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Cleanliness and Good Governance

During the lockdown, as we spent more time at home, many of the home chores have become part of our routine. One routine, I always had even before the lockdown, is emptying the kitchen waste and recycling bins. Yes, we recycle and I actually breakdown the carbon waste and separate the plastics, no matter how insignificant it may seem. I don’t want any tiny fish stuck in any plastic that I use.

The bins fill up quickly and I take them out to the large council bins and every week the bin man with the lorries come and take all the waste. Each time, I bring the empty bins back into the garden, I feel a sense of accomplishment and then look forward to the next cycle.

You must be confused by now as to why I am talking about this rubbish. Well, this weekly routine very much relates to and reminds me of my day to day professional job. I work as financial governance expert helping many organisations, large and small, improve their governance and finances.

As humans, organisations also accumulate rubbish – this is in the form of bad practice, bad relations, inefficiencies and bad impact. This is not necessarily generated through bad intentions but sometimes the most sincere actions result in these consequences. Exactly like, the food we consume, we need the energy and pleasure, however this generates waste and unintended consequences.

Like our homes, the rubbish that organisations generate also needs disposing otherwise with time, this gives a bad odour and can result in “unwanted rodents” and harm. I have seen this too many times with damaged HR relationships, loss of funds, bad accounting and financial control, reputational damage, legal issues and conflicts in Boards.

Like our homes, this is only possible when organisations regularly clean themselves by self-audits, self-accountability and regular external scrutiny. Recognizing the reality of this generated unintended rubbish / risks, is the utmost skill required for those that run organisations i.e. Executives and Trustees.

No organisation regardless of size and wealth is immune from the accumulating rubbish and those organisation that take rubbish seriously are the ones that are the most clean and have the biggest impact with an intact clean image and reputation.

As I work with many of my clients improving their accounts, governance and performance, I always get the same satisfaction, if not more, like when I return the bins to their location, ready for the next challenge and cycle.

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