The word “integrity” in the world of business is often associated with preventing corruption when in fact Organisational Integrity has much broader connotations.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit” Aristotle
In the English language the definition of integrity has two meanings; the first is concerned with reputation, honesty and trustworthiness and the second about internal cohesion, consistency and connectedness. Although presented as two distinct meanings, when considered in an organisational context the two are very much related.
Organisational Integrity embraces all aspects of the organisation successfully integrated to achieve the organisation’s purpose. Business reputation and trust is therefore built upon the successful cohesion and consistency of the organisation as a system.
In contrast businesses that are fragmented and dysfunctional very quickly earn a reputation for failing to deliver acceptable levels of service or performance.
While discussing service experiences recently it was apparent that a lack of organisational integrity is regrettably now commonplace in many organisations, representing a significant personal and organisational cost for customers, suppliers and employees. One of the most common themes that surfaced was conflicting messages received from organisations while attempting to do business.
I have recent experience in this area having resorted to engaging the services of the Financial Ombudsmen to resolve a long running banking issue concerning a simple request for Internet Banking.