We are all ethical – until we go to work…
Interesting piece of research doing the rounds in the media where they found that bankers were more honest when they weren’t thinking about being bankers. This suggests that bankers aren’t inherently more unethical than the rest of us, but rather that the culture of modern banking is responsible for LIBOR, Forex, PPI and all the other banking scandals.
Culture is an incredibly powerful force – for good or bad. It is incredible how resilient culture is to change, particularly in larger organisations where you get what I call ‘institutional inertia’. Management legend Peter Drucker (is said to have) put it like this:
Culture eats strategy for breakfast.
If you want to change anything for the better – ethics, social impacts, environmental performance – you better start with the culture.
But Drucker also said:
Company cultures are like country cultures. Never try to change one. Try, instead, to work with what you’ve got.
This is the essence of Green Jujitsu – work out where the overlap between the existing culture and sustainability sits – and use this as the entry point. It applies just as well to ethical/social issues as it does to green issues.