Interview

“50% of all CFOs say their CEO has pressurised them to change the numbers”

IMD Professor Didier Cossin on why the rise of stewardship is fundamental to the evolution of our society 

The world is trying to break free from the grip of a pandemic and businesses are doing their best to cope. While they are grappling with lost growth and trimming overheads to stay competitive, the one area that CEOs cannot cut corners on is governance. If they do, sooner than later they end up paying the price through a lower valuation or worse, implosion. Didier Cossin, founder of IMD Global Board Center is an old hand at guiding companies on stewardship. In this interview with Outlook Business, he reiterates why the rise of stewardship is fundamental to the evolution of our society, and therefore, the right way forward for companies.

Governance is really about having the right moral compass. To that extent, can it be taught? Either you have it or you don’t.

I agree with you that integrity, a sense of accountability and responsibility are at the heart of true governance. At the same time, I do believe people can be groomed. There are several leaders who are committing to that, seeing their impact on society and on the organisation they are leading. There are also others who are in full conflict of interest, self-absorbed and greedy. But for those who want to do the homework, it is possible to guide and groom. That is what I do.

How do you go about doing that? What are the key pil

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