What we get when we don’t ask how

If you work for a large organization, here is a scenario you might face:

  • A sales employee in a small branch of a developing country deals with a reseller that does not have the resources to issue a purchase order for its daily orders.
  • Your sales employee, trying to be helpful, creates the purchase orders on behalf of the reseller using a blank stack provided by the reseller.

Scenarios like this happen when we do not explain the importance of accurate books and records, of segregation of duties, of financial controls.

They are also a symptom of what happens when employees believe that we would rather have them circumvent controls (and get the sale) than raise the issue (and delay/lose the sale). This belief typically arises when we repeatedly communicate our financial goals and never ask how they will be / have been achieved.

The ethical leader understand that how we do things is just as important as what we do.

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