Last week, I had the privilege of sharing Corporate Governance’s global best practices amongst CEOs and senior presidents, in an event organized by Grupo Alta Gestao, taking place at FEBRABAN’s Board Meeting Room.
A small but interesting fact was that I included a short video in my presentation to illustrate one of my points to CEOs and it contained the appearance of John Stumpf (CEO of Wells Fargo – the world’s most valuable bank – until then) before the US Senate, less than one week earlier, when he faced blistering criticism for a scandal in which the bank’s employees, in an effort to meet sales goals, enrolled millions of customers into programs without their approval, created fake accounts and it became a huge fraudulent scandal. Well, he assumed the responsibility for it before the Senate (as Wells Fargo’s CEO) and specifically said he would not resign.
Curiously enough was the fact that, on the following week, he actually resigned, and precisely for the reasons I mentioned in my speech!
Ethics, Compliance, Integrity and Corporate Governance are not a “necessary evil”… There must be a paradigm shift in the mindset of companies’ leadership (from the old ways of “managing business”), so as to create a healthy balance between reaching extraordinary business goals and doing it in an ethical manner… As I said, building what I call an Ethical Conscience within the organizations is the only way, not just to avoid those devastating scandals to happen, but to add value to business, customers and all stakeholders, apart from generating long-lasting positive fruits to society as well (which is the foundational basis to assure the business continuity and sustainability going forward!).
Grateful for the invitation and the high level of the participant’s discussion!