Governance, a World Issue with Divided Views

After a fairly short trip to Europe I feel I have returned to what has a real sense of continuing interested times. One’s perspective is certainly varied when one reads and listens to the views expressed internally elsewhere.

I left Australia with the government talking up the future and there being positive signs of future growth. This was further supported by a sense of advancement being made in the United States and a belief that the underlying figures are positive.

Upon arriving in Europe the headlines are awash with the fact that the English pound has collapsed under the BREXIT decision and that Scotland has reopened the thought of independence. This was then later added to by the fact that the British Prime Minister, Theresa May’s announcement that she had executive salaries fairly and squarely in her sights. With a health system on the brink and the level of debt increasing there are many expressing serious concerns for a real future solution.

News then continues to bubble of the circumstances of Deutsche Bank, according to Relbanks 2015 statistics, the 11th largest Bank in the world by total assets is in dire straights with a potential US fine that could make the bank insolvent possibly two (or more) times over. In this the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has clearly indicated that there will be no bail out of DB by the German Government.

All of the above is just considered normal daily news by those we talked to and it’s simply treated as the new norm. Not surprisingly though the one point that was very much on centre court for just about anyone is the United States (US) Presidential election and what appears, from every one that we spoke to, an absolute fear of a Trump victory. In fact the level of fear of such a result was to me quite concerning.

Leaders of countries come and go, some are good and some are not, but there are in most countries, and definitely in the US, a whole system of governance that seeks to protect itself and it is not truly possible for one individual person to run rampant uncontrolled. Look at what President Obama could not get through Congress during his term.

The concern going forward is that hype could be allowed to overtake reality and then the whole system could lose control. It is seeing something that is not there that does damage.

Unfortunately in business many seek to exert control based on their own beliefs, that they are right and all else wrong. They then seek to support such stances with legal support that may well argue the cause but not necessarily be the genuinely correct solution. Often defined by money upfront please, but you are the client and you call the shots!

As owners and/or operators of businesses we must be ever vigilant about what we put our faith in. It is not wrong, in fact it is critical, that one believes in ones self and ones business. However one must not lose sight of reality; and one must keep reality in perspective.

In the late 1980’s I remember triggering a passionate conversation with a senior Andersen’s partner from the US, with a finger in my chest I was advised, “that there was not a company on this planet big enough to bring this firm down.” Clearly my concerns were not supported.

It’s amazing how reality will in the end catch up with itself.

Governance is about the whole community, not business, not the government, not the individual; but the whole community.