The future of ethics

The news seems to document a consistent parade of unethical behavior by executives. You see it both in “startups” (Uber, Theranos) and in more traditional large corporations. Even if you ignore Enron, Tyco, and the well-known cases, they’re in the news almost every week. Have you ever wondered how so many people with a severe […]

Sunshine marketing is self defense

Have you ever signed a non-compete, non-disclosure clause as a condition of employment? Do you make your employees and / or contractors sign one? I’ve used/signed a few over the years. Companies can’t risk serious insider knowledge of their business by having employees pass it to their competition. Non-competes provide a mechanism to protect yourself but their scope should […]

Leaders honor their words

Recently, someone in a position of trust and honor was found to have published someone else’s work without attribution. The situation was made worse by their affiliation with an organization whose reputation for trust and honor is sacrosanct. Plagiarism and/or unattributed quotes happen. Sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. Sometimes there are extenuating circumstances, sometimes not. Sometimes, […]

Help Them Buy Better

photo credit: bjaglin A few days ago, Seth Godin asked why ethical marketers wouldn’t be “eager to have aggressive, clear and well-defined regulations” (about marketing). He set the context by talking about the lies used to sell sunscreen, noting that lobbyists kindly helped the FDA water down proposed sunscreen regulations. To quote Seth: Why aren’t […]

Never underestimate the “little nobodies”

photo credit: clevercupcakes Today’s guest post comes from Amber Karnes, who did a great job of analyzing the rise and fall of Urban Outfitters most recent product thievery and how social media played a role in the fall. One of the messages small businesses should get from this is buried deep within this quote from […]

Literacy of a different sort

photo credit: One Laptop per Child One of the things I’m always pushing clients to do is expand their education. Naturally, that includes the education of their staff, if they have one. This education expands well beyond your line of business, because there are valuable lessons from every industry. Likewise, there are processes in almost […]

Bad Haircuts and Big Box Ethics

Today’s guest post from Scott McKain shows us a how Office Depot stole copyrighted material from a friend of his and used it in a national ad campaign. One more reason to do your own marketing and shop locally owned businesses. All that aside, take a good long look at the pricing lesson in Mr. […]

Choices are more important than talent

Our local swim team’s coach has a saying: “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” He’s telling the kids to make a choice to work hard to improve themselves rather than just assuming those Eastern Montana farm kids are going to swim faster by default. They still might not beat that incredibly talented […]

The *Next* Greatest Generation

photo credit: Sister72 This weekend, several thousand seniors will graduate from Flathead Valley high schools. It’s a bittersweet time for parents, and I think it’s fitting that it occurs soon after Memorial Day. Confused? Bear with me for a bit. Last weekend, I strolled alone through Columbia Falls’ Veterans Cemetery on a rainy Monday afternoon. […]

Situational Ethics: Don’t go there

photo credit: quinn.anya The probably not-so-old joke goes something like this: “There are two kinds of people: those who break people into two groups and those who don’t.” When it comes to business ethics, there’s usually a pretty clear definition of the line between these two groups: the unethical and the accidentally unethical. The accidentally […]