Tone at the top vs actual culture

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Tone at the top, as an important governance principle, has gained more prominence over the last number of years as one corporate scandal after the other rocked the world. It is clear that Boards must take ultimate responsibility for building and maintaining an ethical culture in the organisation over which they preside. It is therefore paramount that organisational leaders say and do the right things in line with the organisational values they want to see permeating throughout the organisation.

Saying the right things is of course easier than doing the right things. Furthermore, doing the right things are often only interpreted as the Board walking the talk, i.e. the values of the organisation being evident in how Board members conduct themselves. Herein lies a problem.

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Encouraging empathy in your organisation

The Covid-19 pandemic and related lockdowns around the globe has put a spotlight on the need for empathy. Many have been able to display great empathy, while others have been struggling. I suspect that those organisations that have typically been bottom line driven, would have found it a lot more difficult to deal with the levels of empathy required in dealing with employees who suddenly had to go into a mini diaspora, while dealing with the inevitable bereavement that accompanied the virus as it wreaked havoc.

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