Stop thinking, start acting!

January 8, 2017

Dr Meeran Chadha Borwankar’s article “Allure of Instant Justice” in the Indian Express of Friday, January 6th, is the source of the title of this blogpost. Analysis leading to paralysis is common. Most of us think a lot, talk a lot while metaphorically even wringing our hands and blaming everyone else but do very little, and that too only as much as is totally essential. I believe un-willingness to take responsibility or initiative has become an epidemic. While thinking like this, I realized that I am quite possibly myself a part of the problem. And then I recalled reading Dr Ajit Ranade’s recent article on signing off the last year and ringing in the new one – with a set of small but elegant steps for any citizen to take, to help remedy a number of ills which are not of our causing.

On that background, here’s my two paisa worth.

We are responsible for our tomorrow – and for our children’s tomorrow as well. Indeed a number of thinkers have postulated that we alone are responsible for our today! Even allowing for the influence of several other forces, we do know that what we choose to do, how we choose to do and when we choose to do definitely impact us and our society.

Since this blog is focused on Board Governance, let me address Directors of companies, with this invitation. Let us make this call to action, the theme for the year 2017. It will set the tone for the rest of our lives. Most of us already think of how we can make positive contributions to society – after we take care of the primary responsibility of running well the company on whose boards we sit. So, once the primaries are taken care of, I suggest the following actions:

– Get more concerned about how your company is complying with legal and regulatory requirements – encourage executives to go beyond the mere letter of the law and indeed evolve an internal standard that is higher than the legally required minima

– Be more sensitive to the environment, to society at large, to government’s desire to govern (where indeed you see it genuinely) and to the company’s people who are as important to create wealth for share-holders, as the capital raised from them

– Get more involved with how your CSR funds are being deployed, encourage sensitive deployment. Where there is no legal compulsion for CSR, initiate the creation of a CSR fund to enable your company’s positive and sensitive contribution to society

Not pontificating or being holier than thou. Just making a sincere invitation to change – if you have not already done so.

Disclosure: I help to run Axar Digital Services Pvt Ltd (www.axardigital.com), which markets BoardEye, a Board Governance solution that helps directors track compliance and follow through on their own decisions in the board as well as in Committees, apart from paperless meeting infrastructure.

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