November 13th, 2009
From Devon Prutzman, Director, WW Communications, Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics
Business ethics isn’t a new topic, but it does seem to take on particular relevance in light of today’s complex business environment. The tough challenges facing leaders in all sectors of society certainly aren’t going to be solved overnight and one Johnson & Johnson leader recently recognized the importance of helping current and future business leaders better understand the role of ethics in shaping the way they — and their organizations — do business.
I had the chance to watch Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics Company Group Chairman Nick Valeriani speak to members of the Rutgers University Institute for Ethical Leadership a few weeks ago on the topic of Creating an Ethical Organization and Dealing with Ethical Issues. Nick delivered the keynote address to more than 50 business students and business leaders for the first installment in the Ethical Leadership Speaker Series at Rutgers’ Business School campus in Newark, New Jersey. While he’s known for being an engaging speaker on any topic, it was clear that talking about ethics brought out Nick’s sense of passion about setting high standards for business leaders and for always doing the right thing.
He began by discussing Our Credo and offering examples of how its values drive Johnson & Johnson’s business by encouraging “candid, transparent discussions to reach what we believe are the right decisions for our patients, our employees, our communities, and our shareholders.” He talked about why building an ethical culture in an organization is important and shared some of the ethical challenges he has faced in his career, conceding that “it never gets easier to make these kinds of decisions as a leader.