Businesses are at risk of falling behind if they fail to see the advantages of good governance and the benefits it can bring. That’s according to Evolution, the integrated fire and security systems business.
Brendan McGarrity, head of risk and design at Evolution, argues that ‘box-ticking’ to meet a legal, regulatory or compliance obligation should not be the strategy to adopt and implement.
McGarrity informed Security Matters: “I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of ‘ticking a box’ either because we don’t understand or believe in something, but simply need to get it off our desk. I’m sure, also, that there are some of those with a security remit who do much the same when it comes to governance in relation to risk. There are clear advantages and true benefits to be realised from good governance.”
As an example, McGarrity quoted a Quality Manual. “To some, it’s a manual that, once completed, can sit on a dusty shelf or be lost in a drawer, never to see daylight again unless and until a quality inspection’s due. Then there are others who see it differently. They would view a Quality Manual as a proactive tool for instigating continual improvements to a business and its operations.”
Readily embracing quality
McGarrity notes certain sectors, such as the pharmaceutical or high-tech electronics industries, embrace quality readily, and realise the benefits such an approach can bring, but others are less willing until an event obliges them to see and think differently.
He also pinpoints the Surveillance Camera Commissioner as an interesting case and highlights the example of a major retailer who sought accreditation with the Commissioner, not because they had to, but because they realised the benefits from doing so.
“The business was not obliged to have Surveillance Camera Commissioner accreditation. It did not need to tick a box. It did so to demonstrate genuine leadership and strategic influence across the sector. The senior stakeholders were engaged and found to be suitably impressed, and their brand and reputation enhanced among stakeholders and customers alike. They also realised the commercial and operational benefits that Surveillance Camera Commissioner compliance could bring. Benefits that far outweighed the costs involved, not least an increase in public confidence in the way the systems were operated and managed.”
Compliance as business enabler
McGarrity added: “Though such compliance wasn’t essential to the business concerned, the organisation saw it as a business enabler and one that affords the company competitive advantage.”
For McGarrity, that’s the key point. “Good governance should be a differentiator,” he concluded. “High-end integrators see it as an opportunity to put distance between themselves and the volume-based installers who are perhaps not as focused on building long-term relationships. That said, good governance only becomes a differentiator if the true benefits are properly understood and realised.”