Building Profitable and Ethical Companies

There are many companies who claim to be profitable and ethical, but a closer examination would prove otherwise.

I am a fan and proponent of any holding company or privately held concern who is totally committed to building winning based teams who live their values, are ethical, and share their profits.

Why? The collective rewards are immense and these types of companies weather the most severe problems and economic storms better than most.

What is a good road map to building a successful corporate structure that can endure and grow?

A friend of mine who owns a family business rebuilding industrial engines provides some solid clues. A third generation business, he and his family epitomize resilience and success.

First of all, all employees are owners. As my friend notes, “Employees are more apt to care about their jobs and perform when they are owners.”

This means that all of their books and financials are open. Employees are expected to understand how to read financial statements, discern strengths/weaknesses, and discuss them regularly in meetings.

Secondly, you cannot be ethical without living the organization’s values each day. I have first hand and on many occasions observed this play in my friend’s company as an adviser. They walk their talk and the values they believe in are a core strategy.

Enforcement and accountability by department and division occurs consistently and without failure.

Thirdly, these folks measure everything they do with metrics charts that include safety, sales, profits, quality, and customer care. Input is vital and ways to improve that impacts are implemented quickly.

Fourth, failure is tolerated and encouraged. What might be seen in traditional business circles as heretic thinking, is seen by my friend’s company as a way to incubate new products/services and grow.

Fifth, titles don’t mean much in this company. They can hinder growth, build personal silos, and prevent inter-department collaboration.

What are the results? Profit sharing continues to grow, employee turnover is at 7%, and this firm continues to add new owners. The ethical culture is vibrant, honest, and transparent.

Words are nice to read and hear in a company culture. Deeds matter a whole lot more and ultimately define any organization’s reputation and competitive advantage.

My friends please remember this: respect, consideration, and courtesy matter a lot. Treat others fairly, decently, and equally.

Build your moral compasses carefully and always monitor them daily.

You know the battle cry: do your best each day. No one can ask more or less from any of us.

All the best/blessings, Mark

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