Financial impropriety. Defective products. Oil spills. In today’s world, with the Internet and twenty-four-hour cable TV, corporate reputations that take centuries to build can be destroyed in one news cycle. With disgraced boldface names making headlines everywhere, corporations must demonstrate social and moral responsibility as a matter of their own survival. Reputation matters, now more than ever. Crisis of Character presents real-life case studies from the front lines of corporate struggles to illustrate how company strategy must shift to deal with unprecedented levels of scrutiny (and the new environmental and human rights standards that come with it) including: BP’s setting of new social responsibility standards while ignoring warnings about worker safety; Bausch & Lomb’s foot-dragging recall of a contaminated contact lens solution; Chiquita Brands’ emergence from a corrupt history to leadership in corporate responsibility; Xerox CEO Anne Mulcahy’s reversal of the perception that the company had entered a death spiral. These corporate parables for a modern age emphasize the need for candor and transparency, and they offer concrete ways executives can prepare their enterprises today for the crises that could strike tomorrow. Rich with material that can be put to immediate use by business readers and leaders of all kinds, CRISIS OF CHARACTER reveals that it is possible for a company to emerge stronger than ever from virtually any threat to its reputation.
Conference Room E, Temporary North Lawn Building, UN Headquarters