Sustainable Governance for the 21st Century

In actual sense, sustainable capitalism is the ultimate goal of corporate governance and sustainable governance. One of the great shifts in the 21st century is the ultimate goal of corporate governance and sustainable governance and if capitalism is not sustainable, then it would be impossible to have a sustainable world in the future. Since Nigeria is not an island separate from the rest of the world, it is pertinent that boards and captains of industries imbibe this new and important concept.

The shift to sustainable capitalism is due to the high interconnectedness and transparency in the world today driven by the spread of digital technology. The recent analysis released by ICAAN, the body responsible for overseeing internet worldwide records that about 300 million emails, 1.8 million skype calls and about 400,000 tweets are sent every 60 seconds every day, thus transparency has tremendous implication on the way businesses are conducted today. Moreover, the technology revolution, in addition to Net Generation of Millennial, and the need for responsible investments, have radically changed the scope of doing business anywhere in the world and this places more pressure on the need for Integrated Thinking on sustainability.

New capitalists have emerged with a new approach to business that is different from those of the 19th century thus, companies must take into account the critical needs and interests of all stakeholders rather than those of the shareholders if they hope to continue profit making. As a matter of fact, great companies and multinational enterprises are now appointing executives such as Corporate Stakeholders Relationship Officer (CSRO), whose sole job is to find out what the least expectations of stakeholders are and to inform management accordingly so that the shareholders can have a more informed basis for developing strategy. In a nutshell, companies are no longer operating in a vacuum but rather; they operate in a triple context of Economy, Society and Environment (ES & E). There is obviously an increased need to change the corporate behaviour of companies and also to change the way businesses are done otherwise, future generations would not have a sustainable world to live in.

There is also a shift from the perspective that shareholders who are members of wealthy families are the only providers of capital for businesses, the new view suggests that every member of the society across the globe is the new provider of capital for businesses to thrive. Therefore, the individual has become an integral part of the company.

Source: Excerpt from CSR Files Weekly™ (Sustainable Leadership & Governance according to Mervyn King III)


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