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  • LYCEUM: Timothy Flynn Discusses Business Integrity


    Why do so many business professionals get caught up in a compromising situation, only to land in the Wall Street Journal as yet another sour story? Tim Flynn, Chairman, CEO of KPMG had some answers and solutions in his April 12th Lyceum presentation, “Integrity – the key to success.”

    “At the end of the day, people know what’s right and wrong,” Flynn said.  

    “Unfortunately, they usually justify it with one of three reasonings -- all the wrong reasons.  They rationalize it – view it as a temporary fix, the competition is doing it, or that it’s helping stockholders. They apply permission to the situation, since ‘it must be alright if everyone else is doing it,’ and lastly they are motivated by fear. ‘It’s not my job to tell my Boss or Joe down the hall that they’re going down the wrong path.’ “

    Flynn is working to create a KPMG corporate culture that is a values-based compliance culture, as he calls it.

    “We want our people to be culturally comfortable in their role of maintaining our culture,” he said.  “We want people to raise their hand and challenge each other; do you really want to do it this way?”

    Flynn presented some case study examples where professionals did not act with integrity, and challenged students to help turn the tide against corporate wrong doing.

    “Continue to remember what got you here today,” he said. “Never forget your integrity and how to filter your decision making through your value systems rather than somebody else’s.”

    “And if all else fails,” he said, “Think of your mother reading the Wall Street Journal with your name in it.”

    UIUC College of Business Department of Accountancy