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KamCity reports that Tesco "has launched a new Code of Business Conduct for its staff.

"The code sets down minimum expectations and legal obligations for its staff across the group, providing guidance on key risk areas that may arise in all aspects of its business and dealings with suppliers. There are 21 of these covering areas such as prices & marketing, product standards, competition laws, GSCOP, ethical trading, fraud, bribery, and market abuse ... The code also actively encourages staff to report any misdemeanours or concerns via a new Protector Line with telephone hotlines and email contacts in each of the countries it operates."

The new code comes as Tesco continues to deal with investigations related to financial misstatements that overestimated revenue and underestimated costs as a way of making the books look better than they were.

In a memo to staff, CEO Dave Lewis says that the code "means more than just following the law and our policies. It’s about using our Values and Leadership Skills to guide our conduct and decision-making so that we are always doing the right thing at work and working in a fair, open and honest way."
KC's View:
The thing is, I'm guessing that Tesco probably had an old code of conduct that prohibited many of the actions in which some of its people engaged. I've had people familiar with the Tesco situation tell me that the culture there had grown toxic ... and it takes more than 21 "new" rules to fix that kind of problem.

There has to be a real cultural change, it has to start with the folks at the very top, and it has to reflect some level of servant leadership that puts the customers and front line employees first.

A new code of conduct is a good start. But only a start.