The Trust Strategist

This thought-provoking keynote on being fearless in ethical decision-making will challenge old perceptions in outlining why business ethics creates the trust that drives commercial performance, and how it delivers a powerful competitive advantage.

Think of unethical business like smoking. Sure you can still do it, but there are fewer and fewer places where you can get away with it. Sure it might give you a short term high, but it will harm you in the long run. And more and more people are demanding healthy environments.

Smoking has changed. So too has business. Today there is a big upside to business ethics.

So what is business ethics?

Business ethics is being conscious to do what’s best for your business … and your customers … and your staff … and your shareholders … and the sector you serve … and the planet we share. It has everything to do with creating growth and value. The key difference is business ethics focuses on growing the value for all stakeholders in the long term, rather than just one stakeholder for the short term.

Think of business ethics as ‘value creating behaviours’. Behaviours that create value for all stakeholders and our system. And what are some of the behaviours that create value? Integrity, Respect, Objectivity, Fairness, Professionalism, Transparency, Accountability, Engagement, Innovation … and some fun along the way!

Business ethics is integral to trust, and capitalism runs on trust. Trust facilitates commerce. The word credit comes from the Latin Credere, to trust. As a consumer you trust a brand promise … as a homebuyer you trust your mortgage provider … as an investor you trust the market … and as an employee you trust your employer.

The trust that underpins capitalism remains rocked by the Global Financial Crisis, and trust in business in 2017 is at an all-time low. Globally, only 13% of employees are actively engaged with their employers. The majority of people now feel that the system is not working for them. The system is broken.

The future of business needs a new way forward and it’s grounded in ethics. Companies are getting smarter. They can see the upside in acting ethically to engage all stakeholders. The payback is repeat business, recommendations and brand reputation. Are they acting ethically because it is intrinsically good or because it delivers results? Does it matter? Business ethics works.

On a personal level, science is proving that we are happiest when we act within our own ethical systems. Science has also shown that happiness leads to success, but not vice versa. When you’re happy, you’re much more likely to be successful. But success does not create happiness.

Ethics gives you power and fearlessness over your business and your personal life.

Business ethics is essential for organisational and customer trust.