On September 11, 2016, I wrote a blog entitled, “Time to Edit the Classic Book ‘Good to Great’?” It was about how one of the companies listed in the book as a model corporation – clearly had changed due. They implemented a program that led to the set-up of millions of bogus accounts without customer consent, all in the name of hitting a new program’s goals to increase the number of accounts per customer. In the process, the CEO’s stock soared by $200 million. When word hit the Internet, the company fired 5,300 employees – employees guilty of implementing the program they were told to execute, and which management contacted them about almost daily. The executive who masterminded the program resigned, but not before being paid a $125 million bonus parting gift. And the CEO resigned.
As you can see by viewing the video of their new ad campaign, Wells Fargo is now doing the right thing: publicly accepting blame; cancelling the goal and bonus program; reimbursing 2 million customers. Not sure what would have happened without the whistle blowers, but the bottom line is that they are taking responsible steps.
Think Corporate Social Responsibility is not important and the right way to operate? The Internet has opened many companies’ eyes to see that even if they don’t believe in CSR, the risks of behaving poorly are too great. Lessons are often learned from mistakes, so I applaud Wells Fargo for doing the right thing.
Nobody loses when everyone wins. #csrmatters