Thursday, March 3, 2011

BYU's Principle Stand

An organization's commitment to its core principles is often adhered to out of financial convenience.

Consider the plight of college football.  Earlier this week, Sports Illustrated (SI) published an investigative report of the number of players on pre-season ranked football teams who had criminal records. 

We're not talking modest offenses either.  Of the 277 incidents identified, 56 involved violent crimes such as assault and robbery, domestic violence, and aggravated assault.  There were also more than 100 drug and alcohol incidents, including DUI, possession and intent to distribute cocaine.

SI's Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian appropriately write, "The number of players with criminal histories reinforces a pervasive assumption that college coaches are willing to recruit players with questionable pasts to win."

Of course, in big-time collegiate sports winning equates to more money -- for the coaches and the school.

The story is quite different at Brigham Young University (BYU).  This week, a top player on the school's highly ranked men's basketball team was dismissed because of engaging in consensual relations with his girlfriend.  Apparently, this is a violation of the BYU's honor code.

Brandon Davies, BYU.  Photo source: Herald Extra
In its first game without Brandon Davies the team suffered its third loss of the season.  More important, BYU's hopes for a top seeding in the NCAA tournament are now in jeopardy.

At Strategic Communications Group (Strategic), we have two core principles that guide our business decision-making: 1) great work for great clients; and 2) a strong commitment to work/life balance for our employees.

Are we as rigid as BYU in staying true to these principles?  Not quite. 

Yet, we have made decisions that limited our top-line revenue growth and reduced profitability because we ran the risk of straying from our convictions as an organization.  

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