Flexion – the act or condition of being bent. It has implications of ‘flexibility’ – crucial to Board decision-making regarding new business models that can accommodate sustainable development issues as core to strategy (as required by the King III Code of Corporate Governance in South Africa).
Pause at the start of a Board meeting. Ask – and answer – the following questions:
- What is the purpose of our company?
- Is it still relevant and does it contribute to sustainable wellbeing?
- Don’t just sign off the minutes of the last meeting: reflect as to whether the decisions had positive, negative or no impacts, on the company and its stakeholders, including on the silent stakeholder – the environment.
- Critically assess the outcomes against personal and corporate values.
The last point generates quite heated discussion usually: The director must act in the best interests of the company without consideration of personal gain. Yes, but not without reference to personal values (not value!). It is not “A Board” that makes decisions and acts, it is a group of individuals. If we are to escape what numerous authors cite as the banality of (corporate) evil, we have to accept that people – not only laws – run companies, and we must actively practice that most human of traits: the art of self-reflection.