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Newsletter 120: Lots of Dough

How do you relate to money and material wealth? Why? This essay does not question the importance of money - symbolic or real. It invites you to think again about YOUR relationship to money (and wealth)

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How do you relate to money and material wealth? Why?
This essay does not question the importance of money - symbolic or real. It invites you to think again about YOUR relationship to money (and wealth)


A fascinating BBC Hard Talk interview with David Green, Director of the SFO (Serious Fraud Office) in the UK, took place in mid-April. The SFO investigates fraud, corruption, false accounting, bribery, inter-bank bank settlement collusion, money laundering and other corporate misdemeanours. Some of their many current cases, where various forms of unethical behaviour is alleged, reads like the Who’s Who of the largest and top companies around. They include:

Airbus Group, whose core values are seen to be a “part of the DNA” and include integrity

Rolls Royce’s bribery and corruption should be set against their web site statement, “How We Behave Matters”, and their global code of conduct, ethics, compliance, that is, a “zero tolerance approach to bribery and corruption”.

A guiding principle of British American Tobacco is 'freedom through responsibility': “We always strive to do the right thing, exercising our responsibility to society and other stakeholders”

Ethical Forestry Ltd (their name is interesting!) “currently manage millions of trees on behalf of tree owners”, and celebrate receiving the Costa Rica National Programme of Culture Award (Leer es Vivir - Reading is Living) for being a model company. They and associated companies are being investigated for marketing an “alleged fraudulent investment scheme” to do with planting trees in Costa Rica

GlaxoSmithKline's alleged bribery activities should be measured against their stated “how we conduct ourselves” which includes “doing what is right …. Integrity”

Barclays PLC’s five core values include integrity and stewardship, which – were these values inculcated throughout - would have obviated cheating in any form

The Tesco fraud and accounting case does little to build trust in their espoused values such as, “understanding people and what matters to them” and “making a positive contribution to communities where they operate”.

Standard Bank’s values include “upholding the highest levels of integrity”

As these cases reach conclusion or are settled, they raise (and will continue to raise) questions of:

- why such disconnects happen between proclaimed values and actual behaviours, and

- the failure of stakeholders to implement a system of good governance that consists of more than rules and regulations: One that majors on building corporate character, culture and ethical behaviour

This month Namibia has done away with a proposal requiring corporate ownership to be 25% in the hands of the racially-disadvantaged - one reason being that investment (especially foreign) would be deterred. Any debate on the validity and efficacy of imposed quotas of any sort quickly heats up here in South Africa.

As a result of a Philadephia Starbucks incident where 2 black men waiting for a (white) friend were arrested and removed from the store, has prompted nation-wide diversity and inclusion (unconscious bias) training within Starbucks.
Such training has been shown to yield poor results in terms of lasting change. We believe that our Conversations that Count Process is much more powerful.
This psychologically-sound process addresses the raising of awareness, the roots and substance of prejudice and stereotyping, taking responsibility for re-framing wrong beliefs, and forging necessary group and individual transitions - using the willingness and skills of the employee participants.

Contact for more information.


A ground-breaking, practical compass for future leaders and their organisations who wish to move beyond simply 'doing good and doing well' - find out more


Here is where our minds can unclench, our hearts can break open, and we can step outside our narrowed lives into a world that is without limits in time or space or beauty - Mark Coleman


Water Strategies estimates it takes 300 total litres of water to make one litre of beer - Leon Kaye writing for The Guardian


The greatest and most important problems in life are all in a certain sense insoluble. They must be so because they express the necessary polarity inherent in every self-regulating system. They can never be solved, but only outgrown - Carl Jung


If a man love the labor of any trade, apart from any question of success or fame, the gods have called him - Robert Louis Stevenson

For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one's personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself - Viktor Frankl

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