To build a truly great company, integrity must be viewed with the same importance as growth and profitability. This article highlights the fundamentals of building a culture of integrity, leading by example, and how to make reporting ethics violations straightforward and practical.
In the Harvard Business Review article "How to Build a Company That (Actually) Values Integrity," author Robert Chestnut emphasizes that leadership must openly and directly embrace integrity. A company's leadership team are its de facto role models who set the company’s ethical underpinnings and its tone at the top. Poor behavior signals to the rest of the company's employees that they have implicit permission to act the same way. Leaders must embrace integrity and make it integral to the company's culture, such that employees understand without guidance that they are encouraged to "do the right thing” even if it potentially hurts business in the short run. Doing so, establishes longer term gains and enhances a company's branding and reputation.