The Only Way is Ethics

The Only Way is Ethics

Great working environments start with strong moral codes. It shouldn’t take pay gap revelations and toxic culture stories to draw attention to problems. We should assert our convictions and be held accountable for them. Let’s wear our ethics with pride.

It became pretty clear during 2017 that the way we do business is no longer a side detail. Susan Fowler went from being a 26 year old site reliability engineer at Uber to being the Financial Times and Time Magazine person of the year. Largely because she wrote a whistle blowing blog post about her experience in the ‘bro culture’ at Uber.


One of Uber’s values was famously ‘always be hustling’. There’s probably something to be said for an entrepreneurial culture which is seeking new incremental opportunities, but reminding people that good work should be rooted in strong morals is vital.


This Financial Times article is fascinating about the Kikkoman soy sauce company. The company laid down its values in the 17th century. Interestingly these weren’t aspirations about commercial success or business approaches but were enduring ethical guidelines like “do not be lazy” and “do not tell lies”.


As a number of companies have had to decide in the last year taking the right moral approach is the most important decision when it comes to running a business your team can be proud to work in.


What does this mean though?

Companies and teams live and die by doing the right things consistently here. That doesn’t mean being tough in some cases and lax in others, it means being tough all of the time.

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