Published: 5 Sep 2016

Find out why operational governance will take centre stage at this year's World Quality Day on November 10

This year the CQI will be using World Quality Day to begin a debate on making operational governance count.

Why governance?

Simply, because failure in product, service, behaviour and efficiency is putting the reputation of organisations in the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors under the spotlight like never before.

Why the quality profession?

If society wishes to be assured that the stated organisational values and policies are enacted within organisations, more corporate governance alone will not be the solution. The quality profession can provide the required assurance and insight into the extent to which values and policy are lived within an organisation, through the system of operational governance we know as the business management system.

Improving this link between existing corporate and operational governance systems makes sense. Indeed, organisations are quickly facing some stark choices: using the business management system as their listening station to understand what is happening in their organisations and to improve; or keeping their fingers crossed that they do not have a ‘libor’ or ‘horsemeat’ event brewing and wait for more code and regulation to descend upon them.

To avoid the latter, organisations will need to move fast. In the UK, prime minister Theresa May said recently: 'I want to see changes in the way that big business is governed... we're going to change that system and we're going to have not just consumers represented on company boards, but workers as well.'

And in the US, chief executives from 12 of the largest corporations in the US and Canada, including Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway, Jeff Immelt of General Electric, Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan Chase and Mary Barra of General Motors, have authored the ‘commonsense corporate governance principles’ in the hope of fast-tracking constructive conversations on the subject.

What is the CQI doing?

We are partnering with the UK’s chartered body for promoting good corporate governance, the Institute of Directors (IoD), to produce the 2016 Good Governance Report. In this way we will be encouraging organisations to embrace and make better use of good operational governance, assurance and improvement systems championed by the quality profession.

The CQI has a powerful community of nearly 20,000 members and Corporate Partners already championing excellence in operational governance, assurance and improvement. We hope that the CQI work with the IoD will provide a useful way to promote this agenda within their organisations, supply chains and sectors.

What can others do?

The UK and global quality infrastructure must also step up to address the burgeoning concern over organisational performance and failure.

The accredited certification industry has an opportunity to step up and provide integrated BMS assurance services that provide non-executive committees with the insight into organisational performance and risk. Standards setting bodies should consider the link between corporate and operational governance in the codes, guides and standards they produce.

Organisations in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors should consider using good operational governance as a differentiator and publish a transparent quality statement as part of their annual report.

Find out more about World Quality Day here