Leg Zero. Competition with ethics…
No matter how fierce the competitors in each industry, ethics do matter the most when doing strategic industry analysis and when doing strategic decisions. The consequences of not considering ethics are devastating. Historic business disasters have proved it repeatedly over the years, such as the Enron debacle, the Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme, Worldcom and banks scandals such as Bear Sterns, Lehman Brothers, Freddie Mac Scandal, Healthsouth, and recently Odebrecht.
Each company on earth represents the owners of the firm. But each of us is God’s employee working for God’s company. Never forget it. We are only God’s employees to keep his planet alive. We are here in this world to administer the planet. I see it as if God started a company thousands of years ago, and God called it Planet Earth. And God created each of us to be his employees to produce and take care of his Earth art creation. We work for God’s purposes. Each business, regardless the industry, is here to help us to make this earth a productive one, an earth which can fulfill the needs of the populations. We, as employees of God, are trying to organize ourselves strategically working in some way or another to produce and supply our basic demands without forgetting our main role is to take care and protect God’s earth creation.
The human being needs to solve several basic needs, in comparison to animals.
We need shelter. We need food. We need education in order to produce our supply to survive and continue inventing theories and renewing ourselves. We need to be healthy as much as we can and survive sicknesses. We are working every day to reach God’s purpose. We can’t continue just working for money, but for self-realization of our talents at service to our clients, employees, suppliers, and competitors too. If we act in our businesses with God at the center of it, we would be able to put ethics at the core when competing in an industry. Otherwise, we will lose sight and we will compromise our values for money.
God gave us all the resources on the planet so we can protect them, administer them and help others to reach their full potential. When establishing companies, we must dignify our employees, compete with fairness and ethics in the industry, transform the industry for better, serve our customers and suppliers. I am a believer in good companies transforming and renewing themselves for the purpose of goodness and to fulfill our role as employees of God in this land.
For centuries we have seen so many firms and owners doing bad things, acting with corruption, cutting opportunities to new competitors with non-ethical activities, doing influence peddling, performing collusion, paying regulators to get permits, manipulating accounting results, cutting back the quality of products and services, finding excuses to avoid properly compensating to employees just for the sake to turn companies more profitable. Or with the purpose of barren competitors. The temptation to profit at someone else expenses is now seen as normal. How could this be? Well because some strategy models are based on wrong premises, and managers have used them without ethical considerations. We shouldn’t compromise our values regardless of how beneficial could seem the benefits.
No matter how fierce the competition of the industry in which our company competes, ethical values must never be put aside. Our integrity standards can’t be lowered to the level of unscrupulous.
As an example, a real estate corporation can’t sell a housing project in a land where there is a risk of a mudslide when rains heavily. Particularly if there has been a previous precedent mudslide in the past which killed more than 500 people. There is a high probability of another disaster again. And a huge risk of losing lives again if in the future heavy rains cause another mudslide. First of all the owner of the firm can’t even think of conceiving such project. Second, Public Works regulators must stop this type of projects from the beginning, by not approving water, electricity and other services permits. Third, banks can’t offer and must refuse to finance the project. Fourth, clients should not buy houses there. To start a project where you know many lives will be at risk of not only losing their homes, but also their lives, is not ethical.
To create integral value means to profit with ethics. The industry also has to compete with ethics. To compete in a crooked industry means to challenge our business to stay afloat without compromising our ethical values. It means to push for a corporate transformation of the industry. This is to create integral value… with ethics and with integrity. It is important to lead businesses with unyielding integrity.
Leave a Reply