Partly due to its scale, our country can be considered an organism. Everything is related in an organism. Moreover, there is an almost perfect interaction between the various parts of it. Our country does have cohesion, but there is no interaction. The Curacao business community and those primarily responsible for it, the management board and the supervisory board, cannot afford to lose sight of the interaction with the community. We have to move the focus from the belly button to the whole picture.

What is the cohesion in our national organism like? Because we are small, each company is affected by facts that are less obtrusive in a larger country. If the almost monopolist airliner in our country provides lousy service, resulting in sloppy and uncertain connections between our islands, our business aorta gets clogged. If the airliner goes bankrupt, each medium-sized company suffers substantial loss. If the Central Bank of our country becomes discredited, all our businesses are affected. If former government leaders are suspected of serious offenses or are even convicted, this reflects on our entire business community and particularly on our financial sector. Everything is related.

What is the interaction then? There is none. Because of the economic stagnation of the past twenty years, it seems as if we as business community have become immune to all collective dramas around us. As a child that has been traumatized and constantly beaten during childhood, we have learned to go on, whatever happens. And on a micro level we manage. The companies themselves are not doing poorly. One by one they are survivors. What has gone missing in this survival process is interaction, the view of the whole picture, and the communication about it. The direction of our country has slipped from our hands.

I make a plea for adding this subject to the agenda of every board meeting as of today, and making it a fixed item on the agenda of every meeting of every supervisory board in our country: what can the company do to permanently improve our country? The internal organization in a finger can be perfect, but if the veins in our organism become clogged due to arteriosclerosis, if the brain softens and the feet are amputated, the freedom of movement of the finger is limited. This finger will not survive. The solution: taking joint responsibility for the entire organism.

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

Related article