In my previous article ‘Are you a gullible company director?’ I outlined two effective frameworks from the ‘The speed of trust: the one thing that changes everything’ that can help company directors confidently build Smart Trust with each other and management.
One of those frameworks was the 4 cores of credibility (integrity, intent, capability, and results). In this article, I focus on integrity. We all claim to have it yet there are recurring examples in royal commissions and other inquiries that cause our collective jaws to drop when these failures are made public. Why is this so?
Can you imagine, in the Star Casino Inquiry, how difficult it must have been for the person that was instructed to lie to the bank regarding the source of expenses put on the CUB card contravening the bank’s rules, the card issuer rules, and probably a bunch of laws? What was going through their mind? Is this an instruction I must follow to keep my job? Do I really understand the consequences of my actions and the actions of others that gave me the instruction? Did I feel the same way the subsequent times I committed the same action now that the precedent has been set?
Why did the process fail despite documented processes and compliance training (I presume)? These are not the most critical parts of maintaining integrity in the organisation.
There must be a clear test.
The most powerful test I have ever experienced was coined at Lend Lease decades ago. That test was “Am I happy that what I am about to do is reported on the front page of the newspaper for all my family and friends to see?” if not then don’t do it! There is no ‘devil made me do it’ excuse. Is your company test articulated or as explicit as Lend Lease’s test? If not, then a rethink may be required.
There must be open, ongoing, and explicit permission.
Explicit permission is required to maintain a safe environment to hold each other accountable. As part of this, there must be a line that is never crossed without consequences. Without this fear and self-preservation and self-interest are likely to take over.
Making it real
Sounds easy right? OK let’s take a test.
- Is it acceptable for your company to exploit transfer pricing to minimise taxation?
- Is it acceptable to pay for services in cash to avoid GST?
- Is it acceptable to conceal information in a divorce settlement?
- Is it acceptable to pay out a victim of executive misbehaviour while promoting the executive?
- Etc etc etc
This and other issues are debated in our workshop “PROJECTS IN THE BOARDROOM”. If this is of interest then click the link.