When CVS Caremark announced today that they are going to discontinue selling tobacco products in their stores they said, “Cigarettes and tobacco products have no place in a setting where health care is delivered. This is the right thing to do.”
When you know what you believe as an organization your choices will naturally follow. CVS Caremark’s purpose is to, “Help people on their path to better health.” They know what they believe, they know their mission and they are aligning their actions with those beliefs. It is operating in this fashion that creates an organizational culture that fosters and nurtures accountability.
People aren’t accountable because you tell them to be. People in an organization are accountable because they believe in what the organization stands for and they see the leaders of the organization making choices that prove those stated beliefs are true. When CVS Caremark shows they are accountable then their employees will naturally want to be accountable as well.
We have to get back to understanding what we believe as organizations, making those beliefs absolute by turning them into Non-Negotiables™ and then being willing to defend and never back down on our Non-Negotiables. It is okay for businesses to run their business by what they believe.
In light of a projected $2Billion loss in tobacco and add-on product sales CVS has made this decision. What is going to happen next will be very interesting. As people realize that CVS is standing up for what they believe those people will flock to CVS. People who would have not gone to CVS before will be attracted to their stores for their products and also for the healthcare services they offer. We want to be better. When we see someone or some organization who is trying to be better, to be accountable, we naturally want to support them. We also will work to raise our game and be more accountable as well.
More companies should take the time to truly know what they believe and then make sure their actions support those beliefs. It’s time to change the way we do business.