What makes a business “good” (in the ethical sense)? Fearless conversations about values

Is ethical business, good business?

When you talk about a person being good, you mean more than they follow the law. Yet some people think following the law is all that is required of business – notably Milton Friedman who won a Nobel Prize. It is clearly a nonsense idea – Friedman was a good economist and a crappy philosopher.

Should we think about businesses differently?  Should business just follow the law, or ought we to expect more? I think the latter and we should expect business behavior that is  “more than the law requires, and less than it permits.”

What is the single most important feature of the ethical organization? I propose that it is willingness to have a tough conversation that involves values – and such conversations are usually tense and emotional.

 

 

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