Profile cover photo
Profile photo
Arthur Kendall
A lover of music, the internet, business and life. Oh, and wine...
A lover of music, the internet, business and life. Oh, and wine...
About
Posts

Post has attachment
Are Whistleblowers like suicide bombers?

So after some posts on culture and ethics, we've been thinking again about whistleblowing and its consequences. I always think it's sad that this is necessary, and that it is almost always fatal for the whistleblower, despite the increasing "protection" offered, theoretically by governments and employers themselves.

It shows the hollowness of the policies and PR statements that hail transparency and accountability, openness and dialogue. It shows how the board and senior management of too many organisations still fail to take responsibility for corporate culture and practices, for the consequences of the pressure to perform. We saw this writ large at Volkswagen, of course, where senior executives denied consent to illegal and unethical practices while pushing relentlessly to become the world's number one manufacturer.

This pressure to perform is sometime met with some wake-up calls by employees, especially recent arrivals seeking to make an impression. The questioning of established culture and corporate-amnesia-induced practices is often squashed and I'm sure that "we don't do it like that here" can still regularly be heard through a condescending grin.

Perhaps this was heard (without the grin, presumably) by Kath Harmeston from the senior management of the Co-operative Group (UK), bastion of the ethical image yet increasingly discredited.

My question is, why hire (or headhunt) a troubleshooter and then shoot her when she finds trouble...? Obviously there are details that we are not a party to but it is clear that she found a lot of expenditure which she though hugely unnecessary and inconsistent with their policies - presumably the reason they hired her in the first place!

Ms Harmeston, in this case, seems to have weathered the storm as the Ministry of Defence deemed her fit for employment. We'll see what happens to the ageing and frail Goliath.

Wouldn't it be so much better if everyone truly committed to improvement and were secure enough in themselves to listen to and accept the findings and opinions of others who can see the wood and not just the trees?

Ok, so I chose a provocative title for this post...but I'm sure you instantly saw the connection. We offer an answer in the blog: our latest ACG article on the Co-operative case and wider conclusions on the subject of whistleblowing.
Add a comment...

Post has attachment

Post has attachment

Post has attachment
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
The open image says it all :-)
Add a comment...

Post has attachment

Post has attachment
Photo
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Photo
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Barcelona beach with more Google wizardry...:)
Animated Photo
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Google have made an animation from my photos - this is cool!
Animated Photo
Add a comment...
Wait while more posts are being loaded