A New Era of Ethical Leadership?

posted By Leon Kaye on TriplePundit.com
Author: Editorial | 14/11/2011

“You can work hard for 70 years to build trust and lose it in a second.” – Ofra Strauss
At at time when social movements including the Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street, the Indignados and the Arab Spring have all dominated headlines for the past two years, the global business community now has a pivotal opportunity to lead and push for positive change. At first such a statement may sound counterintuitive when many people are protesting what they see as too cozy of a relationship between corporations and the government.

But while governments across the globe are consumed with vicious internal politics and distracted by series of financial crises, there are companies that are pushing ahead and tackling problems from climate change to human rights to health. The reasons vary: a genuine concern for people and communities, the desire to avoid additional regulations, reducing costs while increasing revenues and of course, enhanced brand value and building trust with customers and stakeholders. That trust and brand value, however, can take years or decades to build, and in an instant can be washed away. Olfa Strauss, chair of Israel’s largest food company, Strauss Group, shared her experience and gave a frank assessment of what was a difficult summer for herself, her family’s company and her country during last week’s BSR Conference in San Francisco.

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