Knock-out stages: The eShare Governance World Cup

Welcome back to the eShare Governance World Cup. The group stages were full of drama and intrigue, and that was just the controversy around the slightly favourable drawing process we concocted. Anyway, now the real excitement begins. Welcome to the semi-finals.

Japan v Germany

Before we begin, let’s recap. The scores are determined by three key governance indices. The World Governance Regulatory Quality Rank from the World Bank Group, the Transparency Index from Transparency International and finally, the Digital Competitiveness Index from the IMD World Competitiveness Center. These scores focus on their regulatory model and effectiveness, their transparency and their willingness to adopt new technologies and embracing the future.

The first semi-final sees the winner of Group A Japan, playing Germany, the winners of Group B. Both countries had a fairly easy passage to this stage, although Germany were pushed a little harder in that group than they would have liked, given their reputation for strict regulations, so will be looking to impress and progress to the final.

Both teams scored highly across all three indices when we looked at the scores after the group stages, but how would the compare head-to-head?

The answer to this is much as you would expect in the footballing world also, ignoring Germany’s embarrassing group stage exit at this year’s World Cup and Japan’s surprising displays. In our first match-up, the World Governance Indicators, Japan pushed Germany all the way, but ultimately fell just short. Sadly, after that, the scores become less contested and Germany end up running out easy 3-0 winners.

So, unsurprisingly to anyone with even the vaguest understanding of football over the past 50 years, Germany progress to the final, where they will provide a stern test for whoever wins our second semi-final.

England v USA

A lot has changed since the infamous meeting between these two countries during the 1950 football World Cup, where the mighty inventors of football came up against a team of part-timers, including a postman and funeral director also bereft of their best players who could not get the time off to travel to Brazil to participate. Such a one-sided meeting involving England could only end one way. That’s right, a 1-0 victory for the USA, effectively eliminating England from the World Cup.

But this time around things should be different. Just like in the real thing, the English people paying attention at eShare HQ have whipped themselves up into a fervour ahead of this clash. However, the more cautious among us have been hurt before, and are playing their cards much closer to their chests.

As in the other semi-final, both countries come in with 100% records, having qualified with ease from their respective groups. The Transparency Index gives England an early lead, before the USA pull back level in the Digital competitiveness stakes. As we turn to the decisive World Governance Indicators, the crowd can barely watch. In all fairness, they’re not watching at all, but I imagine they’re gripped just the same, feeling the tension in their bones.

The USA post a very imposing score of 92, but somehow, incredibly, England manage to score 95 – England win!

By the skin of their teeth, England have pulled through against a nation that prides itself on its free market, capitalist structure, yet clearly has a little way to go for their governance practices to match up to their allies across the pond.

The final

A World Cup final. A special occasion for everyone involved, but more so for us as it involves England.

The first time in over 50 years that England’s senior team has been involved in such a feat when it comes to anything even loosely related to football, such as this. And when we say senior team, in this instance, we mean senior, given the average age of our MPs and policy makers.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves too much here though, fate has once again pitted us against Germany in a major* final. (*major may be too strong, but every competition needs to start somewhere, who knows where this could be in a few years? Look at Manchester City before they had riches pumped into them.)

The ease at which they dispatched Japan makes me feel slightly uneasy about our chances, given the slender score line that we scraped through with against the USA, but we’ve proved ourselves to be top contenders on the world stage of governance, which is very pleasing to see for a company such as ours I can tell you.

All reasonable sense often disappears ahead of a cup final, and this is no different. We’re sitting here brushing up on our Governance Code understanding and working out what percentage of the UK has access to fibre broadband and how this effects our digital transformation efforts and therefore might impact on our scores, but time has run out, we now must go head-to-head.
Given how seriously both nations take their corporate governance structures, this could end up being a tense encounter. Looking first to the Transparency index, England score 82 and Germany score 81–too close to call really–so we move on to the World Governance Indicators.

In this index, Germany score a whopping 96 points, surely too much for England to cope with. The similar feelings start to sink in of so near, yet so far. Our palms have started sweating. We’re already making our excuses until next time. Plans to improve our governance at grass root levels are being drawn up.

But, somehow, England manage to pull a score of 95 out of the bag. Once again, too close to call. This is nerve wracking. We head to the final index with both nations fighting hard, giving it their all, and it is hard to separate them.

It all comes down to digital competency. England versus the country that has given us some of the most well-known and respected digital brands in the world. First up, England post a score of 89. A good score. A solid score. But is it really enough?


England have done it!

Clearly all the work that has been done to improve our Corporate Governance Code and IT infrastructure have had a positive impact as well as the hard work and dedication of organisations post the financial crash of 2008 to improve their governance.

Whilst we can all bask in this remarkable victory, the scores in these indices are just a guide and we all know that more can be done to improve transparency and governance at the top level across all industries as the steady flow of scandals and governance failings continue to permeate through.

All the countries we have outlined here face their own challenges, and whilst this was a bit of fun, it highlights that some are further on their way to improved business practices than others. eShare has been providing governance solutions to organisations across the world for 14 years and still run across the same issues and resistance to change today as we did then.

If you are considering ways to improve your boardroom transparency, efficiency and effectiveness and would like to know more about how our solutions can assist with that, please get in touch for a free demonstration.

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