Creating Global Governance with a Local Flavor - in Conversation with Troy Taylor

Image from Unsplash by Fernando Carol Ferdock

Equipped with diverse cultural experience, Troy Taylor is a believer in tailoring corporate governance to fit global and local needs. A results-oriented driving force, Troy has had first-hand experience with how governance in an organization can drive success. Troy shares his insights and experiences in the following interview.

Troy, when we talk about governance, which is a crucial topic on almost any board, how do you see the play between global and local governance? I’m referring especially to multinational companies, some on which you served as an executive.

“Governance is the prime directive of all boards, to deal with the governance and stewardship of an organization is key. However, as you become multi-national or even a global company, your governance has to be such that it is global yet flavored with the local culture. It’s not easy, but its important. We developed the phrase ‘global governance with local flavors’ as part of my job as the leader of a multinational organization at a Fortune 50 company. At the end of the day, we have to understand differences and have to celebrate and leverage them from a global perspective. But yes, the whole conversation around governance is essential. I recall walking into the European Headquarters located in Strasbourg France for a business that I was tasked to lead. In my presentation I talked about how we wanted to become a more global company. I decided to spend the first three months on the job at the European HQ verses the Global HQ in the US. During my tenure in Europe, I quickly began to understand that when an American Executive talks about global, it is often interpreted as “… we are going to do it the way the Americans do it..”. As a result, I made it a point to over emphasize best practices that we were going to adopt into our global governance model that originated from the European operations. Every organizations governance should be constructed into the policies and procedures which allows the local flavors to shine through as well.

“I’ve worked in an industry that’s heavily regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Weather your products and services are sold in Brooklyn NY or in Bangalore India, there are certain statutory requirements that must be adhered too. For example, there is a requirement that any and all adverse effects that result from the use of your products must be captured, categorized and subsequently reported. In the US our governance policy required that we recorded the First Name, Last Name, Gender, Address, Phone Number, etc., as part of identifying the individual that is reporting the adverse effect. In many parts of the world this full set of identification parameters are simply not culturally acceptable to be shared in a business environment or not available at all. As a result, we generated a significant number of non-compliant findings. Had we taken a step back and define the global policy as requiring the ability to identify the individual and allowing the local flavor the ability to define what parameters would meet that objective, we would not have had as many non conformances. In hindsight it sounds simple but in the world of compliance, regulatory, and governance, it is an area that requires constant vigilance. As an organization becomes more global, one realizes that you have to think about governance from a global framework, but it has to be malleable enough to address local flavors. That’s the secret recipe.”

Thank you for sharing that, Troy.

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