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Tool Up for Compliance PDF Print E-mail
Written by Groupe Intellex Globa;   
Thursday, 11 February 2010 00:00

New tools for ensuring compliance shown at world congress

Speaking in Bangalore at the World Quality Congress (January 2010) the central message of Prof. Coulson-Thomas’s keynote address was that ‘Boards need to move on from formulating codes of practice to equipping people to implement them.’

Prof. Coulson-Thomas, Bangalore Jan 2010The Corporate Governance Summit and 20th World Congress on Total Quality was organised by the Institute of Directors in India and the World Council for Corporate Governance. The theme of the conference was "Restoring Trust in the Markets by Enhancing the Quality of Boardroom”. Prof. Coulson-Thomas spoke on improving the quality of corporate boards and on the challenges of ethical leadership in the economy of spiralling aspirations.  He also chaired a session of the Congress and served as one of the judges for awards for Corporate Social responsibility.

Tools for translation of policy into action

Business leaders need to ensure their people have the tools to apply statements of values and ethical codes in their daily work. “Far too often” said Prof Coulson-Thomas, “corporate value statements and codes of ethical conduct are little more than words in an annual report or on a website. They can be referred to if someone asks about them, but at other times people may be just aware of their existence rather than actively applying them.”

“There is often”, he suggested, “a gap between rhetoric and reality, a gulf between aspiration and achievement. Many well meaning boards lack the means of knowing whether or not the values and practices they champion are being applied in the heat of battle, when there is a contract to be won, time to be saved or a budget to be cut. They restate the values and keep their fingers crossed.”

“there is an alternative to passing resolutions, making speeches and then hoping for the best. It is now possible to build best practices and the right way of doing things into corporate processes and the tools that people use to do their jobs. One can boost performance, speed up responses, reduce costs and at the same time contain risks and ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, codes and corporate policies.”

Coulson-Thomas believes “It is possible to be both successful and responsible, and to reconcile the need for profit with other requirements such as longer term sustainability. A new generation of tools makes it much easier for people to do stressful and difficult jobs effectively and ethically. They can quickly make an impact in areas where the pressures to cut corners may be the greatest. ”


Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas, an experienced chairman of award winning companies, is author of ‘Winning Companies; Winning People’ (Policy Publications, 2007) and ‘Transforming the Company, Manage Change, Compete and Win’ (Kogan Page, 2002/4), and principal author of ‘The Responsive Organisation’ methodology, leads the ‘leading performance improvement and corporate transformation’ research and best practice programme.

Colin has worked with over 100 boards to improve board effectiveness and/or corporate performance, and has spoken at over 200 national and international conferences in over 40 countries. He can be contacted by telephone: +44 (0) 1733 361 149, E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or via 


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