What are the core values of your organization? What is your mission?
Our mission is to help shareholders enhance the production of wealth by acting as long-term shareowners. Engaged owners invest not just money, but ideas and actions. Core values include:
- Science, informed by the notion that shared paradigms are social constructs, many originating in myth. We can examine the unconscious interpretive process and reconstruct corporate governance systems based on increased self-awareness and the participation of engaged owners. As pragmatists, we are both active participants and detached observers, correcting course as we learn.
- Decentralized, self-governing democratic systems are more adaptive than centralized command and control systems and are more likely to be sustainable over time.
- Democracies depend on a widespread sense of relative economic well-being, fairness and opportunity derived not from absolute standards but from perceptions of relative advantage and deprivation. High levels of wealth inequality lead to either appropriation by the state and redistribution or control of the state by the rich and a hollowing out of democratic institutions. Moderation is key.
- Democracy within firms improves the quality of democracy in government by transforming shareowners and employees into better citizens through an enhanced sense of political efficacy, reduced alienation, and increased entrepreneurial spirit.
- Self-regulating systems are preferable to reliance on regulators. However, such systems require that stakeholders, such as shareowners, have adequate tools to police their investments.
- Ownership, like citizenship, comes with obligations. When companies fail, the common shareholder reaction is to complain loudly that ‘regulators’ failed to do their job. Yet, in the eyes of the law, shareholders are the primary regulators of companies through annual meetings, the election of directors, the appointment of auditors, and the like. Failure is partly due to the assumption that shares are financial instruments that bring rewards but not obligations, like insured bank deposits. This is like thinking one is entitled to enjoy the benefits of citizenship without paying taxes.
- Shareowner activism should be framed positively. The ultimate objective is not to destroy and defeat but to create and improve.
- Our primary objective is to achieve practical improvements in company policy or behavior. Specific concrete objectives offer a more solid base for action than broad immeasurable objectives.