Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ethics is Key To Innovation

In 2009 the Ethisphere Insitute published a lists of the world's most ethical companies. I was disappointed to read the list and did not see one Canadian firm listed. Why is this?

Seems odd when you review the 2010 Edelman Survey on Trust for Brand in terms of companies that will do the right things for their customers, and that Canadian's have the highest level of trust now at 57% in the last four years... and trust is correlated to Ethics.

So what does this tell us - are we just quiet gentle leaders?

I do believe that this is the case as Canadians do not toot their horns too much. We are like the quiet leaders - men and women who make the tough calls in a ethical manner that respect diverse cultures and stakeholder neesd.

One of Canada's strongest cultural attributes is humility. I know and understand that the more I know means I know very little. Doing a doctorate for me was a learning journey helping me to further realize the roots of innovation are linked to trust, and collaboration capacity, and tremendous rigor and discipline and patience is needed.

Increasingly with the challenges we have in business we are learning daily that Trust is fostered only if ethics and transparency are integrated leadership practices.

We are not totally there yet - will we ever be - I do like to imagine a total world harmonized with a generation of values-led leaders, where multi-faceted challenges - globalization, sustainability, depleting resources, economic instability, co-opetition.... also embrace the realities of collaboration, ethics and trust sense making as only then will innovation truly flourish!
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