"The board is the guardian of corporate governance in a company"

Ashok Soota, executive chairman of Happiest Minds, on five ways to build an ethical ecosystem

Published 5 years ago on May 03, 2019 1 minute Read

Build a good value system: The foundation for an ethical ecosystem is values, which have to be internalised and practised. Values influence behaviour and everyone in the company should get 360-degree feedback on whether values are being truly upheld.

Black and white approach to integrity: It is important to note that transgression on integrity goes well beyond financial integrity. It includes violating the company or customer’s intellectual property, indulging in improper practices to gain competitive advantage, falsifying data on resume, breaking the law of the land and also ignoring breach of integrity.

Corporate governance: The guardian of corporate governance in a company is the board of directors. Apart from statutory compliance, the board has to ensure that laws are followed in letter and spirit. Finance and People functions should act as conscience keepers for corporate governance.

Transparency and fairness: To win the trust of stakeholders, ensure transparency in all dealings. Fairness is critical but so also is perceived fairness and, therefore, the need for frequent communication.

Leaders must be role models: The influence of leaders’ behaviour cascades through the organisation. Both positive and negative behaviours get amplified. Accordingly, leaders must be role models who walk the talk.