Monthly Archives: February 2016
Today’s business ecosystem is fraught with complexities and variables that contribute to greater risk exposure and liabilities for boards and the organisations they serve. Strategic planning and time-to-market cycles continue to shrink. Stakeholders’ expectations are changing rapidly. Boards must be swiftly decisive and responsive, provide zealous oversight and corroborate with management for strategic long-term value.
The past few years have witnessed a tremendous increase in awareness on the part of most enterprises of the importance of cyber security and privacy issues. High-profile data breaches and concern about intrusive practices involving personal data have served to highlight awareness. However, some equally important concepts that also affect today’s data-driven companies are unfortunately not as well understood. Two such concepts are information governance (IG) and cyber insurance. This article discusses how those concepts relate to each other and highlights the key role they play together to secure an enterprise’s most important asset – its data.
Today, the idea of modern slavery is perhaps one of the most pressing issues. While we rarely encounter the blatant slavery that persisted until the early 20th century, bonded labour, forced labour and child labour continue to affect many people. The British Home Secretary Theresa May describes the sheer scale of abuse in the UK alone as ‘shocking’, while the Prime Minister David Cameron calls for more to be done to stop people being ‘used for profit’.
It is clear that an organisation functions best when the culture is set by the tone at the top, whether by senior management or team leaders – an ethos that has led energy giant Iberdrola, a world leader in renewable energy, producing and supplying electricity to approximately 100 million people, to become recognised for its corporate ethics. In 2014, Iberdrola’s chairman and CEO Ignacio Galán received the international Responsible Capitalism Award in recognition of ‘someone who has run a company in a clearly responsible way’ and ‘consistently demonstrated social responsibility as an integral part of commercial successes’.
For the many impacted by these rising expectations, and a myriad of others like it in countries around the world, this global trend can be summarised as follows: boards of directors are now increasingly expected to oversee management’s risk appetite and tolerance and take steps to ensure that it is aligned with the board’s risk appetite and tolerance. For various reasons, many public company directors are not intimately familiar with the newest board risk oversight expectations. If prompted, many might as well respond with ‘this all sounds reasonable but what does it really mean in practice for me?’.
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