David Amerland

The Disconnect

There is a fundamental disconnect between business and ethics. When Volkswagen and Microsoft blatantly lie and cheat and nobody within the organization, at any level, has the courage to say that it’s wrong it leads to a break between the values they profess to uphold publicly at the customer-facing interface and what they are really prepared to do when no one’s looking.

Enron’s motto was "Respect, Integrity, Communication and Excellence." Its "Vision and Values" mission statement declared, "We treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves....We do not tolerate abusive or disrespectful treatment. Ruthlessness, callousness and arrogance don't belong here." It became a self-delusional statement the company executives used to hide behind.

The point is that when a business has no moral compass, the first fragmentation occurs within the business itself. Those who work in it are the first victims of the lie. When you lie to yourself, lying to others becomes second nature.  

The world is changing. Not overnight and not all at once, but it is changing nevertheless. In my talks to corporate groups, CEOs, VPs and industry leaders I gleam insights of how this change is happening. What evidence exists. Why some things happen and not others and how we can best take advantage of it all to do better. In Observations I catalogue it all. Brief, to the point and open to discussion. 


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