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The Future of Business: Glass Box Culture

In the current age of transparency a positive internal culture of business is vital for growth and positive public image. Pre-social media, businesses were a black box, easy to decorate on the outside but difficult to see inside. Consumers only had an outer image to build their impressions on but we have moved on to an age of radical transparency.

In the current age of transparency a positive internal culture of business is vital for growth and positive public image.

Pre-social media, businesses were a black box, easy to decorate on the outside but difficult to see inside. Consumers only had an outer image to build their impressions on but we have moved on to an age of radical transparency. Consumers understand that they are supporting brands with their custom and if a company has questionable ethics, why would they want to invest their money with them? As veganism and ethical business numbers sky rocket, these open practices are becoming expected and when issues are unearthed, a speedy resolution is demanded for the business to survive.

A recent example of this can be seen when Uber founder Travis Kalanick resigned after the company’s culture of harassment, bullying and racism was exposed. Also, the consumer boycott of United Airlines that has intensified after continued business disasters. These include the footage of the forceful removal of a doctor from one of their planes going viral and the death of a puppy after cabin crew wrongly insisted that it be stored in an overhead compartment. Starbucks has also come under public scrutiny when the video of 2 black men being arrested in one of their Philadelphia stores went viral. They have responded by announcing the closure of all their branches (over 8,000) in the US for half a day to deliver ‘racial bias education’ training. Bloomberg have calculated that the half day shutdown could cost them $16.7 million.

Meanwhile ethical high street brands such as Lush and The Co-operative are going from strength to strength as the trend for glass box business increases. After an ethically troubled history it’s also the beauty industry that is turning a corner, seeing a wealth of new vegan businesses, both in the luxury market and on the high street, including brands like B. from Superdrug and Kat Von D Beauty.

A survey of more than 10,000 consumers worldwide showed that 78% of consumers find it ‘somewhat or very important for a company to be transparent.’ And 70% said that ‘these days I make it a point to know more about the companies I buy from’.

Having a glass box business with strong ethics means taking steps to improve the internal culture of the business. Not only will this have a positive impact on the people employed within that company but it will also become a massively powerful part of your brand. Entrepreneurs have the opportunity to instil this positive internal culture from the outset, getting ahead of giant corporations that need to change internal attitudes and use this to boost their brand awareness and marketing strategies.

If you’re interested in making a difference through a career in business, find out how our undergraduate and postgraduate courses can help you make those first steps towards your aspirations.