Moving Forward

Time for Change at Finlay ON Governance

Since 2006, Finlay ON Governance has been illuminating the issues that shape the governance and leadership of our major institutions of private enterprise and public trust.

An authentic and much quoted voice for change in a democratic and economic status quo that underserves its potential and leaves too many behind, these views have represented the evolution of J. Richard Finlay’s life-long career and first-hand experiences as a relentless champion of principles of responsible capitalism and ethical leadership in the governance of major organizations.

Foreseeing the Consequences of Folly and Excess

We presaged the leadership failures and excesses on Wall Street and elsewhere that led to the Great Recession and accurately predicted the unravelling of numerous organizations, including Nortel, Livent, Hollinger, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers. We were the first to spotlight and report on the governance weaknesses of the New York Federal Reserve which were contributing factors in the banking crisis of 2008, and warned of the mounting backlash against the TARP bailout.  Citing example after example, we placed responsibility for the subprime-related financial meltdown on the boards of the banks and other institutions that failed to exercise proper governance practices and guard against excessive risk, along with government regulators, including the Federal Reserve, that were asleep at the switch.  It was, as we called it then, a perfect storm of breakdowns in every aspect of gatekeeping  and governance that was entirely avoidable.

The Rise of Turbo Populism

Our views on the corrosive effects of overreaching CEO compensation have been documented in some of the world’s foremost media.  We coined the term turbo populism in 2008 to augur the sea change of voter discontent that was beginning to alter the political landscape of both the Democratic and Republican parties in the United States, and were among the first to raise alarm over a growing wealth and income gap unmatched by any time since the 1930s.

A New Paradigm for Responsible Capitalism

We called for a new paradigm for responsible capitalism: one that rewards value in performance and results, but one that is also based on the timeless values of integrity, fairness, respect and compassion.  It is a concept shaped by the belief, built over four decades of first-hand experience and analysis, that only when men and women embrace the deep public trust and ethical duties their leadership positions hold, and are driven by the genuine desire to enhance the lives of others, can the larger and more transforming mission of responsible capitalism be fulfilled.

Needless to say, our view that directors of major publicly traded corporations needed to really direct, and not merely wield rubber stamps, was a recurring theme.  It is also one that proved apt to the 21st century catastrophe that rocked capitalism.

World-Wide Influence 

Many of these views and ideas, made freely available without restrictions or advertising, have been cited in legislative debates, quoted in the media and referenced in law journals and best-selling books.  They have been used in university courses, contributed to the review of laws and regulations and served as the basis for case studies in business schools.   They have also attracted the interest and support of politicians, enlightened business leaders, scholars and thoughtful individuals around the world.

Unfortunately, they have been the subject of repeated incidents of intellectual theft and plagiarism on a global basis.  On dozens of occasions, entire postings have been misappropriated and used in both university and journalistic settings without any attribution to the original authorship.  In a several instances, we have been contacted by university professors and teachers to advise that an improper use had occurred and to request that we clarify that we held the original rights to the work we originated.  It would run counter to any reasonable standard of ethics to permit this to continue.

A Change That Adds Value 

As a result, it has become necessary to change the delivery mechanism for J. Richard Finlay’s much sought-after work in a way that recognizes the value of his unique voice and its ability to inform, inspire and foresee. Finlay ON Governance, and its companion commentatorial, Finlay ON Ethics, is now available exclusively on an annual paid subscription basis to discerning clients throughout the world who value an authentic voice framed in a percipient perspective.  A sample of previous work from Finlay ON Governance that has struck a particularly resonant tone with readers over the past decade is available here.

Access is also available on a pro bono basis to select groups and individuals who share a similar interest but are unable to meet the paid subscription requirements.  In both cases, clients are subject to pre-approval in order to minimize the risk of further copyright infringement.

Insight and Eloquence that Defines the Times

In addition to allowing for subject areas and analysis to be more specifically targeted to the needs of subscribing clients, this change also brings with it the opportunity to candidly explore a range of ideas not previously part of Finlay ON Governance’s publicly accessible format.  Readers, anxious to cut through the cacophony of conflicting sounds and self-serving comments that have come to define the times, have always appreciated J. Richard Finlay’s straight talk, eloquent style and uncanny prescience.  They are happy to know that these same signature insights are available in a new format that is geared toward illuminating an even more challenging era.

Thanks again for visiting.

If you would like more information about subscribing to Finlay ON Governance or Finlay ON Ethics, please contact Elizabeth Thompson, setting out your specific interest and the organization you represent.