End of June is a busy time for many in my country of origin – it is the time to hold general shareholders meetings for publicly traded companies with fiscal year ending March 31st. Shareholders look for evidence to justify their investments, and companies try to assure continuous return. They may differ in their strategies to achieve their respective goals, but they have one assumption in common: that each entity in question remains a going concern, i.e., it will remain in business for the foreseeable future.
There are some specific accounting criteria that must be satisfied for any entity to be considered a going concern. But there is one point in particular, not necessarily related to accounting, that I value – can the entity show me a promising future with their choice of would-be leaders? To me, it is important to see the effort to inherit the philosophy and vision of leaders today and reframe and rephrase into those of leaders of tomorrow.
For such an evaluation, I need to see at least two things: a) that the next generation of leaders are identified, and b) that they are “cultivated” to be leaders in the future. Part A is fairly easy to assess, because it can be quantified. Part B is much trickier… it is much more qualitative, and too dependent on variables which are yet unknown.
But I believe there still is a way to guestimate on Part B: have the leaders of tomorrow come from a population with high degree of variation in traits (in race, background, and ideology, among other things), and have they been identified through differential reproduction (clearly out-perform others under certain conditions)? If so, I think there is a better chance that the entity will somehow survive no matter what future will throw at it.
Maybe for an entity to remain a going concern, it must be able to evolve over time.
And maybe for it to evolve, it requires the same premises as evolution of species – diversity, and unique characteristics that prove advantageous in certain situations.
Then maybe it can survive the test of natural selection in the ever-changing market and world.
Any entity without successors identified this way gives me substantial doubt as to their being a going concern. I would have to review my investments if they cannot show me how experiences of past successes can be translated into plans to survive in the future, and who will be the reliable leaders then. And I do not just mean monetary investments… emotional investments, in the form of hopes, are just as much a concern in an entity being a going concern.
Maybe this is not just about entities at the corporate level, but also at state and world levels.
Citizens look for evidence to justify their hopes in their states and world, and governments try to assure continuous grounds for hope. I wish we will all be kept hopeful that our world will remain an evolving going concern… that we have it in us to survive through the pressures of discrimination and terrorism.