Governance is receiving a lot of attention at the moment. In every recession and after every corporate collapse there's a determination to learn the lesson this time, so it's not surprising that corporate governance is again in the spotlight, and the usual questions are being asked. What is the role of the director? Should there be more, less or better regulation? How should remuneration of executives be set? To whom should directors be accountable? And the scandal of MPs' expenses is a governance issue too: the language may change, but the questions remain similar. What is the role of the Speaker? Should MPs be responsible for determining their own pay? How should MPs' expenses claims be settled and regulated?
Governance is not just an issue for the select few running blue-chip companies: it is an integral part of management. Real managers who run real businesses and not for profit organisations, whatever their size, need to deal with the issue and see it as an opportunity to work better.
Rupert Merson is a partner at BDO Stoy Hayward. He lectures at the London Business School and has a regular column in the Financial Times. He is also a published poet and church organist. He has consulted and written extensively on small and medium-sized businesses. He lives in South London.