Price Pritchett QuotesPrice Pritchett is a business advisor, speaker, and author specializing in mergers, culture, and organizational change.
The question is, when so many others cut corners, shave the truth, self-deal, believe in the fast buck, and follow the crowd along the low road of least resistance, can we even afford to travel the high road of ethical behavior? Frankly, we can’t afford anything else. Any other competitive angle is a pure crapshoot in today’s business world. Companies with shaky ethics and shabby standards will be crippled as they try to compete in our changing world.
High personal standards aren’t enough for organizational excellence. You’ve got to be intolerant of low standards in others. . . . If you accommodate questionable practices in others who touch your organization, you risk soiling its reputation. Anybody whose hands aren’t clean can get the place dirty.
We all faced painful ethical challenges before we even knew how to spell our names. There were tough choices. Tradeoffs. Confusing signals regarding how to live one’s life. And here we are now, today, still struggling. Still trying to sort things out. Still trying to work our way through life effectively. About the only thing that has changed is the scope of the problem. There’s more at stake now. And we’re in a position, as grownups, to do a lot more-good or bad-for ourselves, our organization, our world. But we still must wrestle with our imperfect ethics.
You can’t bake a cake without getting the kitchen messy. Halfway through surgery it looks like there’s been a murder in the operating room. If you send a rocket to the moon, about ninety percent of the time it’s off course—it ‘fails’ its way to the moon by continually making mistakes and correcting them.