Skip to main content

Ten Commandments for good corporate governance?

MIT professor Dan Ariely (Duke University PhD) has been recently profiled in Fortune as one of the top new management gurus. In his book Predictably Irrational, Dan describes an experiment aimed at understanding dishonesty — an important topic in this age of the Satyams and the Enrons.

One of the questions he tested was “Would the Ten Commandments have an effect on participants’ integrity?”

Dan says “But what a miracle the Ten Commandments had wrought! We didn’t even remind our participants what the Commandments were — we just asked each participant to recall them (and almost none of the participants could recall all 10). We hoped the exercise might evoke the idea of honesty among them. And this was clearly what it did.”

While concluding, Dan suggests “… perhaps we could bring the Bible back into public life. If we only want to reduce dishonesty, it might not be a bad idea.”

Interestingly, that suggestion is not very different from what Tom Peters recently asked while getting tough with three specific business leaders: “Did any of them go to Sunday School?”

Coming back to the honesty experiment, Dan however adds “… some people might object, on the grounds that the Bible implies an endorsement of a particular religion …”

First posted in WordPress on February 6, 2009

Comments

  1. AnonymousJuly 14, 2009

    This is a copy/paste of a Reader's comment on this post, which was first published in WordPress.

    "This is a divine thought but, as the author concludes, people are loathe to be associated with a specific religion. I think business leaders need to look outside their offices at their stakeholders. They need to ask themselves if their actions will get full endorsement. Most importantly, they need to wear the shoes of their stakeholders and experience what its like at the receiving end. They also need to have the wisdom to question their advisors and associates, management and board." - Peter Yorke (Director, Yorke Communications)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Explorer mentality Vs conqueror mentality

A fixation on competitors and on beating them is evidence of what Amazon's Jeff Bezos calls a conqueror mentality. In contrast, people waking up in the morning thinking how to innovate for the customer -- and having intense fun innovating -- is evidence of an explorer mentality.

The explorer mentality resulted in Amazon allowing negative reviews of its products. Reacting to this, a book publisher objected, saying "You make money when you sell things." But Bezos thought, "We don't make money when we sell things; we make money when we help customers make purchase decisions." So explorer mentality also demands a willingness to be misunderstood for long periods of time.

During his 16 years as CEO, Bezos' Amazon has delivered shareholder returns of 12,266% (industry-adjusted), and the company's value has grown by $111 billion. More in HBR Jan-Feb 2013.

M&A perspective: IT staffing Vs IT consulting

This report is a simple analysis by HT Capital -- a boutique investment banking firm in New York. It basically makes the point that being a staffing company (Vs consulting company) does not provide adequate returns to most investors, especially from an M&A perspective.

Peter Rozsa, co-author of the report, is a Senior Managing Director at HT Capital. He was also my "classmate" at a Columbia Business School executive education program. I have Peter's permission to make the report available here.

Click to download PDF report.

Corrupt media: lessons for better behavior

During the US election cycle, so-called "liberal" media outlets have been misleading the people of America and the world. They focused our attention on Trump's bad WORDS instead of on Clinton's bad ACTIONS. Even their polls and predictions were totally wrong.

Post-election, they continue to fuel division, violence, and racism.

US election reporting in India too has been hate-filled (Chidanand, for example).

In the midst of all this is a fresh, objective voice. Chetan Bhagat is not only an intellectual, but a rare truth-speaker. Here are 5 things he tells the elitist media:

You are not as smart as you thinkPeople are the keyUnfair criticism always backfiresDo not impose your views on othersGet out of the bubble.
Here's his original article.