I recently had the opportunity to participate in a viewing of ICAEW’s new short film. It is called Without Question and sets out to:

provide an impactful and interesting way to highlight the challenges of directors and professional advisors seeking assurance on difficult issues…

icaew.com/learning-and-development/icaew-educational-films/without-question 

It does what it says on the tin. If you’re on a board – or advising one – the challenges that it deals with, will be familiar:

  • conflicts within a family-owned company;
  • the difficult transition to become a listed entity;
  • the struggle of founding shareholders with the loss of control; and
  • the struggle of new independent directors in spotting and raising difficult issues and good governance.

What I particularly like is the focus on helping directors (anyone really, including ethics ambassadors and general managers) discuss challenges (rather than just talking-at them; adopting ‘best practice’ which might not best practical as such). It follows an overall welcome trend, also advocated by the FRC:

Good governance is about asking the right questions  

It was no accident that the first ethics policy I was responsible for, was called, “It is a Question of Ethics” and featured a large ? on the front cover, made up of people.

Also, like the videos that came out of the work I did with the UNODC, this one can also be used by students. That’s important, because it is not enough to address these issues with those already in the boardroom. We need to think about the next generation too.

Or put differently, video might have killed the radio star. But it need not cause havoc in your boardroom. On the contrary – it can help you look at the difficult questions.

You can help spread the word about this important initiative: