Thursday, August 24, 2017

Selling Honesty

Business and honesty hardly belong in the same business, simply because when one intends to sell, one intends to highlight only the positive.

One can argue that it is not lying if you omit facts, but then when you overly emphasize the beautiful, it becomes gorgeous when it actually was just pretty.

Everything has its ups and downs, the positive and the negative, the right and wrong, the two sides of the coin.

But why sell the down, the negative, the wrong and the other side when there is but one side? The wonderful.

However, there is that thing you call business social responsibility (BSR), which can be equated to ethics.

The dictionary defines ethics as a science of morals and business the purchase or sale of goods with the goal of making a profit. So one means individual’s principle on right and wrong while the other means an individual’s intention to gain.

The classic example of the tangled web of business ethics: advertising. Businesses advertise perfection. Buyers want perfection. But often, what they get is mediocrity for the price of perfection.

If the vendor successfully sells mediocrity in the guise of perfection then maybe we can call the vendor a good businessman. But is he a good person? Is he an ethical person? Not!

John Mackey, chairman and chief executive officer of Whole Foods Market, once said, “I do not believe maximizing profits for the investors is the only acceptable justification for all corporate actions. The investors are not the only people who matter. Corporations can exist for purposes other than simply maximizing profits.”

But of course, John Mackey already made millions of dollars in profits.

It’s a good thing that the public is smarter now. Business cannot be simply about making money. It is about keeping the clients happy.

This is exactly why businesses are now taking on their BSR.

Many corporations have ruined their initially pristine reputation for being brutally business-minded, turning capitalist, if you may. After all, business has evolved. People see through business, whether it’s just making money or making money out of people’s trust and confidence.

While there is nothing wrong with making money, it is sometimes equated to ruthlessness, hence, the question on ethics.

Every business corporation should have a BSR and that is to make profit out of being ethical.

The business profession, in itself, has its own ethical business laws to adhere to. But then again, some businesses take the risk of being fined for breaking business laws just to get ahead. But if they have yet to establish a perpetual brand like Pepsi or Coca-Cola or McDonald’s or Nike or Jockey‘s, then maybe there is a chance that the people wins after all. Because the people have a say.

People don’t have to revere a product of a certain brand because another brand carries the exact same thing. The word of mouth has its own power too. A company can be stomped for being popularly unethical.

Individually, ethics in business prevents a person from sharing corporate clandestine information to a competitor. But a person may do this for his own gain.

Then of course, businesses, like any other companies, have inked their own laws--the corporation’s own in-house code of ethical standards. Perhaps, this could curb any ethical delineation.

This could prevent an employee from lying to a customer just to sell an item. But the employee is allowed to oversupply an item with pros-adjectives to make a transaction.

The intra-company ethics would also thwart an employee from knowingly shipping a defective item to a buyer. But of course, it’s okay until the vendee complains.

Everything though hinges on the top bosses. If they are unethical, expect unethical followers. If executives adhere to ethical principles, then expect a few rotten apples, because they are indispensable.