Would you drop $2 billion in revenue because it’s source didn’t align properly with what your company stood for?
That’s sort of a big number to have to face. Lets look at it from a different perspective. Would you drop nearly 2% of your gross revenue to make sure your products were in alignment with your mission? I hope that you’ve never had to face this question, that all of your products are already in alignment with your mission and that it stays that way for a long time. Maybe you do have to face the question of product or service alignment. Maybe you’ve never even given it a thought.
The thing is, our products and services are the actions that tell the world what our real intentions are. Having a product or service that isn’t in line with what you claim your mission statement is damages the credibility of your claim. Once your credibility is damaged, the reputation is difficult to repair. This poor image can ultimately hurt your company’s growth potential over the long term.
Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.
So, back to the question at hand. Would you give up 2% revenue, or would you rather tell your clients you’ve adopted a new mission statement? It seems like an incredibly difficult choice to make. In my opinion, you should give up the 2%. It’s what I would do. You founded your company on a set of principals, and you should never violate your principals over money. Think about it this way, what would you tell your child if they damaged a friendship for money? After all, your relationship with your clients is the same thing.
I thought I should bring this question into light because of an article I read on Forbes.com today. Apparently, CVS Pharmacies have chosen to drop all tobacco products from their stores, as “cigarettes have no place in an environment where healthcare is being delivered.” It’s a $2 billion loss in revenue on their $125 billion top line, which will have an impact on earnings short-term as well. However, it’s the right decision for a company who has chosen to realign themselves on the healthcare aspect the company was built on. Good on you, CVS!