On 24 Oct 2007, I wrote the following, with the title "Even God Needs Accountability:
If accountability isn't important, I hope these news will make you think a bit harder.
I have written something about accountability a few days back also. And it seems that this theme is coming back.
The following is not meant as an insult to any religious group. Ok, say you have god running your company now. Normally on fine days, he's running the business well. He has all the decision power to make investments for the company. He' friendly with colleagues, delivers results and likes walking his dog. At the end of the financial year, everyone gets their bonuses.
"Hey, that guy is good. Thanks to him we have bonuses," says one coworker.
"Isn't it dangerous for him to have that much power and nobody is looking over his shoulders?" said a new employee who had just graduated from NUS.
"Are you nuts? Did you not receive your bonus this year? Isn't the company doing well? What are you trying to imply" replied the coworker with a little hostility.
"But what if one day he wants to try something naughty?" said the new employee.
Everyone looked at the new employee and wonder what the hell is wrong with him. Couldn't figure it out, they walked away. Suddenly, he's left standing alone beside the water cooler.
The thing is, even if you're god, suppose that one day you do decide to do something naughty to the company. Think investing $1 billion dollar into foreign exchange without consulting anyone, because you think you're smart enough and there's not need to consult anyone. And nobody was assigned to look over your shoulders. One day, the foreign exchange crash, the $1 billion dollar vanished, and the company has to go into red for the next few quarters.
Are you still not seeing the picture? If there's no accountability, you won't even know who's doing what to the company's money!
Corporate governance and accountability should be in place in all organisation in Singapore if they are dealing with money, which they WILL be dealing with money. That's the point I'm trying to say.
It's not that I'm paranoid. It's a mechanism meant to protect the company, making sure that the company is doing well financially. That's why you're able to get your bonus at the end of the year.