A career in crisis management following massive corporate breakdowns taught James Lukaszewski powerful lessons about ethics and culture. Speaking at the 16th Minnesota Business Ethics Awards, Lukaszewski led guests through a tale of mismanagement, product adulteration, indictments and convictions (400 felonies) at a major health care firm. In the end, the court identified the root problem: “the pervasive and powerful corporate culture which exalted the value of profit above the value of human life.”
Lukaszewski argued that most ethical problems start at the top and urged leaders to embrace several practices, among them:
- Vocalize business values and ideals constantly
- Find the truth as soon as possible and act on it
- Clearly convey that values matter as much as profit
Lukaszewski is president of The Lukaszewski Group Division of Risdall Marketing in New Brighton, MN, with an international practice devoted to helping organizations and leaders respond to extremely serious problems.
In case you couldn’t join us, you can listen to the presentation on YouTube.