Integrity as an ethical framework for businesses
The American Chamber of Commerce in Albania has hosted the third Business Ethics Conference, which dealt with the topic of integrity — discussing a mosaic of elements that complement business ethics. The AmCham Ethics and Labor Committee, in cooperation with invited guests from Albania and the United States, addressed the topic, which is both general and delicate. Businesses should place integrity at the core of their activity and have it have the forefront of dealing with clients and employees, participants agreed.
AmCham President Enio Jaco spoke about the value of integrity and how AmCham helps promote it. “Fortunately, we have integrity and high standards within the organization, and it is our obligation to keep it at that same level,” Mr. Jaco said in his remarks at the conference.
At the meeting, the chairman of the AmCham Ethics and Labor Committee spoke to members about the work the chamber is doing through this particular event format to provide information to member businesses about the values that they should convey through their work.
The event had two speakers from the United States — Krish Dhanam of Krish Dhanam Training International, as well as Mike Chaney, former Vice President of Procter & Gamble — who shared their experiences in business development that is based on integrity and on a way of doing business that is not solely focused on profit, but also on the creation of a sustainable social environment. Mr. Dhanam brought a personal experience from his short stay in Albania that emphasizes how people can act with integrity. The loss of a passport and the actions of two Albanian citizens to make sure it was found and handed back was, according to Mr. Danam, a strong example of integrity that people have and use in their lives and business. “You can not make good decisions with bad people,” Mr. Dhanam said in his remarks, bringing the message that in business it is very important to have people’s integrity at the heart of how decisions are made.
Along the same lines, Mr. Chaney, an experienced former executive at Procter & Gamble, explained that there are different values all over the world, but what separates companies with longevity in the market from those that exit quickly is the integrity with which they build their business and serve the customer. Making the right decision for the client, even when it is not in your best interest, requires integrity and this is a value that leadership must possess to inspire employees and increase the effectiveness of their work.
Both speakers addressed the topics of integrity and morality, noting these go beyond a cliché or myth and should be the focus of leadership. Only by building strong foundations can a business have sustainability, they noted.
Arben Malaj, a former Albanian finance minister, spoke about the need to develop a business with integrity and the role played by the individual in doing so. Bringing his experience from the public sector and the way in which he led, Mr. Malaj recommended not just using a code of ethics but, above all, having integrity in decision making. Advising young people to bring these values in their lives, Mr. Malaj mentioned the fact that it is up to the older generation to create a solid base of the right values to guide the younger generation in the proper direction. Today, every citizen should have a positive approach to their actions, but above all those who hold public responsibility in their decision-making should have integrity at the center of their focus, he noted.