The Ripple Effect: Lockheed walks the talk

The Ripple Effect: Lockheed walks the talk

Donna Boehme – March/April 2013 – Compliance and Ethics Professional

I know there is a lot of intricate methodology out there for measuring company culture. Some of it is impressive indeed. But then once in a while, an organization does something that broadcasts its approach to integrity as effectively as a viral YouTube video, and you don’t need a culture survey to see it. And neither do the employees.

Lockheed made headlines in November 2012 when it ousted its CEO-in-waiting over an improper  relationship with a subordinate. But what’s remarkable about this latest corporate scandal du jour is that the company’s employees, customers, and business partners didn’t have to read about it in the papers. Reportedly, within 24 hours, employees received internal communications explaining to them, as adults, exactly what happened and why. And within the same timeframe, the company reached out to customers, vendors, shareholders, and other stakeholders to relay the news. In the Compliance community, the buzz wasn’t about the firing, spectacular as it was, but the way in which the firing was communicated. That’s because you can have all the CEO memos, town halls, codes, and other “tone from the top” (recently banned phrase alert) in the world, but actions speak volumes and send ripples of influence and impact throughout the company’s “culturesphere.” . . .

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