In the wake of Austrac’s allegations of multiple money laundering
breaches, the Commonwealth Bank board now has an independent
inquiry from APRA, an ASIC investigation and a shareholder class action
to navigate — and a new CEO to appoint. Commonwealth Bank chair
Catherine Livingstone AO FAICD, acknowledged the ultimate collective
responsibility of the board, the CEO and the group executives. The bank
is funding the APRA prudential inquiry into governance, culture and
accountability at CBA, which is expected to report in six months.
After months of bitter infighting, the Australian Olympic Committee
(AOC) opted for an independent review of its organisation, which exposed
a dysfunctional culture marked by favouritism, unfairness and fear.
Longstanding AOC president John Coates AC and new CEO Matt Carroll
agreed to implement the review’s 17 recommendations and released The
Ethics Centre report in full. Coates then publicly disavowed himself of any
responsibility for the issues. “I’m the president, I’m not the senior leader
being criticised,” he told a press conference.
The quality of individual judgement,
when faced with the need to make
the right decision... determines
the character and culture of an
- Meena Thuraisingham GAICD
Meena Thuraisingham GAICD, an organisational psychologist and
principal at advisory practice BoardQ, says instruments of governance are
only as effective as the way they are practised. “Worryingly, the more rules
you create, the more people are lulled into a false sense of security. They
rely on the existence of the rules and fail to think more deeply about what
is right and the role personal behaviour plays. It is ultimately the quality
of individual judgement, when faced with the need to make the right
decision, which determines the character and culture of an organisation.
A leader’s ability to judge well is key. This can be developed so that leaders
can ask who a decision will hurt or benefit, and how.”