“Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.”
– Thomas Jefferson
By Shel Horowitz, founder of the Ethics Pledge and award-winning author of Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your Profits and Your Planet
25,000 Influencers Wanted to Take the Ethical Business Pledge—Change History!
Show the Business World How to Succeed by Being Ethical and Cooperative
Will you be a part of the movement to change the world of business?
- To make the next Enron so unacceptable that it won’t happen?
- To create a business climate where people at nearly every business in the world can hold their heads up high and be proud of what they do—and the remainder rise up in rebellion at the crooked practices of their employers?
In short, will you help create a moral code of business ethics based on honesty, integrity, and quality?
This is about changing the world! About creating a climate where businesses are expected to behave ethically, and where executives who try to drag their companies into the unethical swamplands find that nobody’s willing to carry out their orders.
I believe that if I can get 25,000 business leaders—25,000 people to make a commitment to spread the ideas in Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green, that we can change the culture of business. Following the ideas expressed in the book The Tipping Point, and the story of the 100th Monkey, I feel, deep in my heart, that once a critical mass embraces the idea that high ethical standards are not only possible, but actually more profitable, society will change.
Some of those key ideas (among many) include:
- Businesses are more likely to succeed when they base themselves in ethics—in honesty, integrity, and quality
- Businesses must look at the “triple bottom line”: financial, environmental, and social impacts (and this will require major pressure: currently, US public corporations are required by law to focus only on the economic bottom line, to the exclusion of other objectives and stakeholders)
- Amazing things can happen when all stakeholders (employees, customers, suppliers, neighborhood residents, even competitors) become your active champions-but that only happens if your business specifically empowers each of these groups and addresses their different needs and desires
- Line employees, managers, and even CEOs need support to show that ethical principles will help their businesses succeed, and that they won’t be penalized by the marketplace for taking an ethical stand
Society changes when enough people decide that something is seriously wrong…and when they feel empowered to do something about it. In my own lifetime, we’ve seen critical masses arise and succeed, over and over. For example
- Blacks and whites joined together to desegregate the southern United States
- People’s movements tore down the Berlin Wall and the entire network of totalitarian Soviet governments
- South Africa peacefully threw off the shackles of apartheid and freed Nelson Mandela from prison to be its first democratically elected President
All of these struggles started with a few people, but spiraled outward to become an unstoppable movement for justice once enough people started to believe and to act. Ordinary people in Montgomery, in Gdansk, in Soweto, in so many other places, decided that things had to change—and they changed!
Now, after years of corporate scandals, it’s time to say, as those ordinary people did before us, that things have to change. I wrote and published my book, Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green, to help create that change. If businesses see that it’s actually in their financial interest to do the right thing, that this will motivate change in executive boardrooms, in stockholder meetings, and in the press.
Eventually, this movement will reach critical mass. And some crooked “entrepreneur” will come along and try to cheat employees and customers while leaving a big, expensive mess for the public to clean up. But that crooked business owner won’t find the people who will carry out this dirty work. Instead, good people will stand up for what’s right-for ethics, for justice, and for honoring the company’s real mission-not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because they understand that it works better.
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Business Ethics Pledge.
Help us Change the Business World.