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Personal governance: How can supervisory boards (still) improve?

This post is also available in German

Over the past few weeks, I have dealt with the Corporate Governance Code at various levels and argued that the company does not need a rigid corset, but guidelines. In my opinion, this applies even more to those responsible themselves, and we are trying to live up to this claim with the professional principles of the Association of Supervisory Boards in Germany (VARD), which we call our “Personal Governance Code”.

In it, we defined twelve concise principles on topics such as “independence”, “education and training” or “availability in time”, which supervisory boards should use as a guideline in order to become (even) better.

And you will notice from the wording that our principles – unlike the Corporate Governance Code for companies – are not a rigid corset, but suggestions and guidelines whose concrete form is left to you.

Impulses instead of gear

Behind this is a philosophy that stands in contrast to the approach of the Government Commission on the German Corporate Governance Code (DCGK): We don’t want to patronize anyone, but rather provide help and impetus to think about and discuss governance issues – and to implement the principles in the way that makes the most sense for the respective company or person.

I am convinced that in this way we are promoting a positive approach and an independent personal governance culture. And the growing number of VARD members and the intense debates we are having reinforce my conviction that this culture is more appropriate and more purposeful than any gangsterism. It is therefore high time that the Corporate Governance Code also became a cultural driver.

Any additions, comments, objections? I look forward to your feedback: dehnen@vard.de

Editorial by Peter H. Dehnen -> About the Person.

This post is also available in German