For several months, companies were agitated by cases involving the salaries of a few leaders. Whether it's stock, outstanding bonuses, severance pay or retirement, the reported figures were outraged opinion. The slogan launched by Attac, denouncing the social insecurity of workers it oppose the Golden security of leaders, is fed to astronomical figures thrown up for grabs in the public space. The image of entrepreneurs is degraded. It must be recognized to Laurence Parisot a significant innovation: for the first time, the Medef clearly chooses his camp to avoid an extension to discredit to the whole of the leaders who suffer from these exceptional situations.
It sometimes objects that huge income of athletes including footballers and the drivers of F1 or artists of varieties do not cause the same outrage. But there are three reasons for this difference. First succession of the labour market, the second of the employment relationship and the third of the choices made by individuals. Indeed, athletes operate on a market. Mercenarism is the most common rule and the importance of their income flows directly from the offers. This may be true of some business leaders, but this is hardly the case when they owe their appointments to political relations. In a world of growing infidelity, the level of income or modes of remuneration (e.g. stock) is justified if it is need to retain leaders to arracheraient companies. This was rarely the case in the above examples.
The second reason is labour relations: the income of an athlete or a singer is not in direct relation to salaried income. In the case of the leaders of business, some inaccurate or unfair that this representation, there is an implied relationship between the wages received by each and the other. In comparison salary increases limited to immeasurable numbers either in a causal conjunction that win leaders is subtracted from the envelope of the employees. Is the anchor of the concept of operation. Finally, the third reason corresponds to the choices made by individuals: I decided myself to buy a recording of Johnny or a ticket to go to the stadium. These figures certainly earn much more money, but I recognize their talent and the pleasure they give me. It also refers to the tolerance of the French to the Lotto or Euro Millions winners host fabulous amounts without work. It is any other order: the winner won as I could and I could win.
Finally, it should be rebut an objection often recommenced. A business executive can argue for the creation of value operated under its mandate and support, on what he did win the company, its a few million euros represent little. But this argument against the most common speech on the role of the teams in the success of an organization. No ruler can argue that it is the only one to win business.
We do neglect the demagogic elements just piggyback on these cases. It is often possible to stir up jealousy and envy. Critical springs are not always of the most noble. This is why most companies build instances to improve governance.
Two temptations exist which are actual threats to the dynamism of our economy and the lives of enterprises. The first is to always want to legislate; the second lies in the pathology of transparency undermining our society.
Indeed, we must first admit that men and women, even business leaders, can conduct themselves well or behave badly. It must accept this idea, or even save it. Since he is not dead man (!), must be leave them this freedom which is the condition of any ethics: it cannot act although if it can not! It is then the Organization of governance which should identify responsibilities. Are deduced, second, that the directors or members of a remuneration Committee are considered as responsible if they themselves behaved badly or covered bad actions without the transparency of police nature overrides their liability.
But, beyond these cases, the primary disorder comes from contemporary difficulty to establish an effective connection between risk and profit. The creator of business, the entrepreneur who risk their savings or capital in economic activity that it is implementing disorder little public order if a significant profit comes top of his success. Indeed, it is known that he himself would have paid its failure. However the financial excesses of the modern capitalism increasingly compromised this essential link between risk and profit: beyond a few scandalous cases, the distribution of dividends to shareholders in a publicly traded company that has a negative result, losing many benchmarks. The arguments that justify referring to the danger of a collapse in the prices are hardly intelligible by opinion.
The causality between risk and profit must be rehabilitated. It is a difficult task. In an economy and a society that too often express the profound desire to exclude any risk principle of precaution, prevention obsession, strengthened protections, etc., must relearn the distinction between risk and the danger and show the strength and the issues of freedom that is not locked in a narrow conception of security. Words with positive as connotation innovation, invention or creation must enrich the content of the concept of risk to legitimize its connection with the benefit. This last concept is itself suspect as it imagines that profit to anchor in a process which is to take advantage of one or the other.
The relationship between risk and profit cannot be dogmatic or didactic. It involves, to escape to archaic ideological divides, a work on the arguments, the words, their content and their connotations. Work supported by examples and counter-examples. A work that overrides the laws, regulations, ethical codes or rules of conduct and seeks more common intelligence and consciousness. We founded never trust on the accumulation of distrust procedures.