Ethics Based Business
Are there really any Ethics based businesses anymore? You know the ones I’m talking about, the ones who REALLY CARE about their clients. I’m not just talking IT companies either; I’m talking IT Organizations, IT Departments, Teams, Project, etc. Well I’ll let you decide, but let’s discuss this term first; Ethics Based Business.
I’ve been using this term for many years with past and current business partners, clients, and colleagues. Whenever I bring it up, I get absolute and un-deniable agreement that our industry lacks it, but yet every year I struggle to find businesses, teams or projects running in this manner.
I’m sure there are many different and conflicting definitions of what an Ethics Based Business is. To me, an Ethics Based Business can be summed up in one line: To do what’s best for the client, before what’s best for you.
Surprised?! Probably not. Any company that operates services (such as IT) promotes similar concepts; customers are always right, etc. The problem is the industry has gone from doing this concept to talking about it. Arguers will say IT has never been good at doing this…
I’m sure everyone agrees our level of service in the industry today is drastically degrading. Many Executives today are looking for the quick win, to grow their share value and retire in the lap of luxury. Others are bored of their work or become jagged. They strive to learn more, do more, and be more... more… more… (I’m sure my wife is rolling her eyes now putting me into this category as well). But I’m sure that YOU do not fall into this category… right? Let’s shine some light on this. Read the following and reflect earnestly. No one’s listening, no one’s judging.
When working on a project, have you ever said or asked about your client “They don’t know that want, that’s not right”, “I’ll do it this way because it will be better for them”, or “don’t ask them that, they will just say no and make me do it their way”? Have you ever implemented technology, frameworks or features solely because they are new and you’ve read articles on them, not because of business value? Really think about this one, have you implemented a new and fancy ORM, how about a new design pattern, what about a new type of managed switch or wiring technique that caused more time to configure, get working, and more effort to maintain? If so, then were you really doing what’s best for the client, or were you working on a new technology you wanted to use, implementing functionality or changes you thought were better, or letting the “Blinky-light syndrome” we all have as IT professionals get the best of your judgment?
Now I know a lot of you may have your backs up right now, but let’s put this into perspective. Your cable provider shows up at your house to install a new shared PVR system. You tell him you would like three TV’s, one in the living room, one in the rec room, and one in your master bedroom. The cable guy then installs one in your rec room, one in your master bedroom, and installs an under cabinet unit in your kitchen. You ask “what’s the deal?! That’s not what I wanted?” He replies “from this spot on this floor, you can see the TV from your Kitchen, your Dining room, AND your Living room. It’s a much better configuration and scalable for your future TV watching needs”. Ah, but it gets better, just because that’s not enough he follows it up with “this under cabinet configuration took 2 more hours to install PLUS I had to run some additional cabling from the basement, drill some holes in your cabinet, and had to install a mounting bracket. The remote didn’t work as the IR receiver was being blocked by your cabinet, so I drilled another whole in the front and installed an IR extender. Now it works perfectly! For the extra time, material and equipment than originally estimated, you owe me extra $350”.
I don’t know about you, but I’d be PISSED! How’s this different than how we, as IT professionals, treat our business and our clients?
I wrote this article not to call anyone out as we have all, including me, experienced this type of service, and have been part of this type of service. I only want to promote visibility into a growing epidemic. Consider this article when you’re on your next project. Are you really making Ethics Based Business decisions?