take stock and make processes more effective and efficient. For example, organisations can restructure governance functions to ensure they are optimised and are able to focus on project work while offering diverse role responsibilities rather than focusing on a volume of board meetings and subsequent board support. Efforts can also be made on strengthening culture within organisations, something the governance team can spearhead allowing the organisation to better move through any troubling periods. Taking important steps like these and employing them consistently will not only help businesses come out of the other side of the recession in better shape but ensure they are better prepared for the next downturn.
Good governance is a vital asset for organisations, even more so during times of uncertainty, when markets are volatile and there is little appetite for risk. It is key that organisations remain transparent both internally and with external stakeholders. Whilst maintaining accountability across all levels with an emphasis on leadership and direction from senior executives.