Values in Action

Trust, accountability, integrity As we've seen in the preceding chapters, these are heady topics. So many companies claim these as core values, but that's the easy part. The hard part comes in actually trying to express these values in action, in pulling them down from the ether and giving them life at eye level. Agilent was successful in doing this; as Fortune pointed out, the company earned its employees' trust when times were good, so it had a "head start" in maintaining that trust when its fortunes turned.[14]

Among the thousands upon thousands of American companies, Enron and the like are outliers. The vast majority of companies are led and staffed by honorable people who want to do well financially, but do so ethically. They want their work to mean something. They want to create something they can be proud of. In short, they want to build Accountable Organizations of their own. And to build anything, one needs tools.


  1. Is your organizational culture one that emphasizes integrity as much as winning? How does this affect morale and productivity? What kind of role, if any, does your organization's leadership take in promoting integrity?

  2. Are there standard business practices within your industry that create ethical dilemmas and challenges to integrity? If your company were to challenge those institutionalized practices, what would be the outcome?

  3. What was the last dilemma you faced that challenged your personal integrity? Are you comfortable with how you resolved the dilemma? In retrospect, is there anything you would have done differently?

  4. Recall Sandy Costa's story about dealing with a competitor who had integrity. Does your perception of other people's integrity influence how you interact with them, and if so, why? If you believe someone is not acting with integrity, do you feel it gives you license to do the same?

[14]Daniel Roth, "How to Cut Pay, Lay Off 8,000 People, and Still Have Workers Who Love You," Fortune 145, 3 (February 4, 2002): 63.

The Accountable Organization. Reclaiming Integrity, Restoring Trust
The Accountable Organization: Reclaiming Integrity, Restoring Trust
ISBN: 0891061851
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 82
Authors: John Marchica © 2008-2017.
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