You’re known by the company you keep

In the last couple of days, two significant things happened; News Corp recorded a loss of $1.3bn and Standard Chartered a severe depreciation in its value. With News Corp the losses preceded the announcement Ð it was coming with no small help from the hacking scandal which continues to capture the attention of the media world, especially with criminal convictions to be applied to many people. Standard Chartered is being got at by US regulators who are concerned about the company the bank is keeping – and money laundering. Twenty five percent of the bank’s value – its largest ever loss – has been wiped off the books. The truth is no one really knows whom one is dealing with in business; take for example Lehman Brothers, Fanny Mae and Fanny Mac. If we keep our money in a tin under the bed life is probably less complicated. The earnings in interest may not be as great but peace of mind certainly comes with our own regulation. Marks and Spencer’s Mike Barry recently declared “sustainability demands disruption” and that ‘any business that doesn’t radically re-invent itself will not have a business in 20 years time”. So why can’t News Corp and Standard Chartered re-invent themselves? Because they are so totally immersed in their current operating systems. They are probably seeking new ideas every day to make their business model better; however, the festering energy which was the mission statement when those companies began, lingers. Controls the ethics, infiltrates the veins of employees and gives the company the reputation it deserves. And it doesn’t matter how ethical your business is – how many children in Africa you feed or environmental causes you invest in it all comes back – unfortunately – to money. By Doug Green