Why Ethics in Business Matters More Now Than Ever

Today we all operate in a Reputation Economy; a marketplace where stakeholder support is now based more on perceptions of your company than perceptions of your products or services. Who you are matters more than what you produce. – Reputation Institute, 2014

Studies show that companies with high reputations are worth as much as 150% more than those with low reputations. It’s no wonder that today’s companies are looking for leaders who can improve their bottom lines through honest, ethical means.

Below are a few leaders who are doing just that.

Neil Blumenthal, Warby Parker founder

Almost one billion people worldwide lack access to glasses. To help address this problem, Warby Parker partners with nonprofits to ensure that for every pair of glasses sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need. Through its Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program, Parker has distributed more than one million eyeglasses to people in need.

Blake Mycoskie, TOMS founder

TOMS One for One program matches every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes for a child in need. To date, TOMS has given more than 35 million pairs of new shoes to children. In addition, TOMS recently launched TOMS Roasting Co. With every bag of coffee purchased, TOMS Roasting Co. provides one week of clean water to a person in need.

John Replogle, Seventh Generation CEO

Since its founding, Seventh Generation has acted on the belief that businesses can be powerful instruments of meaningful change. Its mission is to develop environmentally-friendly products today that care for seven generations of tomorrows. In addition to developing products that leave a lighter environmental footprint, Seventh Generation has formed a coalition of like-minded businesses to seek meaningful reform of state and federal toxin regulations.

According to the Reputation Institute, effective ethical leaders should master these 10 opportunities if they want to “do good” while growing their companies:

  1. Link reputation initiatives to commercial relevance
  2. Deliver visible ROI for reputation programs
  3. Build strategies to achieve competitive advantage
  4. Build and manage reputation across multiple stakeholders and global markets
  5. Map the business case for reputation management
  6. Adopt measurement models that provide greater accountability, rigor, and effectiveness
  7. Secure internal and external alignment that delivers on strategy
  8. Coordinate internal and external partners across activation channels
  9. Secure license to operate with influencers globally
  10. Establish internal reputation governance structures

For more information on how Spring Arbor University’s Christ-honoring business programs can teach you the strategies for successfully leading with ethics, click here.