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“Legality means an act is in accordance with the law. Ethics is about concepts of right and wrong behaviour. Some actions may be legal but, in some people’s opinion, not ethical. For example, testing medicines on animals is legal in many countries, but some believe it is unethical.”

Source: respectforcopyright.org

In recent months, we’ve had several encounters in business that have brought this topic to the fore. At Salt Media & Entertainment, we work on doing business equitably for our stakeholders. In the journey of doing so, we often take the approach of doing what is right ahead of what is legal. While we have not always succeeded, we try our best to keep improving.

Recently, we made a soft booking at a venue for an event that we’ve been asked to organise and asked that they inform us if another booking might take precedence. We also informed them that our client wanted to book the space regularly on a particular time slot for the next six months.

Unfortunately, as we were confirming our booking a month ahead, the venue informed us that they had already accepted one booking for a slot that fell within the period we needed to secure. This threw our client’s plans into disarray and was highly disruptive to their planning. Taking into consideration that our client wanted a regular booking for six months, we felt that while the venue had a legal right to take in a booking, we asked if the right thing was perhaps to inform us that another client was enquiring and confirm if we wanted to release or secure ours.

This might seem like a small example, but it did make us sit up and remind ourselves that our actions have consequences. My encouragement to my team is to think about how we can do the right thing so that we take into consideration our stakeholders’ interests. At the same time, there are resource constraints and boundaries that need to be drawn on a practical basis. However, it’s always good to be reminded that our posture in our day-to-day lives affects our decision-making process and impacts people’s lives.