Ethics? How To Take the Measure Business
When asked to write a small piece pertaining to ethics and integrity in the business world, my first inclination was to draw on personal experience.
Everyone has bad experiences to relate. We deal with a business, determine that we were treated shabbily therefore that business has no integrity. Or perhaps we disagree on the implementation of a refund, hence the business or owner has no ethics.
Rather than using ethics or integrity to describe business practices, a better definition might be "character".
My dusty old copy of Webster's New World Dictionary provides the following definitions for use in this context:
-ethics...the study of standards of conduct and moral judgment; moral philosophy.
-integrity...the quality or state of being of sound moral principle; uprightness, honesty, and sincerity.
-character...an individual's pattern of behavior or personality; moral constitution. moral strength; self-discipline, fortitude, etc. reputation.
If you will look at these definitions you can see that ethics relates to standards of conduct. Period. Ethics are...no good or bad comes into the mix. Integrity either is or isn't. Sound moral principle is relative to the observer or end user.
It stands to reason, therefore, that the best measure of good or bad practice falls to basic "character".
Okay, so what does all of this have to do with business. Well, I wish I had a nickel for every time someone has asked me the following questions:
"How do I tell if a business is good or bad?"
"How do I know where to shop?"
"Are they a good business?"
My response is always the same...check the fruit on the tree. What is the pattern of behavior? What is the company's reactive personality? Is the moral constitution flexible rather than rigid? Check the reputation.
The offline world provides numerous resources to determine the patterns and trends of businesses. Trade associations, chambers of commerce, better business bureaus etc.
In the online world, however, we are still treading murky waters when it comes to measuring the "character" of a business. By far, the best route to take are testimonials.
Testimonials on your website are powerful. But, they must be honest and sincere. Don't just make them up. Add a link back to the provider and it will increase your credibility TENFOLD!
Now I know what you're thinking, "Who wants to be answering tons of email for ME?" Nobody. That's why you use the technology available at your fingertips. With the permission of the author, use a line or two of their testimonial on your site with a link to an autoresponder for the full message.
Now, sit back and watch your credibility soar!
Patty Baldwin © 2001
About The Author
Patty Baldwin is a former Better Business Bureau executive and the owner of several online businesses. A successful net marketer, she invites you to visit any one of her sites at:
Is Good Neighborliness Good Business?
[Note: This story is not a criticism of Buddhism. It is a story of neighborly love.]
How To Detect Liars In Your Business & Personal Life
We live in a world full of lies and deception. Most of us (or all of us?) lied or were forced to do so, in a small or larger scale, because of some circumstances. Unfortunately, some individuals use to prevaricate or lie deliberately. They use to do it frequently in every aspect of their life.
Financial Projections in Business Plans
One of the most difficult sections to write in a business plan is the proforma and financial sections. After all it is most difficult to what exact costs you will incur or what level of sales volumes are actually achievable. So often businesses are faced with excess government controls at all levels which take thousands of dollars in fees, additionally legal fees, delays and lawsuits often ensue and slow the project. You cannot know in advance what roadblocks or brick walls city planners, country agencies or Federal Regulators will come up with, as they often change their minds and add new laws in the middle of your already delayed project. These are only a few of the problems facing entrepreneurs when writing financial projections. Other issues occur from an over enthusiastic entrepreneurial positive attitude and business plan writers should double the money needed and triple the time to complete the project to be on a reality based plain. Thus if you beat your projections everyone is happy. Including bankers, investors and yourself. If folks are not happy you may find yourself in court defending yourself and making excuses, many of which many not be your fault, but in the end you are hung out to dry as the buck stops with you.
The Armaments Industry and Holy (?) Roman Emperors
"The time for fixing every essential right on a legal basis is while our rulers are honest and ourselves united. From the conclusion of this war we shall be going down hill. It will not then be necessary to resort every movement to the people for support. They will be forgotten, therefore, and their rights disregarded. They will forget themselves, but in the sole faculty of making money... The shackles, therefore, which shall not be knocked off at the conclusion of this war, will remain on us long, will be made heavier and heavier." - Thomas Jefferson
No Credit is Due: Bad Telemarketing
Just a few minutes ago I was debating what to write about this week -- something interesting, perhaps, or maybe it was about time to give some credit to snails, I thought. Then, by some random stroke of luck, fate or writer's lightning (a term I created just now), I received a phone call from a credit card company...
Tales from the Corporate Frontlines: Shifting Culture and Climate in Todays Corporate World
This articles relates to the AlphaMeasure core competency Culture and Climate. AlphaMeasure defines climate as the effect an organization has on the employees, while culture refers more to the acceptable behaviors, attitudes, and habits of the organization as a whole. Knowing and understanding workplace culture and climate leads to a better understanding of what factors are influencing employees. In relation, the level of service your customers receive is almost always influenced by the culture and climate of your organization. This competency can be especially insightful if your organization is experiencing customer service related issues or problems working together internally.
