Learning From Scam Artists and Acting on Our Values

Learning From Scam Artists and Acting on Our Values

Revelations about scams, questionable marketing strategies and outright lies have recently seeped into our public discourse. While distressing, these practices can teach us about the value of responsible oversight, inclusive engagement and honest conversations. At Nyhus, the commitment to integrity and candor shapes our work and our relationships. In the May Lede, we explore how recognizing and reining in unscrupulous behavior helps build a context for productive communications – and successful businesses.

Innovative companies launch regularly. Why do some thrive while others fail spectacularly? Recent exposés on the inner workings of now-defunct companies like Theranos reveal insular leadership teams that were sold on a bold vision by a charismatic leader. When those teams failed to challenge ideas and provide effective oversight, they faced the consequences of following a founder whose mantra was, “Fake it ‘til you make it.”


Creating space for candid conversations within one’s company is one of a leader’s most valuable exercises. Breaking down barriers and encouraging employees to ask questions not only helps surface and solve existing problems but builds a community of trust that empowers employees to help companies avoid an epic downfall. Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) can be an effective way to foster an inclusive and collaborative environment.


Meeting customer needs is a priority for most companies. But if an enterprise’s own values and ethics are unclear, it can be difficult to effectively manage consumers’ expectations. Building an ethical framework around what matters most to the company and its people can lead to more authentic customer service and a clearer path toward the company’s vision.


Digital platforms have made it easy to share our opinions but with them come potential pitfalls. Controversial comments made in the name of free speech raise questions about the limits of freedom for content that can be viewed as harmful or offensive. Some social media companies are feeling the pressure – and taking steps – to enforce tougher policies about what they will and will not allow in their forums. How do we find the right balance as a society?


At Nyhus we believe in building relationships on candor, critical thinking and clear expectations. Sometimes keeping the client’s best interest in mind means having the courage to coach. Consistently providing nuanced counsel – even when that counsel feels difficult to give – will help fulfill the commitment to your client and provide transparency.