KAMPALA: Boards of directors hold a paramount role in shaping successful organizations, bolstering economies, and fostering thriving communities. Strong board leadership and effective governance instill the confidence necessary for investment and growth. However, as the world undergoes profound changes and confronts a perfect storm of pressures, leading board members are finding it increasingly challenging to navigate their organizations toward sustainable growth. Traditional 20th-century governance models no longer align with the volatile, uncertain, and disrupted operating environment of today.
Addressing this critical issue, the recently concluded #LEADConvention23, held at the prestigious Kampala Serena Hotel, sparked illuminating discussions. The convention’s theme, “Governance and Business Resilience in a Dynamic Regulatory Landscape,” brought together a distinguished audience of executives, non-executives, directors, board chairpersons, and CEOs. Notably, NWSC’s Head of Risk on the Board, Ms. Rachel Mbabazi, graced the event and shared the success story of NWSC.
In her insightful presentation, Ms. Mbabazi emphasized that exceptional corporate governance and regulation are not cure-alls for resilience but function as vital immunization for organizations against inevitable shocks. Drawing an analogy to immunization boosters, she highlighted the need for regular updates and risk management measures to safeguard the organization’s defenses.
Central to NWSC’s risk focus are the 4Ps of corporate governance: people, purpose, processes, and performance. This comprehensive approach underscores the importance of investing in human capital, having a clear sense of purpose, efficient processes, and a performance-oriented culture.
Furthermore, Ms. Mbabazi elucidated on the transition from operational management to governance. As NWSC matures and expands its operations from 23 towns in 2013 to an impressive 273 towns, the organization has undergone a paradigm shift. This shift signifies a higher level of organizational maturity, where leaders prioritize strategic decision-making, oversight, and accountability, thus ensuring long-term success and sustainability.
Amidst these insights, Ms. Mbabazi also shed light on NWSC’s proactive measures, including tree planting and water stabilization interventions, among others. Such initiatives exemplify the organization’s commitment to risk management and effective stakeholder engagement, positioning NWSC optimally for future challenges.
The LEAD Convention itself has a noble origin. Faced with a dearth of qualified directors for companies seeking board-level appointments, LEAD was founded to provide a consolidated reference point and develop potential directors. By creating a database of eligible individuals and offering resources to the market, LEAD has made a significant contribution to shaping competent board members. The organization’s commitment to board training and development further underscores its dedication to enhancing governance across various sectors.