Prof Colin Coulson-Thomas
- Feb. 19, 2020
-- According to the Theme Paper for the 2020 Dubai Global Convention and 30th
World Congress on Leadership for Business Excellence and Innovation many board strategies are prejudicing the future of mankind. The paper by Prof Colin Coulson-Thomas draws upon recent studies and calls for urgent reviews of corporate purposes and innovation priorities. More boards are acknowledging obligations and responsibilities to a wider range of stakeholders and future generations and/or reviewing the purpose of their companies and embracing social, economic and environmental as well as financial considerations. However, elegant, efficient, imaginative and exciting business activities, innovations and transformational breakthroughs might be, boards should question whether they can be regarded as excellent if they damage the environment, reduce biodiversity, increase global warming and are not sustainable.
For those worried about the future of mankind and the fragility of our planet, the strategies of many boards appear to be compounding challenges and problems rather than offering viable solutions. Board motivations seem to reflect what was felt to be desirable in a previous era and to largely ignore current challenges. Those who are concerned represent fertile soil for more imaginative, inspiring and positive leadership that recognizes the impossibility of mass populations in developing countries adopting the current lifestyles of developed countries. Now could be a last opportunity for some boards to engage a wider range of stakeholders, re-purpose companies, adopt environmental and social as well as financial goals and objectives, and set new priorities for excellence, innovation and investment that might create a simpler, healthier and more fulfilling and sustainable future.
Prof Colin Coulson-Thomas, President of the Institute of Management Services and leader of the International Governance Initiative of the Order of St Lazarus, is an experienced chairman of award winning companies and vision holder of successful transformation programmes. He holds a portfolio of board, professorial and other international appointments, including as Director-General (UK and Europe) of IOD India which organises the annual Dubai Global Convention and World Congress on Leadership for Business Excellence and Innovation. As chairman of Adaptation he has helped directors in over 40 countries to improve director, board and corporate performance. Details of his most recent books and reports can be found on: https://www.adaptation.ltd/