Michael Hilti: Corporate Governance made in Liechtenstein

Michael Hilti

At the German Supervisory Board Conference last Friday (#dart14), Martin Hilti, Honorary President of the Liechtenstein-based tool manufacturer of the same name, provided exciting insights into his corporate governance system. And although the company (27,000 employees / annual sales of CHF 5.1 billion) is likely to violate the detailed German Code on several occasions, especially when it comes to transparency, in our opinion we cannot speak of “bad governance” – on the contrary: Hilti, the founder’s son, has implemented a sophisticated system with checks and balances at various levels.

Culture trainer: Do we live our values?

In addition, he has placed the topic of “corporate culture” at the centre of his attention more resolutely than any other entrepreneur. For example, Hilti does not list banalities and self-evident things in its “mission statement”, but rather four central values that make up the company: Integrity, Courage, Teamwork and Commitment. And the company goes to great lengths to ensure that they are not just on paper: Hilti has 70 “culture trainers” who question the extent to which values are lived in workshops with board members, managers and employees. We think The success proves Michael Hilti right – and proves that good entrepreneurs do not need a rigid code. True “good governance” comes from within.