In this chapter of Meet the Boss, Voice Money’s KABELO ADAMSON talks to Wise Leadership Managing Director, Mpho Moletlo Kgosietsile, a seasoned corporate governance specialist.
Wise Leadership is a homegrown consultancy established to facilitate a corporate governance culture in Botswana.
In this interview, Kgosietsile, a Fellow with the Chartered Governance Institute of Southern Africa (FCG), discusses the state of corporate governance locally and what can be done to improve it.
Firstly, give our readers a bit of background about yourself?
I am a corporate governance practitioner by profession with almost 20 years in the industry.
I joined the Registrar of Companies, now Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA), as a graduate from the University of Botswana with a BA in Social Sciences in Economics and Environmental Science.
My career in corporate governance was ignited then and I developed a passion for this field such that when it was time for me to be sponsored for my Masters as part of staff development I chose a Masters in Corporate Governance with the London South Bank University.
My eyes were opened to the idea that having sustainable organisations supported by good performance and a great corporate governance culture is a possibility and as Batswana, we can do it.
I saw a gap in the consulting industry where not much was done in the corporate governance field and this led to the establishment of Wise Leadership.
10 years on, take us through your organisation’s journey?
Wise Leadership was established in July 2011 with a vision to facilitate a corporate governance culture in Botswana.
It has not been an easy journey, as a small business entering into a market (consulting and advisory) that was already dominated by big names, some of which had over 100 years of existence.
Our first years were tough, as we were not known in the market.
We were challenged to step up and build our legacy, step-by-step, brick-by-brick, and gain the trust of the market.
It took a great amount of faith to stay on course even when it seemed like there was no activity or demand for our services.
This built a lot of resilience in us and a determination to continuously innovate and think ahead as we developed various services, some of which were not yet embraced by the market then, but now are a necessity for every organisation.
We are now settled and established in the market and looking forward to the next ten years.
What do you regard as Wise Leadership’s greatest moment to date?
Wow, this journey in itself has been an event, a great moment of growth.
Every client we gained or engaged with helped us grow.
There are different dynamics for different organisations.
No organisation is the same, you meet different personalities.
For Wise Leadership, every step has been great, every client engagement, meeting new people, connecting people and business, creating impact all the way.
We have also seen some of our small companies, which we helped form from the beginning, grow to become great leaders in their specific industries, which is truly a cause for celebration.
So what services does Wise Leadership offer?
We provide Corporate Secretarial and Corporate Governance Consultancy services which include but are not limited to: Coordinating Meetings, Board Advisory, Minute Taking, Board Liaison Support, Non-Executive Director Recruitment, On-Boarding of Directors, Development of governance frameworks, Preparation of the Integrated Report, Board evaluations/assessments, Governance advisory, King Codes III/IV Gap Analysis, Risk Management, Compliance and Training on Board Inductions, Corporate Governance, Corporate Secretaryship, Integrated Reporting and Sustainability Reporting some of which is BQA accredited.
And to who do you offer these services?
Our services are what one might call critical or core to every organisation for efficiency and effectiveness.
Therefore, our clientele ranges from Educational Institutions, Professional Institutions, Non-Governmental Organisations, State-Owned Entities, Private and Public Companies (some of which are listed) as well as some of the companies within the highly regulated Financial Services Industry.
As a leading promoter of corporate governance in Botswana, would you say it is given the attention it deserves?
I would say that we are going in the right direction.
The rise or introduction of the regulation that supports the implementation of corporate governance practices as entailed in the corporate governance codes through regulators such as NBFIRA, FIA, BSE, BICA, BAOA, Bank of Botswana, but to name a few, has created awareness and demanded that each organisation makes it a priority to inculcate a corporate governance culture.
In recent years, we have witnessed high-profile boardroom brawls in the country; does this mean there are still gaps regarding good corporate governance locally?
We still have a lot to do in terms of corporate governance as a country.
I always say that corporate governance is not an event, it is a journey that each organisation has to take.
I see the increase in such cases as evidence that Batswana is becoming more aware of corporate governance and expectations are high for effective implementation of corporate governance. Awareness creates a desire to change things!
What measures are Wise Leadership taking to ensure there is accountable corporate governance in Botswana?
Wise Leadership is rightly placed to facilitate good corporate governance through the provision of corporate governance services. We also provide awareness through training and conferences as well as through articles, blogs, and publications.
We have a Flagship Publication called The Responsible Citizen Magazine, which is a leading Pan-African Corporate Social Investment and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSI/CSR) publication founded in Botswana.
It seeks to bring together critical societal stakeholders including commercial entities, government institutions, and people in society, through the integration of social, environmental, and governance issues (ESG).
As Wise Leadership celebrates 10 years in existence, what can clients expect going forward?
We are continuously innovating, as implied in our strategic vision and values. Clients should expect excellent service delivery, tailor-made solutions that support company performance and sustainable growth.
Our vision is to facilitate vibrant businesses and influence upstanding corporate culture through professional services regionally and internationally.
The next ten years will see Wise Leadership providing the local and international market with effective and efficient solutions according to international best practices.
We are ‘forward-thinking’, that is our DNA. We aim to make more impact in the next ten years.
CORPORATE GOVERNANCE EXPLAINED?
Corporate Governance explained
Corporate governance is the system by which companies are directed and controlled.
Boards of directors are responsible for the governance of their companies.
The shareholders’ role in governance is to appoint the directors and the auditors and to satisfy themselves that an appropriate governance structure is in place.