Business Ethics: Functional Choices
Years of experience have taught me there is no such thing as "Business Ethics". If a person isn't ethical in the rest of their lives, their business ethics aren't worth the shoe leather they've worn out either.
Ethics in Business - Please Have Some
Is your business ethical?
Vice of Buggery at FTC
At the Federal Trade Commission we have seen attorneys who suffer from the vice of buggery get promoted to higher and more important international divisions. Now then, are these attorneys who have personal sexual problems and are breaking the laws of sodomy not wanted in the main group of Federal Trade Commission Employees? Is the FTC worried about sexual harassment laws? Are they worried about on-the-clock Men's Restroom "Quickies" and the possibility of the need for an unflattering in-house employee investigation becoming public? Is the Federal Trade Commission afraid to fire these buggerists, for some employee unlawful termination suit? Is buggery so pervasive that the FTC has to invent new titles for these guys so they can be moved up in rank to other divisions? If so why doesn't the FTC adopt a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy" to prevent special treatment of those who suffer from buggery? Can't the FTC get psychological help for these men who thrust their penis up another man's rectum? Obviously these human organs were not set up to do that. We know that the FTC continually screw with the natural order of competition and evolutionary progress of efficient competition and survival of the fittest businesses. But why are they now trying to modify humankind's evolution?
Minding Your Global Manners
To say that today's business environment is becoming increasingly more global is to state the obvious. Meetings, phone calls and conferences are held all over the world and attendees can come from any point on the globe. On any given business day you can find yourself dealing face-to-face, over the phone, by e-mail and, on rare occasions, by postal letter with people whose customs and cultures differ your own. You may never have to leave home to interact on an international level.
Are You Selling Out Your Integrity?
Integrity in business is a quality that is highly under-rated by executives these days. Many executives are so "pushed and pulled" by a not so hidden force called the "profit motive" that they often find themselves compromising something that without which they could lose all credibility and trust from those they are trying to retain business from.
Ethics In The Workplace
Workplace Ethics is a subject that we have all heard of. In fact, the subject of Ethics in general is something that most people are familiar with. And, what is commonly understood about ethics is there are ethics and then there are workplace ethics. What most people don't realize, however, is that there is no such thing as workplace ethics; ethics are the same, (or, should be) whether in the workplace or in personal life.
Business Ethics: An Oxymoron?
Why do I believe good PR and business ethics are inextricably linked? It comes down to definitions. Ethics is learning what is right and what is wrong and then doing the "right thing." PR involves providing counsel on the "right thing" to do and then helping the organization get credit for it.
Better Business Boundaries
To get a new client, we might be inclined to make concessions no matter what the cost: offer a second or extra long sample session; reduce fees; set session times we don't want to work. We might leap at any opportunity before looking at the possible return on investment of time. These situations end up being lessons learned, sometimes painful ones.
Top 10 Principles for Positive Business Ethics
This morning, I read about a company using on-line auctions to defraud customers. Last week, I consulted on an ethics complaint where a business coach betrayed a client's confidentiality. And, recently a Physician was convicted of insider trading based on information from a patient, a violation of both business ethics and her professional ethics.
How To Build A Business Ethics Program
Recent corporate financial scandals have highlighted the importance of business ethics and legal compliance. Yet a recent National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) survey of 280 corporate CEOs and directors found that "only one of three directors felt that they were highly effective in ensuring legal compliance".
Is Your Management Style Lead By Intimidation?
So many women make the mistake of thinking that they have to be these big mean diva bosses, to get respect and cooperation from their staff and colleagues. They walk around the office huffing and puffing, never showing satisfaction at the work their staff does. They rarely praise their subordinates or colleagues work and they try to make them work all hours of the night. These women mottos are "If I can stay here all night, so can you!" One boss I had in particular, her motto was "I don't get high-blood pressure, I give it.! She was proud of this and she caused some of her staff to be stressed out with high-blood pressure. She was later fired!
The Only Thing You Get for Free in Life is Hungry!
My grandfather was a very wise man. Simple but wise. He once told me "The only thing you get in life for free is hungry." There is a lot of truth in that. I see it all the time online and offline that people are looking for the perverbial "free ride."
Communicable Corporate Diseases Hurting Business Sexcess!
Enron Executive goes to prison for 10 years, Martha Stewart is under house arrest, and Bill Clinton averages $150,000 per speaking engagement.
I know that diversity has been a big topic of conversation ever since the early 1990s when research supported the demographics that by the year 2000, 85% of the entering workforce would be female, African-American, Asian-American, Latino, or new immigrants. The fact that white males would be a minority entering the workplace was a wake up call for corporate America.
|© Athifea Distribution LLC - 2013|