Ignorant Supervisory Director

Blog

14 June 2019

I am an ignorant supervisory director. When I am asked for a supervisory directorship, I immediately say ‘yes’. I like being appointed, even if I know nothing about the corporation. Do you know, it is actually good if you do not know too much about it. Then you are unbiased. It renders you objective. Pure. If you ask me straightforwardly then I am also a bit attached to these positions. After all, I do like a bit of influence. It feels good.

After all, we do remain people, I always say. I also quite like that fee every month. It is also convenient that my wife does not know that I receive that fee. I now have a little extra to do my own things. The trips are also quite nice. We regularly go to a congress with all supervisory directors. Singapore for example. That is truly necessary. On the other side of the world they also need to know that Curacao is very important. It is a bit tiring all this traveling, even if we always travel business class. It is mostly hard because of the networking. All those lunches and dinners! And there is quite a bit of drinking. Not water, ahahah. I do not need to attend the lectures. I have already learned a lot, it is enough now. I feel the correct things intuitively. I have a sense for that. I love my own voice.

“Are you also an ignorant supervisory director? Probably not, because ignorant supervisory directors do not know this of themselves”

It actually does not matter much to me if people listen or not. My relationship with my political leader is fine. We understand each other. We go through thick and thin together. That is a safe feeling. Quid pro quo. That is what makes the world go round. That is also why I was appointed as a supervisory director. I have the right friends. But I also do things for it. It has nothing to do with corruption. What I do for my friends is based on true friendship. Everybody complains that a supervisory directorship takes a lot of time. Not me. You do not need to spend all that much time on it. If I even read the documents, it is roughly. It saves a lot of time. Those meetings do, for that matter, take a lot of time. That is because of all the important subjects. What? It slipped my mind for a moment. However, the same persons are always doing all the talking. I invariably shoot the breeze. Sometimes I do things differently. Then I stay silent for a long time. Then everybody gets nervous. Ahaha. I am good!

Are you also an ignorant supervisory director? Probably not, because ignorant supervisory directors do not know this of themselves. Nor do they know this of each other. That is why they are an ignorant supervisory director. Perhaps you know an ignorant supervisory director? Difficult. What can you do about it? Four things: Dump, Depoliticalize, Impose Quality Requirements and Train.

  1. Dump: Supervisory directors who are worthless should make way. They are a burden to the corporation. The corporation is sick and remains sick if there is no mechanism to dump supervisory directors who incorrigibly continue performing badly.
  2. Depoliticalize: Supervisory directors cannot have active political channels if those channels run in the direction of the corporation where they are a supervisory director. This sounds complicated but it is not. Both the OECD guidelines for good governance in the so-called SOEs, State Owned Enterprises, and the guidelines in our own Corporate Governance Code emphasize that supervisory directors must operate independently from the politics.
  3. Impose Quality Requirements: This means creating profiles for individual supervisory directors and think properly about the required composition of expertise within the board.
  4. Train: This means creating an individual training plan per supervisory director and a collective training plan for the board. This truly does not need to happen in Singapore. That is loko.

This blogpost is also available in Papiamentu. Download the PDF version. You can also download the English PDF version.

Do you have a question about corporate governance? Please email it to governance@ekvandoorne.com and perhaps your question will be discussed in the next blogpost.