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AfricaMoney | August 20, 2017

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Entrepreneur ExpertSpeak: Board with a culture of debate a must for enterprise success

Entrepreneur ExpertSpeak: Board with a culture of debate a must for enterprise success

Carl Bates, a global entrepreneur, spoke to AfricaMoney on the importance of enterprise governance, which is a tool to enhance organisational performance, leading to overall economic growth, and, with the right application, enterprise governance is a support system for Mauritian businesses to compete in a global environment.

Carl Bates is a global entrepreneur, speaker, author, mentor and director. Currently based in South Africa, he is a dynamic entrepreneur from New Zealand who guides small to medium businesses and privately-held companies to achieve Extreme Business Success.

Edited excerpts from an exclusive interview:

Can you please tell us what corporate governance is all about?

Let us call it enterprise governance instead, as governance is not only for corporates. From my perspective, enterprise governance is about the role of the board in ensuring organisational success in driving and ensuring performance. It is about compliance and growing shareholder value. Companies should implement governance effectively to support their business growth and success.

Does enterprise governance differ according to the company’s size or the sector it operates in?

The concept of enterprise governance is relevant to all organisations. Essentially, governance is constant but the way you are going to apply it is different across diverse sectors and various firms.

How can corporate governance enhance an entity’s effectiveness?

It is the key driver of entity effectiveness. Companies can use the foundation of governance to move through and get over the risk of business failure, while maximising the opportunities for increased profitability, improved shareholder value and fundamental and sustainable business growth. Through the book “Traversing the Avalanche”, you will develop a deeper understanding of what enterprise governance entails, how to maximise its benefits and who you should take with you on the journey.

What culture must the board of directors of a company adopt so as to drive organisational performance?
A board must adopt a culture of accountability, trust, challenge, can-do attitude and a willingness to debate issues. I firmly believe that a board where there is no culture of debate can never succeed.

For a country like Mauritius, please comment on how the application of governance may be expected to benefit the economy as a whole?

The application of enterprise governance will drive business performance, economic growth, GDP growth, support SMEs in becoming medium-sized organisations and support Mauritian businesses to compete in a global environment.

Can you explain how accountability differs across shareholders, directors and managers?

Here, I must introduce my readers to the Law of Three Hats – Foundation of Extreme Business Success.

Shareholder-managers so often do not truly understand the different ‘hats’ that they wear within their own company – in particular the three ‘hats’ of shareholder, director and manager. However, it is essential that shareholder-managers understand that there are different roles to be discharged and the critical distinctions that must be applied, in order to succeed. It is through understanding these specific laws that shareholder managers can then embark on a journey to true business development, growth and extreme success.


-By Wazna Gunga

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