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The Business Ethics Twin-Track: Combining Controls and Culture to Minimise Reputational Risk by Steve Giles

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Chapter OneThe ethics project

THE OPPORTUNITY

Initial contact

Introduction

Much of my work since the global financial crisis of 2007–09 has been contingent in its nature. Times have changed. Scheduled bookings on courses and speaking engagements are no longer guaranteed to go ahead and pressure on fees is intense. Business opportunities still exist of course, but in my experience since the crisis they often appear unexpectedly and quickly, requiring an immediate response or else they are lost. They always demand thorough preparation and yet are almost never confirmed until the last minute. In other words, business opportunities are now time-critical and difficult to convert into paid work. The Stronach project came about in just this way.

Looking back, the project seems to be the result of a number of lucky breaks: the initial discussion that went so well; before that there was the presentation – both unusual and highly enjoyable; even before that, there was the successful one-on-one coaching session on governance; and to kick-start the whole process, there was the initial telephone enquiry where it all began. I was fortunate indeed to have the time available because it was only this that enabled me to respond positively and quickly at every stage in the process. Downtime does occasionally have its advantages!

The sequence of events that I describe below confirms two things for me. The first is that there is much truth in the old saying, attributed apparently to the Roman ...

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