When we started getting serious about a discussion of technology and its impact on business in our times, we agreed to read a couple books recommended by each other. David recommended that Al read Jacques Ellul’s Technological Bluff and Neil Postman’s Technopoly. Al recommended that David read Hammer and Champy’s Reengineering the Corporation and Don Tapscott’s Paradigm Shift.
Gill soon agreed with Erisman that Don Tapscott, beginning with Paradigm Shift, is one of the most insightful guides to the business/technology connection. So we were both delighted to be able to sit down recently with Don Tapscott in his Toronto office. His fertile mind never seems to take a break and in our IBTE conversation (starting on page 6) you will be among the first to encounter his newest idea: the “blue” corporation that is demanded by powerful forces in today’s global markets. We hope his prognosis turns out to be right. In fact, it is no stretch to say that the IBTE was founded with a mission to promote “blue” corporations (businesses that are transparent and do the right thing).
Gerard Beenen contributed our very first Ethix film review—appropriately enough on the recent documentary film “Startup.com” (page 12). You will also find reviews of Michael Lewis’s Next and Jim Collins’s great new study Good to Great. Al’s Technology Watch reflects on what we can learn from recent misadventures with our ethix.org web host. David’s Benchmark Ethics tries to get us thinking about what a corporate “ethics audit” might be like. Enron’s recent problems appear to include some poor financial auditing, but the more we learn about their practices, the more it seems a rigorous ethics audit would have been appropriate!
Stephen Covey has his famous “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” and there are lots of other lists of various types. On page 11 we share with you our proposal for “Ten Principles of Highly Ethical Business Leaders.” These are not religious principles, as you will see, but they grew out of David’s research over the past twenty years into the meaning of the Ten Commandments. We are both convinced that these principles “fit” with both the basic realities of business and human nature and the core truths of history’s greatest philosophies and religions.