My wife, Louise, and I were sitting in the Frankfurt airport heading towards Greece and Turkey for a much-needed vacation. Thomas Freidman's July 21st commentary, A Cultural Revolution, in the Global Edition of The New York Times about Greece's problems caught my interest since we were headed that way.
While the commentary was about Greece's current situation, what captured me was Freidman's opening stance. Quoting, "The globalization of markets and people has intensified in the past five years, with the emergence of social networking, Skype, derivatives, fast wireless connectivity, cheap smart phones and cloud computing.
"When the world is bound together this tightly ... everyone's values and behavior matter more than ever, because they impact so many more people than ever ... We've gone from connected to interconnected to ethically interconnected.
"And it is harder to shield yourself from the other guy's irresponsible behavior ... both he and you had better behave more responsibly -- or both of you will suffer the consequences, whether you did anything wrong or not."
In an earlier post I commented on McKinsey's Managing Director Gupta's situation with accusations of assisting with insider trading for a hedge fund manager. After coming back from vacation, I find this -- on August 5, the SEC dropped its civil administrative proceeding against Gupta, because the commission determined that "it is in the public interest to dismiss these proceeding.” However, the commission may still pursue insider-trading charges against him in a civil lawsuit.
Yikes! Once again, I reflected on the quandary I'm in as relates to today's societal expectations regarding ethical behavior. It seems to me that ethical behavior is not only is the right thing to do, it is also very easy. IMC USA has a Code of Ethics that guides your behavior as a management consultant and, as a member, you subscribe to it. Align your moral compass with true North; it's easy and it is a differentiator.
So, two questions:
(1) Is Friedman right? Are we all bound tightly, ethically interconnected?
(2) And, if so, why is it, to some, so hard to behave in a manner that you are 'doing the right thing?'
Help me out here. Add your comments to these questions and tell me about YOUR moral, ethical compass? Or, tell me about how your clients appreciate your adherence to a Code of Ethics. Share.
Code of Ethics