I have just one word for you folks -- Volkswagen. This time the proverbial you-know-what hit the fan and stuck for a change, giving all of us an object lesson in why honesty and integrity really do matter, not just in our personal lives, but in the life of a corporation.
It might be too early to give Volkswagen a passing grade when it comes to the high-performance art of disclosure. There's still time for the wiggling and waffling machine to rev into high gear. But so far they seem to be doing everything right, that is with the notable exception of building and selling cars.
In any case, Volkswagen owned up to what it did and said flat-out that it was wrong. What a concept. If only politicians were capable of learning by example.
The guy in charge accepted responsibility and resigned immediately, without so much as an equivocating whimper. And heads are rolling right and left within the company, though we don't know who they are and probably wouldn't care if we did.
With one or maybe more intriguing exceptions. Aren't you itching to learn which sleaze bag (or bags) thought that deceiving shareholders and cheating customers while degrading the environment could, in any way, be a good idea?
The irony is that the company's efforts to be totally transparent might very well seal its fate. There's something like 11 million Volkswagens all around the world that are literally frauds on wheels. Add up all class action lawsuits and environmental fines, and there really doesn't seem any way out for the company other than bankruptcy.
Still, there's no way we can extend sympathy. Volkswagen fully deserves all the punishment it is about to receive. But by coming clean and asking for no mercy, it paved the way for honesty and integrity to win the day, at least this time.