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WHAT IS THE COST OF AN INTEGRITY LAPSE?

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2022-10-18

‘Integrity costs nothing, but when you lose it, you lose everything’. Charissa Bloomberg

 A reputation takes years to build, but can be easily lost; Once trust and credibility is lost, it’s a long road to recovery.

Yet integrity is not often practiced and is undervalued.

We need to impart integrity conscious skills and build reliance to temptations.

Where does our country stand on the integrity meter today? How about the world? What are we going to do about it? If we don’t do something, what is in store for us? Prof Thuli Madonsela at Bloomberg’s Integrity Lapse event (Nov 2018)

What happens in organizations when an employee or leader has an integrity lapse by not acting with integrity?

Can your organization afford the cost of an integrity lapse?

An organizations success depends on the integrity of its employees. We have all witnessed the severe issues that result when people act without integrity. When an organizations reputation is damaged it’s almost impossible to reverse the damage.

The lapse can give the entire organization a bad name, for example minor lapses can include an employee promising a customer to deliver on a certain time and doesn’t or not keeping your word, white lies, not being accountable, giving poor service, all account for small integrity lapses. Of course so does corruption, theft and misappropriation of funds, the larger lapses.

Once there is a lapse whereby trust and credibility is broken, no matter how small, there is no turning back.

In a world where a bad review can be so easily posted on social media, organizations need to start thinking about integrity as part of their training so employees and top management know how to practice it as part of sales and service.

The value of ethics and integrity is so misunderstood, undervalued and least of all practiced.

It’s time to bring integrity back into the workplace. It’s the one value we all need to do business, yet it the one thing lacking in so many organizations.

Why is it so rare?

The culture of instant gratification leads people to make unethical decisions without thinking or caring about the consequences.

It takes hard work to live with integrity. It’s about revaluating every decision you make and every interaction with

People often refer to the “structural integrity of buildings”.  This refers to the safety or reliability of the building.  Nobody would work inside a building that was not structurally safe, but millions of people work in companies that have no certification of assurance of the integrity of their people.

Can integrity be taught?

Yes, it’s about raising awareness of how to self-reflect and practice the toolkit that we give them. Also about making the right conscious decisions every day.

We clearly need to schedule more integrity-based leadership training roll-outs – not only in organisations but also within universities and schools.

Organisations and universities can certainly be taught how to roll out integrity as a strategic driver of success.

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