Alimera Sciences determined to prove ethics can drive a company
Alpharetta, GA-As Dan Myers, chief executive officer of Alimera Sciences, was assembling his new company in April 2003, the question of business ethics-or the lack of-was splashed across the front page of every American newspaper. The downfall of Enron and WorldCom had people wondering whether there were any ethical practices in the boardrooms of America's companies.
Myers was determined to build a business model for Alimera Sciences that centered around integrity and honesty. His philosophy and that of his co-founders at Alimera Sciences is stated boldly in the company's mission statement and strategic plan.
The final paragraph of the mission statement reads: "Alimera approaches all interactions with a win/win mindset and the goal of proving that an ethically driven company can greatly impact value."
"We really tried to write a mission statement and tried to develop a strategic intent that is around four things," Myers said. "It really builds on Alimera Sciences' culture."
Myers' desire to run an ethically driven company is really a passion with him, one that he expected his management team to embrace. Myers pointed out that he has known his team a long time. He has watched the way they conducted business over the years. He has watched how they behaved as individuals. He just knew they would buy into that culture.
"It comes from the fundamental principle that says ethics cannot be brought from the outside in," Myers explained. "You cannot bring in a consultant to teach ethics. You cannot bring in a committee to write the company's ethics policy.
"I am a firm believer that ethics comes from the inside out," Myers said. "If you find the people who are committed to that-either through their religious values or through the way they've grown up socially or economically-the ethics is coming from the inside out."
-Mark L. Dlugoss,Editor-in-Chief