“Resist Business Temptations”
Most of us have run across opportunities that seemed too good to be true. It might have been a good looking used car or a great price on a previously owned computer.
We’re often tempted to jump in immediately. We “love” that car (or computer)! However, if we slow down and dig deeper, we might find that pretty car has a suspect motor. We might find that previously owned computer has a bad hard drive. Or that both are in good shape and worth the investment – and the risk.
Companies – and teams and divisions of companies – run across opportunities that seem too good to be true, as well. Some companies jump at those opportunities without digging deeper. Some refuse to engage in those opportunities. Some dig deeper and jump in – while some dig deeper and do not pursue those possibly shady scenarios.
How can leaders know if an opportunity is shady or not? How can they assess if an opportunity aligns with the organization’s brand and reputation as well as with it’s performance expectations?
Assessing that risk is much easier when your organization – or team or department – has formalized its values. When values are clear, decision making is easy!
Let’s look at an organization with very clear values and remarkable performance. Garry Ridge, CEO of the WD-40 Companies, has crafted a high performing, values aligned global organization. Soon after he became CEO, Garry implemented a process to clarify WD-40’s purpose, values and behaviors, strategies, and goals. He crafted an organizational constitution for all WD-40 tribe leaders and members.
Ethical behavior – “doing the right thing” – is one of WD-40’s top values. Garry told me of one opportunity that was presented to them. “We could have made millions of dollars on the product, but discovered that known cancer-causing chemicals were in the product’s formula,” Garry said. “We walked away. The money wasn’t worth the risk to our customers’ health.”
A different global company, the world’s biggest retailer, is today battling a huge scandal. Walmart is under investigation for bribing Mexican officials (to the tune of millions of dollars) to speed expansion of stores in that country. Walmart does have defined beliefs and principles that promise integrity in every interaction. It looks to this outsider that profits drove unethical behavior, inconsistent with the company’s principles. We’ll learn more as the investigation proceeds.
Make “doing the right thing” easier for all leaders and team members. Formalize your company or team values and desired behaviors in an organizational constitution – then align all behaviors and practices to it.
To learn more about creating an organizational constitution and managing to one, get your free sample chapter of my upcoming book, The Culture Engine.
S. Chris Edmonds is the founder and CEO of The Purposeful Culture Group. After a 15-year career leading and managing teams, Chris began his consulting company in 1990. Since 1995, Chris has also served as a senior consultant with The Ken Blanchard Companies. Chris provides high-impact keynotes, executive briefings, and executive consulting. He is the author of six books, including Leading At A Higher Level with Ken Blanchard. Learn how to craft workplace inspiration with an organizational constitution in Chris’ new book, The Culture Engine, which launches on September 29, 2014. His blog, podcasts, free assessments, research, and videos can be found @ http://drivingresultsthroughculture.com.