The notion of an “ethical business” isn’t an oxymoron though some organizations make me wonder:
- Wells Fargo has had so many scandals affecting customers that I’ve lost count. Even after their recent marketing campaign and a video called Earning Back Your Trust was released announcing how they lost their way and have now righted their ship, they were yet again caught taking advantage of their customers. Sheesh!
- GM was fined $900 million for the car ignition problem that killed over 100 people. People inside GM knew the truth and looked the other way. The Justice Department filed no criminal indictments. I heard someone on the news say, “The law really doesn’t address this issue.” It would seem product liability laws have kicked in but what about concealing the truth from management and customers? What about customers dying and not one word was uttered by GM until it was forced to face the music?
- VW was caught providing invalid documentation of diesel engine emissions on its automobiles. The software settings that confirmed the vehicles met emission requirements were changed for production vehicles meaning the vehicles did not meet emission requirements. VW has paid billions of dollars in fines. And, these violations spilled over into the Audi brand.
- How about all the organizations firing leaders due to sexual harassment/assault charges? What made these people feel so entitled? With the #MeToo movement and work climate that has ensued, it’s just a matter of time before offenders are outed and terminated.
I was taught we should “do the right thing.” Both GM and VW have failed to “do the right thing.” In the case of GM, people have died. In the case of VW, our environment has been compromised. Wells Fargo lost their moral compass.
Ethical choices in business depend on a proper moral compass. Leadership must set the compass and monitor compliance.
Thought for the week:
- “If you see distraction externally, you end up creating an internally distracted state.” – Tim Ferriss
__What do you think? I welcome your comments! Dave Gardner___
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Dave Gardner is a management consultant, speaker, blogger and author based in Silicon Valley. He's been in the front row for the birth and evolution of Silicon Valley, the innovation capital of the world. Since 1992, Dave Gardner has focused on making the complex simple around people, process and technology. He can be reached through his website, www.DaveGardner.biz, or via phone at +1 408-475-7068.