The Corporate Responsibility Paradox
After a significant event in human history, the questions that are often being asked are: “Does history tend to repeat itself?” and “Do we learn from our mistakes?”. Well, it depends on who do you ask. It seems that we are moving from crisis to crisis, and keep repeating the same mistakes as if we have learned nothing.
Shortly after the 2008 financial crisis, I have listened to an interview with Mr. Robertson, the founder of Tiger Management, some say the founder of the money management industry in the US. The question that was asked: “Do you think that this time around we have learned from our mistakes?”. After few moment, he replied: “Well, greed has no brain, therefore there is no memory.” – welcome to capitalism 101. After World War 2, General Montgomery said: “Some say history tends to repeat itself, I am of the opinion that stupid people repeat history.” Well, there you have it.
So, why is that a corporate responsibility is such as paradox?
Well, it has to do with the design of the human system and the environment in which we are operating from. One side of our brain tells us that it is the right thing to do and the other side says, “I do not want to know”, that’s why it is such a paradox.
We demand and expect visibility from our leadership, transparent and exposed, yet when it comes to us, we do not. The reality is that to have transparency you need to have trust, and trust needs to be built over time, it is a process, not an event.
Providing a safe and secure platform for employees to engage in a productive feedback loop can prevent significant damage both to the company’s brand equity and to the financial bottom line.
In a number of the Whistleblowing cases we have reviewed in the past 10 years, a significant number of the whistleblowers said that in retrospect, they will probably do it differently given the immense damage it causes the company, as in some cases thousands of people lose their jobs when should the company go out of business.
Most whistleblowers start with the intention of making a difference, not to take the company down. In the absence of an innovative platform to Whistleblow with, the issue can turn ugly very quickly.
Yet, corporate responsibility must be an authentic expression of the organization both from the top down. It’s not just something to implement, it is a cultural shift from domination and fear to open to an honest dialogue for the betterment and sustainability of the company. SafeWhistle shifts whistleblowing from profit makers to difference makers.