There is no substitute for a culture of integrity in organizations. Compliance alone with the law is not enough. History shows that those who make a practice of skating close to the edge always wind up going over the line. A higher bar of ethics performance is necessary. That bar needs to be set and monitored in the boardroom.  ~J. Richard Finlay writing in The Globe and Mail.

Sound governance is not some abstract ideal or utopian pipe dream. Nor does it occur by accident or through sudden outbreaks of altruism. It happens when leaders lead with integrity, when directors actually direct and when stakeholders demand the highest level of ethics and accountability.  ~ J. Richard Finlay in testimony before the Standing Committee on Banking, Commerce and the Economy, Senate of Canada.

The Finlay Centre for Corporate & Public Governance is the longest continuously cited voice on modern governance standards. Our work over the course of four decades helped to build the new paradigm of ethics and accountability by which many corporations and public institutions are judged today.

The Finlay Centre was founded by J. Richard Finlay, one of the world’s most prescient voices for sound boardroom practices, sanity in CEO pay and the ethical responsibilities of trusted leaders. He coined the term stakeholder capitalism in the 1980s.

We pioneered the attributes of environmental responsibility, social purposefulness and successful governance decades before the arrival of ESG. Today we are trying to rebuild the trust that many dubious ESG practices have shattered. 


We were the first to predict seismic boardroom flashpoints and downfalls and played key roles in regulatory milestones and reforms.

We’re working to advance the agenda of the new boardroom and public institution of today: diversity at the table; ethics that shine through a culture of integrity; the next chapter in stakeholder capitalism; and leadership that stands as an unrelenting champion for all stakeholders.

Our landmark work in creating what we called a culture of integrity and the ethical practices of trusted organizations has been praised, recognized and replicated around the world.


Our rich institutional memory, combined with a record of innovative thinking for tomorrow’s challenges, provide umatached resources to corporate and public sector players.

Trust is the asset that is unseen until it is shattered.  When crisis hits, we know a thing or two about how to rebuild trust— especially in turbulent times.

We’re still one of the world’s most recognized voices on CEO pay and the role of boards as compensation credibility gatekeepers. Somebody has to be.

Neal Hefti | 1922 – 2008

We like occasionally to take a break from the deafening cascade of crises and disasters punctuating daily life and turn to some other pursuits that make the world better.  Music features prominently among them.  The artists, composers and musicians who have come this way and left so much behind that has inspired and brought often indescribable joy deserve to be remembered.

Musician, arranger and composer Neal Hefti passed away last week. At a young age, he played the trumpet skillfully enough, but found his musical skills soon taking him into the world of arranging. He did key arrangements for Woody Herman and Count Basie. For Basie, he composed and arranged the classic Li’l Darlin’, a popular big band staple even today. (more…)

Richard Rodgers at 106: Master of Timeless Tunes that Inspire

Nowhere has America’s contribution to the world been more far-reaching or happily embraced than in its music. And no one contributed more to that gift than Richard Rodgers, whose birthday is celebrated today. He composed some of the most inspirational songs ever written, and with his lyrics partners Lorenz Hart (they wrote the song Manhattan, which was a career turner) and, later, Oscar Hammerstein II, churned out more than 900 songs and 40 Broadway musicals, including The King and I, Oklahoma, The Sound of Music and South Pacific, which is currently enjoying a Broadway remake.

On the weekend that observes his birth, on a hot day in New York City in 1902, do your mother or father or your grandparents a favor and play some of his famous tunes for their enjoyment. Even more important, if you haven’t experienced his work, play some for yourself. All the big singers of the past like Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald performed Rodgers’ work. But many great contemporary jazz singers, like Tierney Sutton (who celebrates her own birthday today as well) have also taken to producing modern upbeat versions of his monumental songbook, like Manhattan, Where or When and It Never Entered My Mind.

In the world of Richard Rodgers and his partners you find words and music that live on forever. Once you’ve got a Rodgers and Hart or Rodgers and Hammerstein song in your head, you will never walk alone. They are more than music, they are contributions to an approach to life that captivates the human heart and all its best emotions. What a gift it is to the world that people like Richard Rodgers have walked here before and have taken up a pen or a piano or a paintbrush.

Discover them again, or for the first time. They can change your life.

Three Kings Worth Saluting

martin-luther-king.jpg Benny Goodman.jpg Elvis stamp.jpg

The celebration of Martin Luther King day serves also as a reminder that America has produced other kings who have changed the world for the better. Civil rights and music are two contributions that have given the United States a unique place in the hearts of many, regardless of native language or culture.

This is perhaps a good thing to reflect upon during this time of America’s testing in Iraq and the unsettling effect it continues to have on the American image abroad. Its reminder is all the more timely given that almost each day seems to bring more troubling stories about another new instance of domestic surveillance and with it a further incursion into the privacy of citizens.

The forces that liberate the soul and allow people to be treated with dignity and respect still remain music to the ears of countless millions –and to most Americans themselves. This was something Dr. King uniquely understood and gave such eloquent voice to. The other kings provided the melody in their own equally distinct fashions.

For more youthful readers, the fellow in the middle photo is Benny Goodman, known in his time as “the king of swing.” Benny was a pioneer of civil rights in the music industry, showcasing many African Americans who were shunned by other top bands, including a young Lionel Hampton. In the 1930s, the Benny Goodman trio and quartet were among the first racially integrated jazz groups to record and play before wide audiences. Take it from a one-time aspiring jazz musician, this cat played one cool stick. He was a favorite of both Dr. King and Elvis for the “content of his character” as well as the quality of his talent.