The Quality Revolution was meant to be customer focused, instead became process centric and one of record keeping. Nonetheless, Total Customer Value Management can learn from the Quality movement. There is much to learn.
Do Unethical Practices Create Or Destroy Value?
Certainly the answer depends on your point of view. And for whom you are trying to create or destroy value. You could be trying to create value for your company or destroy value for your competitors (colleagues and companies). But your point of view may not be right or ethical.
Definitively, unethical practices and corruption are not correct nor acceptable. They may be convenient. They may be a short cut to success. They happen because of greed, or laziness or a combination. Sometimes, it is inherent in the character of the executives or the company (read owners). Sometimes executives are pressurised to bend the rules or the law.
Sometimes executives bend company rules, by allowing their employees to take special privileges when the rules do not allow it. As simple as flying when only train tickets are allowed. Or letting the wife travel to a destination where the husband is, instead of his coming home (no extra cost to the company, no harm done). These are minor infractions. Often overlooked. Judgment is required in these (minor) cases.
The major problem is one of being involved in corrupt practices, such as making pay offs for getting contracts, or getting ahead. No one will admit this is correct but hide behind we have to do it, others are doing it, or we have to get ahead, or it is convenient to do so; it happens because of not caring enough, a chalta hai attitude or just being cussed.
My belief is that if businesses, owners and executives decide to fight unethical practices through associations and the press, they will be successful, and value will be created for the larger population than just for the corrupt.
It is interesting to read what J. Vinayan in IMJ wrote:
Incidence of corrupt or unethical behaviour in an organizational setting is not fortuitous. Whether we are looking at corruption in the HR function or in any other function, it is very often institutionalized, well rationalized and entrenched in the system. Extortion and bribery are much more profitable and entail much less risk when they are organized and disseminated. The vertical and horizontal integration of corruption (at different levels and in different offices) makes for optimal return, reduces the likelihood of being caught and facilitates protection. In addition, corruption is contagious: it creates complicity, it acts as a demonstration effect vis-a-vis the other organizational members, provides information about opportunities and the means to exploit them, and creates an atmosphere of impunity. In the end, individual corruption may degenerate into a general situation of favour-currying, subservience, and protection.
If the corrupt can gang up, why cannot the non-corrupt? Are we ninnies, or complacent or at heart, corrupt? Or we just dont care, and enjoy being bullied and lorded over by corrupt people?
One step is for companies to draw up ethical behaviour rules and enforce them. Industry associations must start programs to fight corruption and corrupt people as a group. It is important for executives not only to know what is right but to do the right things.
A Starwood study suggests that 99% or executives think they are honest.
- 82% cheat at golf
- 82% hate those that cheat at golf
- 72% believe golf and business behaviour parallel each other
Customer loyalty and trust are linked to the Values of a company and their ethics. Create Value, not destroy it.
Would love your comments and help. We are happy to help others in education and executive education on courses in Value Creation.
President, Customer Value Foundation and Inter-Link India
Founder editor, Journal of Creating Value jcv.sagepub.com
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Customer Value Foundation (CVF) helps companies to Create Value and profit by Creating Value for the Customers, employee and for each person working with the companies.
Total Customer Value Management (Total CVM) transforms the entire company to focus on Creating Value for the Customer by aligning each persons role in Creating.
I notice more and more that the Customer is taken for granted or allotted a by the way mention in new business strategies. Forbes and many others have written about this and bemoaned the fact, and warned companies not to ignore the customer.
Here is an excellent review on Gautam Mahajan's book on Value Creation written by Colin Shaw, founder and CEO of Beyond Philosophy. Colin is an international author of five bestselling books and an engaging keynote speaker..
In my book, Value Creation: The Definitive Guide for Business Leaders, I added a 4th A (Ability) to what Management gurus talk about in the 3 A’s to ready ourselves for the future
Customers tend to buy or use those products or services that they perceive create greater value for them than competitive offers. It is essential for executives and leaders to create higher value for their Customers than competition can.