For a young professional like Scott Biddick, putting together such values as integrity in the context of business ethics as practiced today is a long shot. There is always the ever-present danger of being misunderstood that, in turn, can breed apathy, some envy perhaps, and worse, create some enemies.
When viewed from the insides of his circle with his business associates, there is hope that his often-misunderstood position can change the old and dated opinion that business is only for profit and nothing else. Scott discovered that there is more to that old adage than what is vaguely understood.
The new norm
Where before there was only one bottom line in a business enterprise, today’s companies have recognized the need in committing to business ethics. Moreover, the success of a company is now measured through the triple bottom line in business: People, Planet, Profit.
In the triple bottom line, “People” represents everyone involved in the business (manufacturing, especially) including their customers. Planet refers whether the planet is directly harmed (gas emission, release of other pollutants in the air, soil and water). Profit is listed last because it is the lifeline of the company – no profit, no company.
What Scott Biddick had learned from the California State University (BS Admin.) carried him through in his early career in Investor Relations, Public Relations and in consulting companies. With his experience, he was able to shore up and use what he had learned into his dealings with his clients, his superiors, and his colleagues.
Insights and commitments
With business ethics as the new guidelines, companies now report on their financial, social and environmental performance. The report acknowledges the basic fact that companies must make a profit to sustain and survive, but it must also follow ethical and sustainable business conducts not to harm people and the planet.
From the standpoint of a company warrior out in the fields to make his conquests, Scott’s main weapon is integrity. With it, clients are dealt with honest assessments of business conditions instead of showing only the huge profit margins and keeping out the fact that the merchandise, for instance, were manufactured in some Asian sweat shops using child labor.
Omission and commission
One other example is keeping out from the shareholders’ knowledge the fact that the manufacturing process is blatantly using massive carbon dioxide-emitting factories in small far-off countries. From Scott’s perspective as someone who deals directly with company investors at large, revelation of honest facts (and not covering them up) is needed to be in line with the new business bottom line.
The new emphasis on business ethics did away the questionable financial reporting and spotlighting on the inflated compensation of company executives. All these were thrown out including the worthless public assurances through press releases that greatly eroded consumer and investor confidence.
Scott and his forward-looking colleagues must have sensed the advantages in keeping stock with business integrity. It presents an opportunity to excel (and set the standards) while earning the respect of customers and vendors, even from their competitors.
With trust, customer loyalty is assured while earning a solid and priceless word-of-mouth advertising. The potential of increased earnings becomes greater as the company’s reputation gets highlighted again and again. Scott Biddick and company must have known this since college.