Case Study:  Governance Model


The corporate security function at a Fortune 100 company was having difficulties engaging many of its business units and providing effective guidance on security issues. It was also concerned that its interactions with corporate functions be optimally configured for the timely communication of information it had available to enable the company the best possible support in its external affairs.  It requested Bellwether’s help in evaluating its interfacing strategy and governance model. 


All formal and informal internal engagement mechanisms were identified and mapped.  These consisted of a number of leadership teams, steering committees and tactical guidance councils. Bellwether team members conducted structured interviews with all chairs, co-chairs and core team members representing all facets of the business.  These interviews provided a 360-degree view of the corporate security department and enabled it to identify the advantages, disadvantages and suggestions for improvement in the current configuration.  Additional interviews with other internal groups and senior leaders provided further insight as to how the relationships with the security function could be more effective.

Analysis & Results

This third-party approach to improving policy development, decision-making, implementation tactics and communication proved invaluable in soliciting broad support for the security group. A wide range of opinions from multiple viewpoints were presented.  By mapping these to the relevant constituent groups and corporate goals, we were able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the existing engagement model.  Over 50% was considered as functioning well.  The remainder was analyzed to identify where and why it was working less well, and a series of remedies developed for its improvement.  Overall, the governance model was considered well-structured but had a number of procedural weaknesses.

Benefits to Client

Our recommendations for improvement were well received and the security group’s relationship with the rest of the company underwent a process of continual improvement. Committees and councils were reconstituted and their procedures streamlined to focus only on the most important issues.  Significant time was saved while communication and decision-making improved.  The client enjoyed a considerably higher level of support from the corporate security group and benefited substantially from the higher degree of corporate leverage that the new interfacing model and guidelines provided. Externally, the company was well-renowned for its contributions to improve safety and security within the industry.