Of course they will.
Someone always does. Acting without ethics always backfires. “Taking one back from the system” and other such statements are the things used as justification. But wait. It never starts like that.
It’s always something minute, some oversight backed with the silent voice saying “they’ll never know”. Or bad business presented in gold wrappings, just what the business need, what we’ve all been waiting for. However, it always ends in loss. Of the business itself, of freedoms and of trust – the very essence of community.
Nothing is ever worth the soul of a business.
Is how firms are remembered.
At the end of a good strategy properly executed are results. What makes a company stand the test of time is what it does with these results. Like J.D Rockefeller who believed expansion to be the key to business success, some decide to focus solely on growth. Other companies in similar fashion diversify into new products, services and markets.
Thing is, it takes more than financial profit to stay in business. Good will generated from honest word of mouth is crucial to business success as it leverages our primary need to connect. So, major investments are made in advertising, branding and the company’s image in general. Then there are charity events and strategic contributions – “giving back” to society.
Pure advertising is when giving back is headline news. Deliberate. Strategically placed in the media so that we know all the good being done. And people know when they’re being conned. And they react in ways unexpected. They just won’t be too confident sharing the news about your great brand.
But there is a higher kind of giving. Giving back in ways unknown to the media. Giving in ways only the beneficiaries would know about.
Simple acts of kindness. Everyday
Healthy firms should have the following biases;
Against internal uncooperation.
Against unconditional individualism.
Against subpar efficiencies.
Is very important to getting it right in the 21st century. A key requirement to push a good idea through to the customer.
To sustain a single minded effort, focused on key actions necessary for progress, without which the idea has no life. To go beyond the internal limits. To think long term, most of time, for the customer.
To make the hard sells.
To hear “No”, and move on to the next one; “stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm”. Cutting close to the bone.
Minimal effort simply won’t cut it.
One can’t assume that an idea will sell because it is a good one. It also has to be proven to the customer such that she has no other choice.
Why? Because success is its own reward. Because there is a future worth being in, worth leading. Because it always pays off in the end, in more ways than one. In relationships, market leadership and profit. A real legacy.
In short, good stories to tell.
Is your best defense.
Not what you planned. Not what you said. But what you did.
This is what defines commitment to the mind of today’s (Increasingly enlightened) customer, supplier and employee. Not what you planned to do, not what others are doing. But what you are doing.
This is how companies raise the required commitment in their brand. This is what keeps the competition at bay. So, it’s what you do and how you do it.