Revista Granito de Arena
It takes a long time to build a good name and only one unethical act to destroy it. This is the lesson that Enron and Arthur Andersen (From the Enron Corporation) learned in the 2000s, which brought consequences, not only for the executives who committed the crimes that ended up materializing, but also for the thousands of shareholders who had entrusted their investment to these companies and unfortunately were left in financial desolation and disappointment.
Inasmuch as, in the case of legal persons, the fiduciary responsibility and the duty of care of their directors are factors that directly build or destroy reputations.
With the advent of factors such as globalization and Corporate Social Responsibility -CSR-, the value of the reputation of companies has become an important intangible asset within the balance of companies. So much so, that millionaire values are assigned to companies that have been able to build a solid reputation.
In the case of Due Diligence operations, for business transformation such as mergers and acquisitions, carefully evaluate this asset, which is not only a numerical record, but also a promise of value of the products or services offered that grants the guarantee of income.
So how does the corporate reputation strengthening strategy work internally so that it becomes a valuable asset? Well, it is definitely determined from the “Tone of the top”, that is, from the commitment of the administrative body of the legal person, since it is the genesis of the action guides for the entire organization. Directors cannot be conceived without a commitment to good performance and collaborators with a commitment to good performance or vice versa. What is seen in the head, is replicated by the body.
Then, what is our obligation as executives that brings direct consequences to the reputation of the company? Well, it is our good judgment, our good behavior and compliance with corporate regulations and laws. Note that I have purposely left the laws last, because in the matter of ethics, the first thing that rules is not compliance with the law, but criteria and good behavior.
This is perhaps the core point to understand and promote in collaborators, there are imperatives superior to the law that are the values that we profess, and the values of the companies contribute directly with their actions, and of course with the consequences that this leads to reputation.
In recent years we have had the opportunity at Cementos Progreso to be evaluated by the Reputation Institute, in Reputation, and the results have been outstanding. To what factors can we say that this good evaluation is due? Well, definitely to a direct commitment to the ethics that governs all the actions of its collaborators, to the values that are lived from the directors to the last collaborator in the organization chain, but above all to the consistency between what is said and done. Cementos Progreso has declared to be the favorite employer, environmental leader, responsible citizen, favorite supplier and all these commitments are lived in the daily management of all collaborators without exception, this is the recipe so that, without a doubt, Progreso’s reputation is one of its strongest assets.
By: Laura Castañeda, corporate legal manager