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.

The recent G8 summit provided another revealing glimpse into how bankrupt the world’s top democratic heads are at addressing its most vexing problems.

When the leaders of the G8 nations descended on Japan this week for their annual gathering, their private jets left a carbon footprint larger than the Grand Canyon. With that as a prelude to their discussions, they decided that greenhouse gases could be reduced significantly -by 2050. Later, over a dinner which included corn-stuffed caviar, winter lily bulb and summer savoury, hairy crab “Kegani” bisque soup, roasted lamb with cepes and black truffle, and exquisite offerings from 19 other dishes, the group digested the growing world food shortage and the soaring prices that have caused riots from Port-au-Prince to Cairo. Yet the gathering produced only re-hashed statements on this global epidemic and no meaningful plans on how to combat it. The spiraling price of oil and looming economic turmoil failed to prompt concrete action as well. Disquieting forces set the world further adrift while its management dine on the fine repast of complaceny and self-satisfaction.

We have often asked on these pages what crisis has the G7 or G8 ever anticipated or adequately addressed? Where are the Marshall Plans that the scale of today’s global disasters call out for? Where is the vision a troubled world needs? Where is the hope that the hungry children of Africa, and so many now cowering in refugee camps across a continent caught in the grip of genocide, to come from? Far from displaying the foresight of real leaders, they give the impression of a bunch of people who even have trouble getting the picture right when looking at it in a rear-view mirror. To have the eyes of the world upon them -at their own behest- at this time of crisis on so many fronts and to engage in such a shameful spectacle of hypocrisy shows how out of touch this group is. What is it about the world’s democracies that its collective leadership appears so irrelevant and lacking in an authentic and inspiring voice? Why are we faced with a plethora of smaller than life figures who seem unworthy of the term leader?

Ultimately, it comes down to what stakeholders are willing to tolerate and how much folly, stupidity and self-aggrandizement they think is too much before meaningful change is produced.

To that end, the recent G8 summit provided another revealing glimpse into how bankrupt the world’s top democratic heads are at addressing its most vexing problems. It is our choice for the Outrage of the Week.

With this posting the Outrage will take a much-needed break for a few weeks, while reserving the right to return in the event that the usual suspects act up too much in its absence.