I have read a lot of books written by academias and business leaders. Ethics and moral values and behaviours are always one of the most important topics in their books. I have even did a subject in managerial ethics at university. However, I always doubt that the applications of ethics in real business situations.
I met so many people who have no moral in dealing with other shakeholders in business negotiations. They lie to get want their want. Lucky, An exceptional businessman taught me that ethics does work in real life, in fact it works very well. This exceptional professional is my current supervisor.
His role needs to handle very sticky and tough negotiation with both internal and external shakeholders to solve business problems. Many shakeholders lie through their teeth to get results. These results are very often short lived, even backfire. However, they still do that everyday. Why? Because it is the fastest way to solve problems, especially high shake business problems. Lying becomes their instinct to solve problems.
My supervisor takes the opposite approach "Brutal Honesty". It simply means that solving problems with complete information transparency. He provides more than enough information to each shakeholders during the negotiation processes. Each shakeholder is encouraged to cross check with other shakeholders about the accuracy of the information. This process produce a complete picture of a particular problem. Discussion should be guided by the complete picture. Shakeholders are all allow to pitch in and solve the whole problem together. This way can cut through all the lies and reach a sustainable solution. Most importantly, all egos are satisfied in the process. Therefore, trust and teamwork will grow overtime.
I am so glad that I have witnessed this ethical business process everyday. It really works very well.