Is Corporate Governance Enabling or Stifling Enterprise and Entrepreneurship?

Written by Professor Colin Coulson-Thomas FCMI - 09 September 2015

A theme paper for the forthcoming 15th London Global Convention on Governance and Sustainability is now available online [ posted 21st August].

It raises a series of questions about contemporary approaches to corporate governance and their relevance to entrepreneurs, SMEs and the family businesses that are so important in many parts of the world:

  1. Is compliance with corporate governance codes inhibiting innovation, risk taking and diversity to address particular circumstances?
  2. To what extent should governance be general and standard as opposed to appropriate to the context?
  3. Why is there so little innovation and variety in governance structures and practices?
  4. Why are so many boards adopting a standard model rather than thinking about government arrangements that are appropriate for the situation of a particular enterprise, its aspirations, opportunities and challenges and stage of development?
  5. Is the governance community a vested interest seeking codes, complexity and compliance because of the benefits they brings to them as suppliers of governance services?

The theme paper raises a host of other questions...

Do we need a revolution in corporate governance, a new model, different approaches for various situations, or is it just a question of a shift of emphasis?

The 15th London Global Convention on Corporate Governance and Sustainability of the Institute of Directors, India will be held in London from 7th to 9th October 2015. Following a Global Business Meet at the House of Lords and a special session on the changing role of finance professionals in the boardroom at Chartered Accountants Hall on the first day, the conference element of the convention and the presentation of Golden Peacock Awards will be held at the Millennium Hotel in Grosvenor Square. Further details are available from:

Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas

Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas FCMI, an experienced chairman of award winning companies and vision holder of successful transformation programmes holds a portfolio of corporate, public and academic appointments. He has helped companies in over 40 countries to improve director, board and corporate performance. In addition to chairing corporate boards he chairs the group audit and risk committee of United Learning, chairs the statutory Education and Registration Standards Committee of the General Osteopathic Council of which he is a lay member, is a member of the business school team at the University of Greenwich, Director-General of IOD India for UK and Europe and leader of the OLJ's international governance initiative. Colin is the author of over 60 books and reports, including ‘Transforming Knowledge Management’, ‘Talent Management 2', ‘Transforming Public Services’ , 'Winning Companies; Winning People' and ‘Developing Directors’. Since being the world's first professor of corporate transformation he has held professorial appointments in Europe, North and South America, the Middle East, India and China. He was educated at the LSE, the London Business School and the Universities of Aston, Chicago, South Africa and Southern California. A Change Agent and Transformation Leader Award winner, Colin is a fellow of seven chartered bodies and secured first place prizes in the final examinations of three professions. He can be contacted at His latest books are available from

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