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Review for Greater Omaha Alliance For Business Ethics At Creighton University, Omaha, NE, USA

Rating: 4 stars  

Consumer Watch: "Enough of the bad guys in business; let’s talk do-gooders"

By Jim Hegarty / Better Business Bureau ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬___________________

Omaha World-Herald
May 27, 2014

I spend a lot of time concentrating on the bad guys, on the schemers and the thieves, but in recent weeks, I’ve had the privilege of attending three events where the themes seemed to be built around Omahans doing the right thing.

I had opportunities to celebrate that concept and to witness the legacy that integrity creates as I sat at an event sponsored by the Omaha Ethics Alliance, participated in the Downtown Rotary’s Eighth-Grade Honor Roll Luncheon and attended the funeral of my brother-in-law, a local teacher.

At the quarterly Ethics Alliance Dialogue, which is held in the early morning at the marvelous Gallup campus, more than 100 area business leaders discussed marketing ethics and the importance of truth in advertising. It was a lively discussion and just another in what’s becoming a long line of events that shows how wide awake Omaha is when it comes to the subject of ethics — even at 7:30 a.m....

....The Business Ethics Alliance is a one-of-a-kind partnership among Creighton University, the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce and the Better Business Bureau, forged as an organized effort to make Omaha the epicenter of ethical business conduct. To date, more than 200 of Omaha’s top businesses and business leaders have joined the effort to prove that doing the right thing works, as Trustees of the Alliance.

Recently, the Alliance used information from interviews and focus groups to help community business leaders pin down Greater Omaha’s core business values. The values they identified were accountability, integrity, moral courage, financial vitality and community responsibility. Chamber President David Brown thought those findings were so wonderful he suggested the BBB partner with the chamber to fund the production of gigantic posters proclaiming these business values as being major contributors to Omaha’s greatness.

But even before the posters were delivered it was evident that Omaha is getting noticed. Last year a contingency of business and community leaders from Akron, Ohio, visited Omaha to learn what makes us so successful. We’ve since learned that the thing that may have excited them most is our ethics partnership. So much so that they’ve now formed a task force to determine if they can duplicate our Ethics Alliance in their community. The word is out that it’s good to be like Omaha.

Business leaders from around the country are beginning to wonder what’s in the water here. They often want to know why one of the largest and most successful chambers of commerce in America is based in Omaha and why one of the largest and most successful BBBs in America is right here, too.

They want to know our secret, and our secret isn’t our water — it’s our people. It’s a sort of goodness that probably exists elsewhere but that certainly comes to life in a unique way, an exceptional way, here in the Omaha area....We know integrity is worth it.

Jim Hegarty is president of the Better Business Bureau representing Nebraska and southwest Iowa. To contact him, email or call 402-898-8520.

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Role:  Board Member