In this issue if you want to “build in” a strong set of values and create a healthy organizational culture as you start a company, how would you go about it? We think Getty Images offers a great model. Less than a decade from its founding (1995), Getty has quickly become the biggest and best imagery company in the world. While it uses great technology, co-founder and CEO Jonathan Klein does not think of his company as a technology company. Rather he attributes success to a strong set of values and a long-term view.
Running through, and undergirding, Getty Images are five brand values and seven leadership principles that define Getty’s culture and govern its activities. Success isn’t just about the “what” that Getty Images accomplishes, Klein argues — it is more about “how” than the “what.” The values and principles shape this “how.” The Getty Images story bears witness to the importance of integrating good business, appropriate technology, and sound ethics—and of focusing serious attention on all three critical components very early on in a company’s development.
Guest essayist Gary Hardaway’s droll account of customer “service” will sound familiar to us all (p. 12). When will we see more companies show us a better way? Contributing editor Gerard Beenen’s review of three medical information web sites highlights the positive potential of the web in an important sector of our lives.
In this issue of Ethix we hear from some of you in our Letters (p. 3) and Forum (p. 14) on “technology-caused problems,” and we hear about Rudolph Giuliani, Francis Fukuyama, and Marvin Brown in reviews of their books. Al’s “Technology Watch” proposes two objectives for good business, neither of which is a short-sighted quest for stock price increases. David’s “Benchmark Ethics” column proposes a general working method for trouble-shooting ethical crises and dilemmas.
Our website at www.ethix.org continues to grow as a vital part of the Institute for Business, Technology, and Ethics. Last month marked the first time for a country (other than the USA) to pass 1000 hits on the web site in a single month. Poland takes this honor. The website is made available as a public service and is visited from all parts of the world.
Think about buying a couple gift subscriptions this month — for a graduate about to enter the marketplace, for a colleague who would resonate with Ethix, or for your university or community library. Helping the recipients of your gift subscriptions also helps IBTE continue its mission to promote good business through appropriate technology and sound ethics.
Erratum: The correct web address for last month’s guest essayist Harold Boughton’s new book is: www.themissingpiecebook.com.