In 1729, the great satirist, Jonathan Swift, penned an essay called “A Modest Proposal.” The essay suggested that rather than allowing poor, starving children to be a burden on society, they should be fattened up and eaten.
How does this relate to corporate governance, you ask? Well, here goes. Anyone who has ever had children or spent any time around children knows that at some point most rug rats become incessant and indefatigable interrogators, their favorite question being “why?” “Why do I have to eat vegetables?” [Because they’re good for you.] “Why?” [Because if you don’t eat vegetables you won’t grow to be big and strong] “Why?” [Because vegetables have vitamins and minerals that you need] “Why?” And so on. These wee tads are never satisfied with any answers, regardless of their logic or compelling authority; thus, responses like “Because I’m your father and I make the rules” go unheeded. The “whys” just keep on coming, ad nauseam (literally).
Continue Reading A Modest Proposal II: Don’t eat children; put them on boards instead!