This post originally appeared on Reaching New Heights website
A good time to get ethical….
It’s not very often that I pen a blog on a Monday morning before I‘ve even cooked my daughter’s bacon! In fact I have a blog title Why I’m an ethical trader that has sat on the top of a word doc for about 3 months now, but waking to this morning’s news resulted in the words just bursting out.
Cover up exposed, is a common place headline at the moment. From the MP’s expenses scandal and the banks outrageous behaviour, to Hillsborough, Jimmy Savile, and today the news that the Yorkshire police were told what to write in their reports over the miners’ strike; It’s all coming out.
For many many years people have said, regarding bad behaviour, ‘they will get their comeuppance’. But I don’t think anyone had envisaged that that would be in the shape of social chat sites. And yet it is social media that is forming this new culture of transparency and accountability. People are telling their stories and people are not going to be silenced no matter how many mega injunctions are imposed!
There has never been a better time to be an ethical trader. I’m aware of course, that people think being an ethical trader is an ‘alternative’ way of trading, which suggests that main-stream is not ethical! And sadly that has been the case. A few years ago a friend of mine was almost crushed in her car as a truck driver who didn’t see her, continued to reverse into her, doing a 3 point turn. The thing that was most shocking about the whole experience was that the highly distressed driver kept repeating ‘I’m not allowed to say sorry’. Someone had actually made that a company policy!
Well time for a rethink…
I’ve always been big on personal responsibility. We all mess up from time to time. But what would it take for us to hold our hands up, say sorry, and make amends?
It’s often simply the fear of losing status and material goods that make us cover up, lie and hurt people. But I was reminded, just last week when doing a question and answer session with poet Rosie Garland, author of Everything Must Go, that it is usually the people who have had to face, head on, the loss of all that they had believed was important and defined them, that are the very best people we can ever meet.
If your organisation is one that, when challenged, denies all knowledge, or gets defensive, you’re in for a rocky ride. If your organisation has any skeletons in the stationary cupboard, regarding staff, customers, or finances, this is a good time to figure out how best to air them yourself before someone does it for you.
Transparency and accountability is the new business model, whether you are a sole trader, a head teacher, or run a country. Unethical behaviour is being exposed. Change is coming and it’s coming fast.
If you want a hand with that, give me a call! 🙂