How To Make Ethics and Business Work
We need good companies more than we need business. No one works alone. Nothing happens in a vacuum. The choices we make and the way we make them send a signal on what’s permitted and what isn’t. This creates parameters of acceptability which reverberate further than we think.
If it is OK to “go for the jugular” in a business environment because “the end justifies the means” then it is OK to be abusive to those around us when off work because “the moment required it”. When the boundaries of what is considered ethical are fluid and can be moved or conveniently overlooked in business, it becomes easier to find reasons to also behave like this elsewhere.
When something that is bad happens and there is no repercussion. It creates an atmosphere of permissiveness for other bad things to happen elsewhere. Context is not a silo. It is a conduit. It creates a template of how actions can be transferred from one ‘theater’ to another.
That’s why bad actors need to be punished and be seen to be punished for their bad behavior.
Within your own organization, how do you give permission? Where do you draw the line?
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.