Most companies and corporations have corporate standards that address fiduciary and fiscal duties, responsibilities, and protocols, etc. They have standards addressing the execution and governance of their core business and how the company interacts with regulators, labor unions, and other companies. They have standards for contracting and procurement practices, etc., as well as for human resources with regards to employment hiring and retention, workplace behaviors, even dress codes. But surprisingly it is often the case that companies, corporations, institutions, agencies, etc., have no corresponding standards for the design, construction, operations, or maintenance of their critical facilities, or that the standards that exist are either inadequate or unenforced.
Standards are more than directions for managing businesses and processes. They actually establish the minimum acceptable performance that must be achieved to ensure the respective activity meets the fundamental needs of the company to succeed. It is generally acceptable to exceed the standard such as keeping more documentation and retaining records for longer than required, exceeding regulators and code requirements, or dressing better than the dress code allows. Standards also have value in that they not only set minimum performance levels, but also standardize the associated processes. But this can be a double-edged sword. In today’s day and age, where change is the new constant, corporate standards must also evolve to remain appropriate.