The issue of trust is something I feel strongly about. As a businessman and the owner of an ethical company, The Clean Space, I hear a lot of talk about building trust in terms of ethical credentials.
Despite the seething mass of corporate paranoia, rampant misogyny and disturbing sexualisation of young models displayed by American Apparel, I still believe that we can have clothing companies that pay their workers a fair wage without negating this achievement through other types of unethical behaviour.
Change is happening fast and it's clear that for many companies, the challenge is to keep up. We live in a world where value is being built and destroyed at mindboggling speeds, shareholders are becoming more radicalised and consumers can pass and spread judgement on a company in the blink of an eye.
I hope this is the start of a new era for management. After the last few turbulent years, we need individuals to demonstrate that they work to the highest standards, while employers must seek out those employees and support them in meeting those standards. If managers and management are to gain the trust and confidence of their employees, customers and stakeholders, they must first take action to show they deserve it.
What's the hot news in town apart from Mitt Romney picking his running mate? It is of course the latest plagiarism scandal involving no less than the celebrated liberal media columnist, Fareed Zakaria. Zakaria, who is the editor at large for Time Magazine and host of a popular newsy talk show on the partner site, CNN, was found to have lifted an entire paragraph of material from another journalist without citing it or attributing it.
If I'm ever asked about my religion, I usually say I'm an atheist. If pushed, I might qualify that by saying I'm a Buddhist atheist, or maybe even an atheist Buddhist. Not that I believe in reincarnation, or like the idea of prostrating myself in front of shrines, or want to change my name to some unpronounceable Sanskrit word and wear floaty gowns.
The moral chaos of the financial services industry is throwing up some interesting cultural findings. Among these is a recent report by corporate governance experts, Labaton Sucharow, showing that a quarter of the financial services executives they polled believed that unethical or illegal conduct might be required for professional success.