Lights, Camera, Ethics

Jan 11, 2005
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Board directors are going where they normally haven’t gone before; into their own pockets. Martha is wearing an orange jumpsuit and complaining about what’s on the menu. “Kenny
Boy” is no longer a friend, just an acquaintance of “The Man” living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Rather-gate is burying reputations and careers at CBS.

Get out the hand baskets folks: the next stop is business news hell.

In an environment where it sometimes seems as though if it weren’t for bad news, there wouldn’t be any business news at all, a number of television shows are bringing stories
to viewers that demonstrate companies with a conscience can make money, too.

One such program, Good Business, profiles business leaders who assess bottom line performance on measures beyond the general ledger.

Lee Godden, producer and host of the weekly series running on a cable television in California told the Ethical Corporation Web site newsletter the show’s segments focus
on five key areas: leadership by example, company culture and ethics, revenue generation and reporting practices, internal trust and compliance programs.

Bennett Freeman, managing director of the global corporate responsibility practice at Burson Marsteller said the program addresses a fact of life for modern business. “Corporations
large and small have got to be more responsive to a range of external stakeholders — a lot of whom would have been considered, as recently as a half dozen years ago, to be unconventional
actors for corporate America,” he said.

Moderator’s Comment: Will increased media attention on “values centered” businesses increase the ethical standards corporate America sets for itself?
What retailers or other companies associated with the industry do you think excel in running businesses that are both profitably and ethically run?

George Anderson – Moderator

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