Considered the Rewards?

Investment in the ethical culture of your organization pays dividends on two fronts: not only do you mitigate the direct and indirect costs of risk, you contribute directly to earnings. The reason? Ethical behavior creates trust, and trust creates value in the marketplace. Think simply of the premium consumers will pay for a trusted brand (Tylenol vs. a generic) or the market share secured by customer loyalty (iPhone vs. Android).

Such advantages alone would suggest that trust is an exceedingly valuable commodity. But there are countless other rewards given to the values-centered organization: recruitment and retention of outstanding employees, long-term relationships with quality suppliers, reduced likelihood of investigation and regulation, benefit-of-the doubt when the inevitable mistake occurs and a much faster restoration of reputation when wrongs are righted…. The list is long and the contribution to the bottom line is real.

But there is another, equally important, reason to invest in ethics: peace of mind and joy in our work. Many of us fear that to succeed in business we must put some of our personal values aside – a tension that takes a great toll over time. I want to say that this is simply not true! One can do well and do right at the same time. Indeed one can often do better by doing right! Yes, there will always be difficult decisions, no perfect answers… But it is entirely possible to feel great about your work and grow a company at the same time. I would love to tell you how!