“Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.” So said Gordon Gekko, the infamous character in the 1987 movie Wall Street. As we look back over the past few decades, it is interesting to note how fact can mirror fiction. From reading the newspaper or watching the TV news, we know all too well what happens to real-life business leaders who sell themselves out for corporate profits or personal gain.

These ‘sensational’ stories are just the tip of the iceberg. Every day thousands upon thousands of companies are suffering from expensive, time-consuming and energy-draining problems with customers, employees and vendors because of a culture that is based on greed. This may not always get them in trouble with the law, but the risks are nonetheless significant.

On the other hand, a culture that is based on the core values of the organisation contributes to the company’s success. A winning culture is a foundation for attracting and retaining happy, loyal and engaged employees which in turn, attracts and retains happy, loyal customers; both of which are good for business.

Yet, many companies give core values no more than lip service, if they give them any attention at all. Why is that?

Perhaps it’s because many executives have the mistaken notion that core values and profitability are mutually exclusive. This is not true. Honouring core values increases trust, trust increases loyalty, and loyalty is good for business.

Jul-Sep 2014 Issue

Black Diamond Associates