Feb 2, 2023
What is governance maturity? A journey towards self-improvement.
Just as people mature throughout their lives, the path to ‘governance maturity’ can be a journey, sometimes fraught with challenges but ultimately leading to a successful organisation. The term ‘governance maturity’ summarises the level of effectiveness and efficiency with which an organisation manages and directs its activities.
To put it plainly, the more mature your organisation is, the more likely it will be to perform better. The organisations with higher levels of maturity will turn challenges into opportunities, an essential skill for long term success.
While ‘maturity’ is often associated with age or experience, governance maturity isn’t always defined by the number of years an organisation has under its belt. Plenty of new businesses have set out on their journey equipped with all the tools they need to guide them towards success, including a long term strategy and often some expert external guidance.
When on a journey, there are people whose only desire is to get from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible without much care for how they get there. In business governance, this can be seen as a sign of low maturity. Though it might take time and dedication, putting effort and consideration into making sure your organisation is well governed is the best way to achieve long term results. As you’re working through your maturation as a business, you’re learning to become less reactive and more likely to make decisions based on self-evaluation and real data.
The importance of self-evaluation
Understanding where you are on your maturity journey and being realistic about what you’re able to achieve as an organisation is important. When projects fail, it’s essential to learn why so the organisation can ensure it corrects its course and does not repeat the failure. A company that understands where it sits on the maturity scale will be able to adapt to its capabilities and never exceed their boundaries.
For an organisation to thrive and reach governance maturity, they must acknowledge that it is an ongoing process that requires constant review of its processes, capabilities and a willingness to work to improve them. It makes for a careful balance between managing risk but ultimately driving growth which can sometimes mean making a hard call between competing priorities.
How do we measure governance maturity?
To measure an organisation’s governance maturity, there are a number of capabilities with which to judge its operations. These include strategy and overall direction, risk management, performance measurement, stakeholder engagement and compliance.
Strategy: Setting the vision, measuring how well a business has set its goals to be both measurable and achievable, tracking and course correcting and ensuring all of its resources are aligned to work towards the completion of said goals.
Enterprise Risk: Managing risk is important in all aspects, including identification, assessment and mitigation of current and future risks that may impact the organisation. It is critical to understand what could either derail or accelerate your strategy.
Performance: Being mature in terms of performance means being able to monitor and accurately measure your performance and push that information into driving further improvement. This could also include externally benchmarking against other organisations within your industry.
Stakeholders: Engagement with stakeholders, both external and internal, is a huge part of governance and organisations with high levels of governance maturity will be confident in understanding the needs of their stakeholders and ensuring they are met.
Compliance: A critical component of governance is compliance with all relevant regulations and laws.
As to assessing where you are on your maturity journey, Govn365 can help with that. Govn365 evaluates your organisation across 10 different modules, providing insights into your governance capability and ultimately providing you with a governance maturity profile. Within each module, you can view the areas where Govn365 has determined that your organisation has strong capability and those where there is room for improvement, before reviewing the recommended improvement actions and resources to progress you on your maturity journey. Becoming a leader in governance maturity starts with a first step.