The Only Way is Ethics…
Has HSBC been helping very rich people people avoid tax? Did the Conservative Leader know about it before ennobling an HSBC boss? Did the Labour Leader avoid tax himself on his father’s estate opening him to accusations of hypocrisy? Is it OK for a national newspaper to avoid reporting on the scandal given HSBC is a major advertiser? Is it OK to pay tradesmen cash in hand? Did the Shadow Chancellor always get a receipt from his window cleaner? Are the energy companies exploiting vulnerable customers by keeping them on higher tariffs? Is it OK to kick a robot dog?
In none of these cases did anything illegal take place – they are all about ethics.
So why then do leaders of great organisations still see ethics/corporate responsibility as a side-issue? Why do you rarely hear people talking about doing the right thing in a genuine sense, instead doing what is expedient and hoping for the best? Why are people happy to leave a ticking time bomb under their business?
Doing the right thing may involve a bit of pain at first, but compared to the agony of what can happen in the long run.