Ethics is good for business – at last the message is getting through

| November 6, 2019

The message that ethical behaviour and making decisions based on what is best in the long-term for an organisation’s reputation, financial welfare and sustainability is getting through said Dr Zivit Inbar founder and CEO of DifferenThinking a boutique consulting firm specialising in strategic people, culture, ethics, leadership and performance services.

Dr Inbar said recent high-profile cases of unethical behaviour together with changes in community expectations makes every business vulnerable and it jeopardises their financial viability when they are exposed.  This means that culture, ethics, innovation and decision making – the core pillars of leadership are more important than ever.

As a general observation, people and businesses are not unethical – however, problems arise if ethical behaviour is not ingrained in an organisation’s DNA and decisions made at all levels are unable to ask the fundamental questions ‘what is the right thing to do and by whom’ affirmed Dr Inbar.

“Companies love to extol the merits of their corporate culture and virtuousness of managers and staff that are collectively dedicated to maximising shareholder returns, the environment, inclusiveness, equality, etc,” Dr Inbar said.

“But the word ‘ethics’ is very different with a far deeper meaning and implications.  Even a business that adheres steadfastly to the rule of law can still be operating unethically.

Warren Buffett once said “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it”.

“Once unethical practices and behaviours are exposed and trust is lost – the momentum of the irrevocably damaged reputation accelerates the decline and ultimate destruction of the business.

“This very sobering realisation is why organisations can no longer rely on the mantra that ‘this is how we do things here’ as a shield or excuse for unethical behaviour.  They need to keep improving from within and the key to strengthening processes and behaviour can only come from the top”.

Hence the primary theme and purpose of DifferenThinking workshops ‘Culture Ethics & Innovation – are led from the top’that provide practical tools for managers to develop ethic-first cultures within their businesses.

These tools, coupled with Dr Inbar’s own research about the role of boards in corporate ethics, provide a unique resource and service for the business community.

“It is heartening to observe that business leaders in growing numbers appreciate that a reputation for ethical behaviour builds trust both internally and externally with organisation’s stakeholders who rely on the business to conduct itself ethically in all dealings.

“I’m also confident DifferenThinking workshops and programs will continue to be supported by organisations keen to reduce risks and empower their human capital”.