Business Ethics: Change the World

    May 15, 2006

All too often we hear people say that business is evil and a major cause of the many problems of society.

Unfortunately, that statement is true in all too frequent cases. That doesn’t mean, however, that all business is bad. A few bad apples can spoil an entire barrel. Such is the case in the business world where a few dishonest and uncaring people make all business people look bad.

The good news is that you can do something about the bad reputation inflicted on honest business people by a few scoundrels. You can operate your business from startup to retirement on ethical principles. Honest and open business practices can and should be how you run your company. In fact, I am positive in my conviction that honesty is the best policy. In the long run, nice guys finish first.

Let’s start at the startup of your company when you devise your business plan. Begin with a firm statement of your own convictions and principles. These are the cornerstones of how your organization will operate in the present and into the future. For example, you might declare that you will purchase no items that destroy the Amazon rainforest (pictured at the top of the post), or harm or displace indigenous people. You could announce fair hiring practices that include people of every gender, race, age, and physical challenge. You may decide to provide charitable work for the community and to give something back, and then some.

Once these foundation principles are in place, you must devise systems that will put them into action. Your suppliers must adhere to your environmental and human protection goals, or you will seek new sources of goods and services. Your hiring policies will be open and use innovative techniques that don’t eliminate candidates. You get involved in community groups that help others succeed and achieve their goals.

Take care of your day to day business activity as well. You conduct your business honestly and provide the best customer service possible. Discuss your ideas and business practices with peers in your industry and outside your regular business circles. Talk openly with customers about your goals and beliefs. While many potential customers might reject the concepts, they will be attracted by your honest business practices. Write about your experiences with your core values on your business blog. The feedback from customers and business associates will help further your goals and enable you to reach and even exceed them.

Business doesn’t have to be cut throat competition and a race to the bottom. Working together in strategic partnerships, with other like minded business people, will help everyone achieve success. Your customer base will include many people who are seeking something better in their lives and for the planet as a whole.

Satisfied customers will spread the word about you and your organization by good old word of mouth advertising. Your company will be treated well in blog posts and media coverage. The viral marketing power of blogs and the traditional media will work in your favour, spreading the word on your behalf. Good news is good for the business bottom line as well.

Honesty is the best policy. It pays off in customer and community relations, and it pays off for the world.

Practicing strong business ethics is the ultimate win win for everyone.

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Wayne Hurlbert provides insigtful information about marketing, promotions, search engine optimization and public relations for websites and business blogs on the popular Blog Business World.

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