What is Human Governance! It clicks in every one’s mind who so ever listens or reads this word first time. To understand the meaning of Human Governance, First we have to go deep into the mechanism of Corporate Governance.
The terminology of Corporate Governance is very much known to all of us. The term of Corporate Governance is used to explain the compliances based modules which are used to govern the corporates in the world of business. These modules of rules are different in different part of the world. But what is common in all is that these rules have been framed to govern the corporations without taking into the considerations of the humanity. The only purpose of these rules based modules of Corporate Governance is to maximize the owner’s equity by earning more and more profit. In this run of earn, business world has, perhaps forgotten the meaning of the business. The word ‘business’ is derived from busy-ness mean anything needed for the purpose of doing something to live in this world. The meaning or spirit of business is not to accumulate the wealth. Unfortunately, in today’s business world, the sole purpose of doing something is to accumulate the wealth. When we explore our corporate world, we find that in this run of earn, corporations have forgotten the real purpose but are busy to earn more and more wealth by all means just to comply with the modules of rules based Corporate Governance. The approach of Corporate Governance has given birth to something with is not good for the humanity. In Corporate Governance, Corporates are using Humans to achieve its objectives i-e the profits. Corporate Governance considers human as a resource, a resource just like furniture, machinery, capital or any other resource. No doubt, in today’s world the importance of this human resource is at the top of all other resources for corporations and businesses but the sufferings for the humanity is also at the top because of this Corporate Governance. This Corporate Governance has given rise the sky speaking corporate scandals such as as Enron, Arthur Andersen and Financial slump of 2008. Furthermore, we often hear such statistics that 90 percent resources of this world are being used by 10 percent people and remaining 90 percent are using the 10 percent of the resources. This uneven distribution of resources is also one of the outcomes of the Corporate Governance. This Corporate Governance has shifted the responsibility of the business from living thing “Human” to the non-living thing “Corporations” That’s why some individuals use the concept of the corporations to gain their objectives even by complying the corporate governance but causing damages to the humanity.
On the other hand, this new concept of Human Governance is given by a business school in Asian region. Putra Business School, where not only the philosophy of Human Governance is emerged but is being practiced. The Human Governance philosophy does not replace the Corporate Governance but it augment the Corporate Governance with supplements and support so that the business world can serve the humanity rather that to destroy the humanity. All the concept of Human Governance revolves around the desire of being human of human being for Humanity. The role of Human Being needs to be revisited. The Human Governance focuses on inner out, sharing based philosophy. It asks for preparing such Human Leaders who not only posess the qualities of a good human being but they also practice the values of humanity rather than only complying the rules of the corporate governance.
HUMAN GOVERNANCE IN PRACTICE
This philosophy of “Human Governance” as introduced by a business school of Malaysia called Putra Business School can be understood by differentiating the concept “Human Being” and “Being Human”. Being human means guided by a common set of principles which are inherent in every human being. Some call it conscious, some call it nature. Actually, these principles are built-in in every human being which enables them sense to choose between right or wrong. The concept of Human Governance also carries explains the contribution of self-accountability and self awareness; means even if we are not accountable or answerable to something, it does not allow us to practice something beyond those values of humanity – a human has to be self-accountable.
The qualities and characteristics such as honesty, truthfulness, integrity, respect, trust and excellence – we can collectively call these as ‘virtues’ – are recognized and appreciated in every society and in every part of the world. These virtues lead to the progress, development and survival of every culture in this world. In order to survive and to grow, Societies need follow these set of standards to keep this world worth living.
The economic man which is result of the Corporate Governance needs to be a Human Being in accordance to Human Governance philosophy. Further, Human Governance philosophy explains the benefits for the humanity if the main purpose of the businesses are converted from earning profit to serve the humanity. The earning of profits may be a secondary objective for the businesses but the primary objective of every corporations / organization should be to serve the humanity. If the leaders will think of the Human Governance, they will follow the basic values rather just following the rules. In obvious, the corporations, organizations and the businesses are being run by the human beings and so they follow the some principles. History of corporate world reveals the failure of corporate governance as many wrongs are resulted with the struggle of achieving profit oriented goals. As a result we see the corporate scandals and suffering of Humanity.
Prof. Dr. Arfah Salleh, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Putra Business School is one of the founder and nurturer of the concept of Human Governance. InPutra Business School, a team in which every person acts as a role model of Human Governance is practicing this philosophy. In her book, Human Governance, Prof. ArfahSaleh explains that how the present rule-based governance system which is called as Corporate Governance has serious limitations and constraints. Ticking and checking of boxes for compliance only leads to a false sense of security and deception that the right judgments, decisions and right actions are being taken. On the other hand, as already explained, the concept of Human Governance is based on internal human values, and principles which are far more effective to regulate organizations.
One more way, how Human Governance overrules the Corporate Governance is the focus, the focus of Corporate governance is “Governance” whereas the focus of Human Governance is “Human” not the governance. Human Governance is highly needed to be incorporated in the Higher Education. Most of the top ranked Business schools around the world are teaching its students how to maximize profit, and how to grow and develop, without thinking and caring about the Humanity , System and Society. But the the concept of Human Governance appeals to Business School with this philosophy of Human Governance to enable the students to learn these virtues and values, not only to learn but also practice these values in the world of Business instead of gettingoverwhelmed by some wrong values of greed, selfishness, materialism etc.
The philosophy of Human Governance is very much needed and applicable in this world right from corporations to the government, where corruption is getting prevailed all over, from top to bottom, from high government officials to a barber or a hawker, where moral values are being diminished. The philosophy makes a clear difference between being owner of something and being trustee and demands from the individual for self-accountability instead of doing things only to make compliance of the rules. For example, when a government functionary takes charge of some position, he/she isactually Trustee of that position, Government trust him/her and given the position to fulfil the responsibility, that position holder holds. He/she should act, not because later he/she will be investigated for their acts and will be punished, but for they should be self-accountable, he/she should know and do only the right thing. Same is applicable for the corporate executives and politicians as well. Although the concept of Human Governance is new its dead sure that this concept of Human Governance will help in making this world a better place to live for the Humanity.