The Stewardship Compass: a framework to enable a collective better future

The Stewardship Compass: a framework to enable a collective better future

Stewardship Asia Centre (SAC) has introduced a leadership and governance framework to help businesses activate their stewardship practices. The Stewardship Compass encourages the articulation and activation of an organisational purpose based on four core values: long-term view, ownership mentality, interdependence, and creative resilience; and its application is a 4-step process (diagram above).

“We live in an uber-connected and uber-populated world. While these megatrends have created exciting growth opportunities, they have also presented daunting challenges, such as income inequality, environmental degradation and social and political unrests,” said Mr Rajeev Peshawaria, SAC’s CEO.

“These challenges have profound consequences for our future generations. Organisations today need to find business models that drive profitable growth by addressing these very challenges. In today’s world of free and open information, customer and consumer expectations are changing. It is only by integrating the needs of society (people) and the environment (planet) can companies be assured of their long-term performance and resilience.”

He added that the Compass values outlined below will help guide personal actions and business decisions towards better stewardship of the earth’s natural and human resources. Mr Peshawaria said, “We need collective actions to solve today’s challenges, and I would encourage all businesses and individuals to develop their purpose – their reason for being – based on these values.”

Interdependence: The activities and decisions undertaken by businesses and individuals have far-reaching consequences. We live in an interdependent world, and therefore organisations and individuals must recognise that their success depends on the success of others. Business strategies and operations must lead to mutual benefits and win-win outcomes.

Long-term View: The focus on short-term profit should not come at the expense of long-term value creation. Business leaders should strategise and execute for sustained value creation for both current and future generations.

Ownership Mentality: Stewards take the initiative to act responsibly to ensure that they not only keep the world’s human, social and environmental capital intact but make every effort to enhance their value for the next generation. Business and individuals should think and act like an owner and take proactive responsibility to make stewardship happen.

Creative Resilience: A well-stewarded company is resilient because it strategises and executes for sustained value creation. It manages risks and learns from mistakes and setbacks. It is constantly seeking innovative solutions to disruptive challenges.

How to activate the Stewardship Compass?

Individual leaders and organisations can practise stewardship by developing and activating their Stewardship Compass©—a process that involves the following steps:

  1. Identify your personal and/or organisational value
  2. Add four core stewardship values
  3. Based on these values, articulate a purpose that creates a collective better future for a variety of stakeholders, including shareholders and the society at large.
  4. Ensure that everything you do during calm and turbulent times is aligned to and governed by your compass.

The Stewardship Compass serves as a framework for companies that haven’t made the first step into stewardship to kickstart their journey. For those who are already practising stewardship, the Compass offers a structure to refresh and re-evaluate a company’s purpose and future actions.

Mr Peshawaria said, “The 21st-century business leadership challenge is to do well by doing good. Creating a collective better future based on the stewardship approach involves defining and activating your Stewardship Compass©.”

For more information on Stewardship Asia Centre (SAC), please visit

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