Ethics is a key differentiator.

tumblr_o6nnz8glgm1tubinno1_1280Let’s be honest, 2016 has been a pretty tough year. In review, we have lost some amazing people: Sharon Jones, Prince, Gene Wilder, Muhammed Ali, Alan Rickman, David Bowie, Carrie Fisher and even Kenny Baker, known for playing the original R2D2.  And the list goes on, not to mention other upheavals in the political climate both at home and abroad. Then came the holidays and I was hopeful to hear about the goodwill toward men(humankind)

You may have heard that Rose Marcario, CEO of Patagonia, announced that all of its global profits from Black Friday would go to organizations supporting the environment, such as “grassroots organizations working in local communities to protect our air, water, and soil for future generations.” Quite a generous promise to underfunded organizations.

Patagonia was only expecting two million dollars in profits on that day, but they blew that forecast out of the water. In fact, they brought in ten million dollars in sales from the post-holiday event. Way to go, Patagonia. Not only do you have offer stellar maternity/paternity leave benefits to your employees, affordable onsite childcare and have a 100% return rate of mom’s coming back to work after maternity leave, you also donated 10 million for the environment!

“There will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.”

This lead me to do more research on how ethics can impact business and if that impact is measurable. I dug into what The Ethisphere® Institute was doing and thought this is perfect!

If you don’t know  The Ethisphere® Institute is a Scottsdale, Arizona-based organization that defines and measures corporate ethical standards, recognizes companies that excel, and promotes best practices in corporate ethics.

They created this impressive infographic showing how ethics is the measurable differentiator. As you can see from the graphic how their 2016 honorees (131 business from around the world including Xerox,3M, Cisco, Starbucks and MasterCard) performed against S&P 500 in 2015.


What this brings to light and is a great reminder for us when we design, build and sell is that we have a choice to do what is right. As my good friend Dumbledore said, “There will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.”

It is my hope that companies see the value of ethics, not only because you should do what is right, but because it is a measurable differentiator. Speaking of differentiators, if you are looking at your own company and feeling like your competitive advantage is still gray, just give us a shout because we are really good at identifying it with you.

Justin Heuss- Business Development at Elevator Up

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