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  • andrea 11:52 pm on February 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Business ethics, , , , SDG16, ,   

    Responsible Business Practice key to SDG16 

    Effective, accountable and inclusive institutions are vital for sustainable development and core to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (#SDGs). Indeed a specific focus of Goal 16 is addressing transparency, #bribery and #corruption. For companies, this means making sure the right framework and signals are in place to drive responsible business practice and move beyond compliance to foster a culture of integrity. sdg16-peaceandjustice

    To help deliver the SDGs, Greenleaf Publishing has produced a handy resource list of key publications for every goal—and our book Creating a Culture of Integrity: Business Ethics for the 21st Century is included as a key SDG16 resource.

    Whether you’re just starting out with the SDGs or well on your way, Greenleaf’s list of eCollections to support the SDGs is a fantastic tool. Grouped by goal and focused on implementation, it’s a go-to for practitioners. Download it free here.


  • andrea 12:22 am on April 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Business ethics, compliance, , , , , , risk   

    Ethics—strengthen your culture for success 

    Organisations with strong cultures of integrity have a lot in common. They focus on creating value for the long term. They put ethical behaviour and stakeholder interests at the heart of the business. They use robust systems to help people make good choices. And they refresh and reinforce core values often to make sure they’re lived.

    Sokol1924Culture—the accepted way of doing things—can make or break your company. Actively root it in strong principles and social expectations and you earn trust, brand value and respect. Neglect it and you open the door to significant operational risk.

    Our latest book, Creating a Culture of Integrity: Business Ethics for the 21st Century, sheds light on how firms from GE to RBS are embedding responsible business as the cultural norm.

    Here are three essential steps you can take to strengthen your culture for success.

    1. Model: lead by example
    2. Educate: train and empower employees
    3. Reward: mobilise performance with incentives


    1. Model: lead by example

    Ethics is everybody’s business, but the CEO, board and management have special responsibilities when it comes to creating a culture of integrity. Good leaders reinforce shared values, walk the talk, tell inspiring stories, encourage speaking up and—when necessary—make tough calls.

    1. Educate: training and awareness

    It’s the daily attitudes and actions of every individual in the company that add up to corporate culture, so raising awareness is crucial to keep personal and organizational values consistent. Effective ethics training tells people what’s expected, why it matters and empowers them to make good choices by showing them how.

    1. Reward: pay and performance

    What gets rewarded gets repeated, so when it comes to culture change, hardwiring ethics to incentives is among the best resources in the corporate toolkit. Make sure your appraisal system is sending the signal that doing the right thing is valued in your corporate culture.

    To learn more about how leading companies are putting these steps into practice, download our free briefing.
    How do you shape your culture? Who sets your organisation’s tone? How do you keep values fresh? What’s the best way to measure change? And which really gnarly problems do you need to solve?

    We’d love to hear your thoughts.


  • andrea 6:11 am on September 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Business ethics, , , , ,   

    The business case for a strong culture of integrity 

    Ethics is a growing business issue. You can barely open a newspaper today or turn on the TV without hearing about yet another company paying the price for poor employee judgment, bad conduct or inadequate oversight. But why should companies care?

    For a start, the penalties for those who do get caught are high:

    • German engineering giant Siemens made corporate history in 2008 when it paid US$1.6 billion to settle charges of bribery.
    • Recent banking fines have been even higher—$1.9 billion to HSBC, $2.6 billion to Credit Suisse, and a monumental $8.9 billion to BNP Paribas.
    • The actual cost is even higher: studies put the cost of reputational damage from ethics scandals at up to seven times the original fine in market value.

    Broken trust and lapsed values seriously impair brand value, employee recruitment and retention and customer loyalty for individual companies—what’s more the total burden of unethical business conduct on the economy as a whole is mindboggling. The B20 Anti-Corruption Working Group estimates that corruption consumes 3% of global GDP each year, costing more than US$2.6 trillion.

    CC image by Pictures of Money

    CC image by Pictures of Money

    Small wonder that ‘conduct risk’ is a red-hot topic for regulators: around the world, from the UK Bribery Act to China’s Article 164, standards and regulations are being developed and revised to combat unethical business practice more effectively.

    The upshot for business is that a race to the top is now on to foster good conduct by embedding effective ethics and compliance (E&C) frameworks that prevent, detect and respond to ethical violations. But companies can’t depend on the compliance system to do all the heavy lifting—no E&C programme alone can guarantee that everyone will always do the right thing. Indeed, without strong ethical culture, E&C initiatives will struggle to make a lasting impact unless they’re accompanied by values-driven behaviour change that’s aligned, integrated and reinforced at individual, organisational and systems levels.

    Proactive business leaders are cottoning on that reshaping business culture is the best way of preventing ethical dilemmas from becoming ethics lapses in the first place. Investing in integrity means shifting from a ‘don’t get caught’ to a ‘right thing to do’ mindset that can positively reinforce compliance, and boost trust and openness. When companies get this right—by promoting, supporting and celebrating personal and organisational integrity and empowering employees to ‘do the right thing’—conduct risk is reduced, reputation reinforced and the foundations are laid for long-term business success.

    In our next blog we’ll look at how you can make sure your culture delivers.

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