BIToday's advice comes from Vivek Wadhwa, Stanford fellow and Washington Post columnist, via LinkedIn:
"Corporate executives and business owners need to realize that there can be no compromise when it comes to ethics and that there are no easy shortcuts to success. Their companies need ethics carefully sewn into their fabric. Business executives need to start by spelling out and communicating their values. Then they need to lead by example. This means getting rid of the bad apples and declining opportunities to sell one's soul for instant wealth."
Wadhwa says having a uniform moral standard that employees across all management levels adhere to is key. The best strategy will encourage employees to come clean and learn from their mistakes. The worst strategy won't allow for errors, thereby pressuring employees to hide information and cover up a problem. This will only create a corrosive corporate culture. Ultimately, everyone — entry-level employee and executive — needs to be held accountable.
"The best organizations build ethics into their management and compensation systems. They reinforce corporate values by making them an integral part of how success is measured and rewarded. Remember that doing the right thing doesn't automatically bring success. But compromising ethics almost always leads to failure."
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- Vivek Wadhwa