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Life after a Pandemic – Part 1

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As we approach the end of a year that will forever be etched on the walls of our minds and recall the collapse of many less developed businesses; as they buckled under the weight of increased economic challenges, we poise to begin the rebuilding of our businesses and our economy. The recovery from any crisis is usually long and difficult and the prediction of a recovery date is often impossible, because of the varying degrees of impact and speed of the recovery process. Even so, it is believed that an economic turnaround can be accelerated by the decisions of our corporations, which are the posts that hold up our economic structure. Over the past months, we had much time to pause and consider how our businesses are currently operating. Many flaws in our operations and short comings of our leaders were unveiled.

We are now forced to examine the purpose of our corporations, the duties of our directors and how these individuals at the helm of our corporations are evaluated. One may argue that, for the most part as a Caribbean region, we are yet to take the issue of corporate governance seriously and hence are yet to realise that economic success is only possible with a holistic approach to governance. With the decision-making process concentrated in the boardroom and then filtered down, who holds the executives accountable? How cognizant are our directors of the practical aspects of their duties? Is not the function of directorship more than a quick read through of a list of duties and responsibilities before appointment and a tick box exercise of meeting attendance? Is there continuous review of the Corporate Governance Code to ensure that they are still applicable and relevant to our island nations, particularly, since most of these codes were adopted from the United Kingdom Corporate Governance Code?

As we struggle to find our footing and to secure the sustainability of our developing economies, we can no longer ignore the ‘elephant in the room’. We are duty-bound to ask the hard questions and address the issues head on. The time has come for us to examine the what, how and whys of our corporations. To establish a vision, without such our people will perish, to determine where we are and where we are desirous of going and to develop a plan on how to get there.

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