Ethisphere Chief Executive Officer Timothy Erblich recently penned a piece on Asian Link magazine on today’s trends in corporate ethics.
A few weeks ago I was proud to host Ethisphere’s 9th annual Global Ethics Summit in New York City. The Global Ethics Summit is an opportunity for companies from around the world to celebrate what makes them great businesses with corporate cultures that shine above the rest. At the summit great ideas were exchanged and, during one of the keynote panels, I heard something that literally stopped me in my tracks, not because it was bad or unethical, but because it just sounded so strange by today’s standards. We live in an age where ethics matter more than ever. In the wake of a greed-induced worldwide financial crisis that crippled the markets and caused global panic, consumers, investors and regulators alike have demanded cultural reforms of the corporate world.
So when distinguished businessman Stanley Bergman, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer at Henry Schein (pictured right during the opening keynote session at the Global Ethics Summit), a Fortune 500 medical devices company with annual revenues in excess of US$10 billion, said that twenty-one years ago his company attempted to insert a statement about ethics and corporate social responsibility into their financial statements only to be rebuffed by investors, all I could think of is how times have changed.
A commitment to ethical business is more important now than ever before. One theory has to do with the millennial generation. Not only are they currently the largest demographic in the workforce, but they are incredibly skeptical, and why not? This is the generation most impacted by the aftermath of an ethics-induced financial meltdown. They are the ones whose hopes and dreams were put on hold because of the bad actions of the generation that preceded them. How many of them saw their family’s college savings evaporate, resulting in huge tuition debts before they even had a chance to graduate and begin their careers? How many saw their trust in the free market system forever changed? Of course they are skeptical and with good reason. More than that, they have all the means to act on these emotions in the palm of their hands.
Join us on October 19 in Tokyo, Japan, for our 2017 Tokyo Ethics and Compliance Forum. This exclusive event serves as a catalyst for driving thought leadership among major companies and executives to improve company performance, culture and value. It presents a rare opportunity for members of the C-Suite to share best practices, connect and engage in discussions that can help move the needle on ethical issues. Companies are a critical part of the global ecosystem and those that lead with integrity are in a position to influence the economy and change the world. For more information and to register, click here.