Integrity

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The world is advancing to higher ethical levels (despite regular evidence to the contrary). Young generations and rising middle classes are not going to stand for past behaviours from organisations. Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues are becoming threats to companies. Integrity is becoming an essential element of organisational resilience. Building organisational integrity is a strategic response by governance to ethical challenges and risks. Integrity, governance, ethics, and risk are intertwined.

While many companies view investment in governance simply as a means of staying out of trouble, proper corporate governance can — and should — drive company performance…  

a growing number of companies are moving toward a more holistic approach to ethical and responsible business… to identify blind spots and avoid hypocrisy…  emerging role of chief integrity officer as a driver of change.

new pressures from stakeholders can go beyond compliance and reputation management and [instead require the organisation to] demonstrate commitment to environmental and social responsibility… companies need much closer coordination between the functions that deal with legal obligations and those that deal with voluntary environmental and social commitments

focus has shifted away from one-way training to discussions, in order to create a safe space for employees to question issues they experience in their daily routine

pursuing this opportunity should not come at the price of long-term profitability, and leaders in these roles must be good at balancing integrity goals with profitability pressures

– B20 Integrity & Compliance Task Force, MIT Sloan Management Review

 

To advance integrity,

  • The organisational vision and strategy must align with integrity.  it is a navigational star, and a principle underpinning goals and metrics.
  • The organisation is a network.  We must collaborate across silos and from top to bottom.
  • Build ethical culture through policy, messaging, feedback, goals, rewards, and all the other inputs that influence the work system
  • Make integrity an independent function under a chief integrity officer at C-suite level