A common way of thinking
On a regular basis to the Thursday I participate in a chat on innovation (#innochat) which gives me great pleasure because of the high quality of information that there is always shared.
For this last #innochat (you can see here a recapitulation) @DrewCM wrote a good article that served as a frame to the discussion- Nature. Nurture. Nightmare. What does it take to build an innovative enterprise?
Among the issues proposed for discussion were:
– What do you think it takes to build an innovative enterprise?
– How do the ends justifies the means?
We exchanged many ideas but still it seems useful to leave here a reflection on this theme.
I think that innovative companies are companies that people admire and in which eventually they would like to work. But are they companies where ethics has an important role in its activities?
Looking for images of innovative companies there seems to be a strong correlation between innovative companies and business ethics.
Companies that promote respect and trust between employees and where these are protected, encouraged and rewarded are flexible and able to take risks, but not at any cost.
They are companies where leaders regularly send signals that are absorbed as integral parts of a culture of ethics and of innovation.
They are companies that facilitate the expression of new ideas and opinions and where workers are considered collaborators so everyone can feel that they are an important part in the development of the organization.
Respect and trust are values that arise by exercising responsibility whatsoever of managers or employees, and which is also an important motivational factor.
The respect and trust that grows when managers don’t have always the correct answer and hear alternative voices in an open communication way.
“We don’t act a certain way because we have a virtue, but rather it is the other way around. We have that virtue because we behave that way repeatedly, over time.” – Aristotle
But it’s not always like that! Often we are questioned to what extend the means justify the ends when we see that, for example, there is a lack of ethics in how some subcontracts between organizations are performed.
Humans “have a tendency to exaggeration” and often overestimate how ethical is their behavior.
So until the leaders see their ethical conduct as essential for achieving the business goals, a lot of water from the river passes under the bridge.
Ethics should be always one of the banks of this river when leaders need to make decisions and not a boat adrift in those waters.
How do businesses balance the need to obey the laws of market speed and integrity in decision making?
How can we have a “play to win” and demonstrate an impeccable ethical behavior?
How can we crush the competition without anyone quit injured with lack of ethics?
How can we maintain an atmosphere of trust with employees if the leaders tended to handle customers?
“With so much ignorance about ethics, it is worth asking whether it is even possible to change the way that companies behave? Is it possible ethical companies are born, not made? Manzoni believes that it is possible to make companies more ethical; however, it is a long and hard process that revolves around organisational culture. To Manzoni, organisational culture is not simply about the mindset and values of the company, but about actions and practices. He quotes Goffee and Jones:
“Culture comes down to a common way of thinking, which drives a common way of acting.” – Grace Segran
It seems that while the organizational culture takes a good and given time to build up, the benefits inherent to it can disappear quickly if they are not fed.
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