MANAGEMENT is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; LEADERSHIP determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall - Stephen Covey

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Who needs CEOs?

Wondering what am referring to? Nope…it’s not what you think! Its Chief Ethics Officer and not Chief Executive Officer. Does having a CE(thics)O really help companies to walk the talk when it comes to good governance & ethical practice? Hannah Clark of FORBES shares her view in this brilliant article titled “Chief Ethics Officers: Who Needs Them?” I love it when she says “Chief ethics and compliance officers have become trendy in recent years, but some experts fear they act mainly as window dressing” – so true isn’t it?



Blogger J.KANNAN said...

Ms. Hannah Clark is right in mentioning, “Nobody needs a Chief ethics officer”(still they loiter around to drain out company’s exchequer). The problems related to ethics has been and is being brought to the notice of general public, through print and visual media apart from accredited internet sources playing its role. Ultimately no useful and realistic purpose is being served by the Chief Ethics Officers as unethical practices and deals continue to take place.
No doubt that it has been a trend setting aspect for companies to have a Chief Ethics Officer and I for one would like to know what achievements these companies with Chief Ethics Officers have gained to be relished by the people connected and interested in the development and growth of the company? Nothing at all worth mentioning, and as rightly mentioned by Hannah Clark, its only a creation of job opportunities and in number of cases it has been proved to be averse to the well being, reputation, image of the companies in the minds and eyes of its share holders, investors, customers, FIs and vendors.
Mr. Julie Goldberg is right in mentioning that a decade ago it was indeed very rare to know and hear about Chief Ethics Officer, and in the manner in which most of the Chief Ethics Officers are performing, within the next less that a decade the corporate will be compelled to eliminate this position to be replaced by Chief Governance Officer.
Its not only HP that could not get any assistance or useful tips from The Chief Ethics Officer, there are companies let down by the vice of having a Chief Ethics Officer. Instead companies by virtue should consider having professionally qualified and accredited Chief Governance officer to take care of the governance and compliance, focusing with Ethics. This may prevent to a great extend companies from reaching a “CRYING OVER SPILT MILK" situation”
. There is neither doubt nor dispute on ethics being a pre-requisite for good governance and results. This does not necessarily mean you need a Chief Ethics officer to take care of the ethical needs and practices of the company. Governance and compliance and conduct are also to be taken care and according to me all these are related and interlinked for effective implementation and cannot be dispensed with and overlooked. That’s why it is being suggested to have a person with financial & secretarial academic background coupled with transparent working exposure and track records as Chief Governance Officer to do away with post of Chief Ethics Officer. This has to happen and will happen globally-please wait and watch.
Ethical conduct, ethical principles and ethical manners of managing an organization is a team effort for which the Chief Governance Officer to take lead and work as a team with all.
It would have been more apt to get the larger opinions/suggestions from financial experts too, instead of restricting the opinions from Legal and HR experts. Ultimately it’s Finance that matters a lot for any organization, which needs to be managed and governed properly and it is only through finance unethical deals and conducts sprouts. Keep this in mind and take care.
Finally I have to endorse with the views of Hannah Clark “ Chief Ethics Officer- who needs them?
PS: Comments delayed due to preferential pre-occupation

2:38 PM

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