Operating with Independence and Objectivity

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Darrell Kuhn

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It is imperative that Organizations establish independence and objectivity standards that protect it from adverse reputation events. We continue to witness serious events, exploited through social media and other forums, that have had significant reputation consequences to Organizations, some of which have been insurmountable to overcome.

Legally, no director qualifies as ‘independent’ unless the Board of Directors affirmatively determines that the Director has ‘no material relationship’ with the Organization, either directly or as a partner, shareholder or officer of an entity that has a relationship with the Organization.

Independence is meaningful only as it reinforces the legitimacy of the Organization. This occurs when all Board related activities of the Organization are completed independently and objectivity and free from any and all conflict of interest situations. The Board’s role and legal obligation is to provide independent fiduciary and governance oversight and ensure that the Organization fulfills its mission, in an ethical, independent and appropriate manner.