Why Building an Ethical Culture Must Start at the Top

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Ask corporate leaders what values drive their organizational culture, and they’ll likely cite integrity — or a closely related principle — near the top of the list. But as Robert Chesnut points out in his book Intentional Integrity: How Smart Companies Can Lead an Ethical Revolution, such assertions can often ring hollow. After all, companies like Barclays, Wells Fargo, and Volkswagen claimed to value integrity while nonetheless allowing major ethical lapses that resulted in scandal. Chesnut knows firsthand what goes into cultivating a culture that values ethics and trust. As one of the first lawyers hired at eBay, he helped shape the company’s trust and safety program for users. He’s gone on to work with many platform companies in the sharing economy, including serving as Airbnb’s general counsel and first chief ethics officer.

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