Argüden Governance Academy Foundation

Keys to Governance

Good governance is the key to sustainability of our organizations and success of humanity in improving quality of life for all citizens of our world. Governance is much more than just the structure, processes, and rules of decisionmaking and controls. Good governance is a culture and a climate of Consistency (predictability), Responsibility, Accountability, Fairness, Transparency, and Effectiveness that is Deployed (subsidiarity) throughout the organization (the ‘CRAFTED’ principles of governance.)

January 2012

Good governance starts with the individual and is applicable in all types of organizations, starting from the family and extending throughout the community, company, non-governmental organizations, governments at all levels, all the way to global institutions.

This book elaborates the keys to good governance. What is interesting is that these principles, despite different forms of application, are common regardless of the size, complexity, and jurisdiction of an organization. Furthermore, it requires an understanding of “regarding the others, as you regard yourself” to become prevalent. This understanding transcends the individual’s interests and requires considering not only interests of others that we share our planet with, but also interests of future generations. Good governance is the key to effective utilization of our limited resources and not only improves the quality of life, but also ensures sustainability of life on our planet.

The essence of good governance is ensuring trustworthy relations between the institution and its stakeholders. Trust is the foundation of sustainable development. Good governance is the key to establish common expectations, to devise effective policies and processes in order to achieve desired performance levels in a sustainable fashion. Governance involves the rights and processes of decision making and exercising controls in an organization to achieve mutual goals. In short, governance is about performance.

In the new millennium, societies demonstrate and experience highly creative and efficient forms of governance and they learn lessons from them. In this context, a new type of citizenship consciousness emerges. This new citizenship consciousness symbolizes a new identity that acknowledges its own problems, demands higher standards but at the same time plays an active role in the formation and realization of these standards, that creates solutions from within and that forms the necessary structures for this purpose: in short, this new identity has a determination to shape its own future.

To establish these structures, consistency is necessary at a global scale. Global consistency requires a convergence on implementing common values in all aspects of life. The solution has to start at grassroots: if transformation and change can be inspired at all levels of society, the process to shape the future begins. The role of those who do not take part in the process will be limited in a future shaped by others. Thus, for sustainability of our institutions we need to consider new ways of involving all stakeholders in governance mechanisms.

The basic element of any community or organization, is the individual. Therefore, the domain of governance starts from the individual and extends all the way to all of humanity, global governance. Good governance takes place at four levels in societal life: 1) Individual, 2) Corporate, 3) NGO, and 4) Public Sector, which in turn has three layers: i) Local, ii) National, and iii) Global. At all these levels, if the stakeholders are driven by common values of having an open mind for continuous learning (curiosity); an open heart for sharing (responsibility); a quest for effective utilization of resources for value creation; and accountability, consistency, transparency, and fairness for building trust, then the fundamentals are in place for establishing the rules of engagement for good governance, paving the path for shaping their own future.

This book argues that good governance is key to sustainable development of quality of life, the values and behaviors that drive good governance are similar for all types of insititutions, and if we are to shape our own future, we need to start from the individual and our education systems.

It is my sincere wish that this book will be useful in the development of good governance culture, throughout the world and contribute to the establishment of trustworthy relationships between all types of organizations and their stakeholders, thereby ensuring effective, sustainable, and equitable resource utilization to improve the quality of life throughout the globe.



“An extremely challenging and thoughtful analysis of the most important problems of global governance.”
Jacques Attali, First President of EBRD, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

“Yılmaz Argüden has focused on two very important aspects of governance which haven’t gotten enough emphasis in my opinion: the need for trust and the need to build a culture of governance to improve sustainability of organizations. This book brings both issues to the fore and is a very good move in the right direction.”
Frank Brown, Dean, INSEAD

“A must read for all those who believe that Government, Business and Civil Society need to work closer together for a sustainable planet and a better tomorrow. In his book Dr. Yılmaz Argüden provides holistic solutions to complex issues.”
Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO, The Coca Cola Company

“This is a marvelous book written by a well known and widely respected modern day renaissance leader and thinker. What Yılmaz Argüden has to say in this work is deeply rooted in a lifetime of remarkable experiences. On page after page one encounters important insights. This book is a tour de force of a kind that comes along only rarely. In these particularly difficult transition years we have here an oasis of calmly, thoughtfully, and carefully explained wisdom and suggestions about how to think and act. A must read.”
John H. McArthur, Dean Emeritus, Harvard Business School

“Whether a nation-state, or the world as a whole, benefits from globalization is above all a matter of good governance. Yılmaz Argüden investigates in this book thoroughly what this means for the actors in the world, for the political and economic élites. Yılmaz Argüden outlines the keys to good governance and sustainable development. It is a pleasure to read this book.”
Gerhard Schröder, Former Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (1998-2005)

“Any leader faces the challenges of establishing and maintaining trust among those whom he or she must lead. In this book, Yılmaz Argüden explains how this task has changed in the modern world. He provides leaders in government, non-profits, and corporations with ideas for how to take their leadership into the 21st century.”
Jim Thomson, President/CEO, RAND Corporation

“I commend Yılmaz Argüden for taking on the challenge to write this book which provides new insights into how the global community can be a better place economically, socially, politically, and culturally through a detailed examination of good governance.”
Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Laureate, Social Entrepreneur, and Founder of Grameen Bank (micro-credits)