Monday, May 28, 2012
The ex-CEO of Olympus is now suing the company for $60 million for fraudulent accounting. He is the fellow who found the discrepancy, notified the board and was fired for the impertinence of telling the truth. He tried to return to the company as CEO but was rebuffed by the Japanese directors. Now he is trying to earn recompense. The lesson here is an old one. If you are going to be a whistle blower, prepare yourself to be thrown into the darkness and smeared. Organizational culture does not stand for public acts of disloyalty, no matter how correct the individual is. There is still -- and always will be -- an expectation in employee relations that such communication be done internally and confidentially. Of course, the irony is that when the individual tries to make a wrongdoing known internally, he is told to shut up. He ends in a nether world either way. The world needs whistle blowers, but it doesn't value them. Some times it is perilous to communicate facts.