22-Feb-2012 12:42

Business and Management Integrity

I believe it was Adam Smith's who said that the market - by what he called an 'invisible hand' - was able to transform self-interest into collective gain.

Rather like our expectations & hopes that we receive the best possible care from nurses, teachers & workers, so we have a right to expect the best input from management of large companies.

An idea that we can in some way insulate ourselves from the consequences of decisions - poor or otherwise - is unsustainable and unethical.

Business is not just about profits, because life isn't just about maximising profits (the American car-bumper sticker that reads, 'The man with most toys when he dies, wins', has got to be one of the saddest statements ever).

Business is ultimately about improvement; enhancing the lives of clients, employees, staff and communities.

Some of the finest business minds have acute moral senses.

In business they are determined, act tough, are cautious and, by definition, often rather ruthless but also moral.

If not - they wouldn't have survived...

The overiding factor governing the above principles is sound common sense.

Integrity is paramount in the long run.
Acting well towards employees creates and develops loyalties to the company and in turn provides incentives for far higher employee returns.

Cutting corners can create very short-term advantages and profits, but these will normally be uncovered in the long term.

How many great careers have been ruined by those unscrululous enough to believe that "they could get away with it"?

Trust, once lost, is difficult to regain.

What do you think?

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Contributed by Gareth Kane on 22-Feb-2012 13:20
But the flip side is the new era of philanthropy - Gates, Page & Brin, Branson etc


Gareth Kane
terra infirma ltd - environmental and sustainability consultants
Contributed by David Chan on 22-Feb-2012 13:19
Great quote Michael!
Contributed by Michael Heaney on 22-Feb-2012 13:19
It was Andrew Carnegie, then the richest man in the world, who, in his 1889 essay The Gospel of Wealth who said
"The day is not far distant when the man who dies leaving behind him millions of available wealth, which was his to administer during life, will pass away un-wept, un-honored and un-sung . . . Of such as these the public verdict will then be: 'The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced.'"

Michael Heaney
Benchwhistler Associates Ltd
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