How Best Buy’s Ethics Officer Made Me Late to Dinner

August 10, 2011

It's 8 p.m. on Wednesday. My husband is asking what we're going to do for dinner, and my dogs are staring intently at me — certainly trying to convey that they should be eating right about now, too.

The problem is, I can't tear myself away from reading this blog. I've been combing through the Best Buy ethics blog, and while Chief Ethics Officer Kathleen Edmond didn't actually make me late to dinner (we're more of a 9 p.m.-mealtime household), her stories and questions definitely keep me reading.

Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn is a well known social media user and embracer of what he termed a "cultural transformation" in this Business Week article. I'm thrilled to see more Best Buy C-level leaders take to the blogosphere to engage employees, customers, and interested parties in an open discussion about values, ethics, corporate culture, and the sometimes-gray area between right and wrong.

And the questions that Edmond is tackling on this blog are certainly not always easy. A few examples:

  • "Keeping Business in the Family," 8/1/11 — when is it appropriate to use an employee discount to support a spouse's emerging business, and is it appropriate at all to refer people to spouse's business when your employer delivers the same service? 
  • "Is She A Customer Or An Employee?," 7/15/11 — Ah, the convergence of the corporate social media policy and employees' personal lives.
  • Taking Customer Service to the Extreme," — an employee referred a customer to a competitor when the local Best Buy store sold out of a product the customer wanted. Was this a good way to keep a customer happy? What's your opinion when you learn that kickbacks from the competitor were involved?

I encourage you to check out the Best Buy ethics blog – it's now on our blogroll to the right. If you manage your company's blog for topics such as ethics, corporate citizenship, and community involvement, we'd love to have it listed in the comments section below.