At a time where mistrust and dishonesty seem to be at the forefront of our daily news bulletins, with the world divided over the recent Oscar Pistorius murder case and afore that the Lance Armstrong drugs scandal, it seems topical to talk about culture and transparency.

Lance Armstrong denied taking performance enhancing drugs throughout his cycling career. He has finally admitted to the world that in fact he did. Seven consecutive Tour de France wins were the product of a comprehensive drugs program. A drug culture that Armstrong instilled in everyone that surrounded him; the whole team. A culture. Something that was breathed and lived within the organisation; the way each and every team member behaved. A culture of mistrust and cover ups. This thing goes deeper than a few individuals. It spread like a cancer through all those that came into his contact. Lying became the norm. Is Lance now telling the truth? Who knows? All we know is that dishonesty is inherent to all he has achieved thus far.

The trouble with a small lie is that it quickly becomes a bigger lie. The trouble with a big lie is that it quickly becomes a massive lie. Once you start lying it is very hard to break yourself free, as Lance Armstrong found out.

Oscar Pistorius shot his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day at his home in South Africa. He claims that he believed her to be a burglar and was simply defending himself. In South Africa there is a high crime rate and therefore many citizens possess fire arms. Gun crime is the norm. Would Pistorius have shot at his girlfriend had there not been such a culture of crime in South Africa? Would his story have added up had there not been such a culture of crime in South Africa? Who knows? All we know is that a life has been lost through the action of this man.

By means of these two examples, we can see the strength and depth that culture has in society today, and in these two very sad cases, the adverse effect it may have and damage it may cause. This leads us to question our culture and ensure it is a positive and enlightening, helping us to grow and develop as individuals, always seeking to better ourselves.

A clear lack of transparency is also apparent in the examples used. By not being open, responsible and communicating the truth, we leave ourselves exposed to the spiralling effect of dishonesty.

At SK Chase we hold business culture in the highest regard. We acknowledge its power and encourage each other to work and live by it. We strive for a common goal, whilst remaining true to ourselves and respecting each other.  Most importantly we trust. We are transparent.

At the dawn of his administration, President Obama opined: ‘A democracy requires accountability, and accountability requires transparency.’

Wise words….