Corporate governance 2017

Building blocks of corporate culture

Corporate culture is receiving increased regulatory attention as a foundation of good governance. But what do we mean by ‘culture’? And how as a business community do we define corporate culture and the elements that create it? In our latest report, we outline some practical recommendations for boards to consider so they can play an even more effective role in fostering a successful culture - both today and in the future.

Increasing regulation

As a result of increasing regulation, the issue of 'culture' has arguably never been as high up the business agenda as it is today. Increased regulatory expectations are leading to an increasing responsibility on boards and non-executives. This includes holding executive teams to account, to make sure they are taking the issue of culture seriously and fostering it in the right way.

How do I foster an authentic culture?

Regulatory pressure is not the only driver of greater attention on the issue of culture. Insights from our International Business Report (IBR) tell us boards are taking steps already to foster an authentic culture. 50% of businesses worldwide have culture as a standing item on their board agenda (44% in Italy), while 71% have established internal controls that address culture and employee behaviour (76% in Italy).

Steps being taken by boards globally to drive corporate culture:

Chart of steps being taken by boards globally to drive corporate culture

Building a ‘corporate culture’, like many a construction project, needs building blocks. In this report we set out some practical recommendations for boards to consider when working with leadership teams in order to successfully develop a strong corporate culture.

Effective and reliable governance

Organisations are held accountable for accuracy and integrity in their business operations and they must have effective and reliable governance and compliance procedures in place. Additionally, they must understand and manage risk and seek an appropriate balance between risk and opportunities.

Our research tells us that corporate culture should also exist to do more than just tick a box in a report. It should act as a guide to future growth and success. The role of the board is to weave culture into their corporate governance responsibilities. Not just to make sure that culture complements and supports business strategy today, but to confirm that it will do so in the future.

Download "Beyond compliance - The building blocks of strong corporate culture" (PDF report) [ 3863 kb ] for more insights and our recommendations for boards to help succeed in the culture challenge.