Tis the season! 2022 is almost at an end, and I can’t help but feel sentimental. Some of it has to do with the festive season. Christmas has always been a wonderful time to unwind, relax, and enjoy the company of our loved ones (for those of us who are blessed enough to get those few days of rest).
However, beyond all the merriment of the coming days, as we wrap up for the year 2022, I can’t help but look back and marvel at all the many ways that I and the SCGN have grown in the last 339 days. So many lessons have been learned in what may be one of the best years in SCGN’s history (at least under my leadership).
At the beginning of this year, SCGN was severely behind in terms of its digital transformation journey. Our stakeholder engagement was also not what one would call “the best.” We did what we could, but it definitely wasn’t enough. To keep up with the times, we had to undergo extensive rebranding and digital transformation. As much as I saw the value in the venture, it was not the easiest thing for me to get used to. I have to thank my team for sticking with me through the whole process to get to where we are today.
The execution of the brand refresh reinforced one of my long-held beliefs about corporate governance: You must be open to change and evolution. I also learned the value of proper stakeholder engagement. Common sense dictates that an organisation will be hard-pressed to succeed if the relationship with its stakeholders is not properly managed. Through the brand refresh, I was able to see the practical value of building and maintaining those relationships, and I don’t plan on neglecting them again.
Another important corporate governance tenet that 2022 has reinforced for me as we work with our members and clients is the immense value of a properly structured and evaluated board. With all the emerging challenges facing the world, the importance of board evaluation has become more evident than ever. Many unprecedented and challenging events have occurred within the past 2 years, and you will find that organisations with solid leadership are better equipped to adapt, and some even thrive, in these unfriendly conditions. I am not the only one to notice this. Organisations and corporations are also taking note.
In 2022, SCGN successfully conducted board evaluations and corporate governance audits for different organisations, along with other board and corporate governance enhancement programmes. Our services have been able to assist these companies in becoming more efficient, transparent and compliant in their governance processes, and frameworks as well as regulatory compliance.
As much as we focus on today, as corporate governance practitioners, our eyes must also be fixed on what comes tomorrow. This is why we focused our 2022 annual conference on “Digital, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: Evolving Trends in Governance and Board Culture”. The event was a huge success, with a diverse collection of highly esteemed speakers from Nigeria, Africa, and beyond.
It was a very insightful event where attendees got to hear first-hand, practical experiences from their peers and role models. Issues around the present and future state of corporate governance as well as its value in developing organisations and society as a whole.
I’d need at least a 2-part series to break down what I got from the conference, but if I had to choose just one thing, I would pick Dr. Emma Fitzgerald’s words on how proper corporate governance practices can stand the test of time and the challenges of change. She gave an inspiring account of how she helped create the Women’s Football Club during her student days at Oxford in the 80s and how the processes they created back then are still largely in place today.
Here are two little gifts from me to you
SCGN’s outlook for the future goes beyond what we focus on, but maybe even more importantly, who we focus on. As the world evolves, so does the population: Millennials and Gen Z are rapidly ascending corporate ladders and assuming positions of leadership around the world. For those who came before, we have to prepare them as much as possible. This is why SCGN has begun to build resources that will help any young or aspiring executive on their journey to proper corporate governance and the board room.
Part of this is the Corporate Governance and Board Interview Series, an initiative that creates a platform for boardroom experts to share their board and governance experiences. Over the course of the year, we spoke with four (4) corporate leaders:
- Mr. Egbert Momoh, MNI (Chairman, Investment One)
- Elder Felix Ohiwerei (Board Chairman, ARM Holdco)
- Mrs. Adeolu Adewumi-Zer (MD, Allianz Nigeria)
- Aminu Babangida (Board Chairman, Unity Bank Plc.)
We also had multiple corporate governance training programmes on a variety of topics ranging from economic outlook to boardroom readiness and effectiveness to corporate governance and sustainable value creation.
This year has also proven the value of strategic partnerships and collaboration. I doubt we would have been able to achieve as much as we did this year if we did not have private and public partners backing us. With their help, we continue to live up to our mandate of making corporate governance accessible in the Nigerian and African regions.
To end this, I want to address young and aspiring directors and executives in our midst – Please don’t function in a vacuum. If you have read through this article, you will see that all that I have learned this year would not have been possible without some help here and there. Cherish partnerships and collaboration. Join an association or two. The connections you make will evolve you and your chosen career path in ways you cannot anticipate.
This also applies to us older heads. They say Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it definitely wasn’t built by one person. If we want a thriving and equitable society, we must work together to create it.
The Society’s training calendar for 2023 has been published. The training calendar also has a list of other events we will be hosting in 2023. To get access to the full calendar, visit https://corpgovnigeria.org/2023-training-calendar/
That’s it from me in 2022.
Happy Holidays. See you in 2023
Yours in best corporate governance practice,
About The Society for Corporate Governance Nigeria
SCGN is a registered not-for-profit organisation committed to the development of corporate governance best practices in Nigeria. Today, the Society is the foremost institution committed to the development and promotion of corporate governance best practices in Nigeria.