Conflict of interest
Singapore, 24th March 2011
In any business there are moments that a conflict of interest may arise. It is not always obvious and it also takes a strong and principal stand to identify and face these situations. In our lighting industry it happens as anywhere else. Sometimes it may even be a perceived conflict of interest even if there is actually none. People like to assume if they don’t know and have a tendency to make up things. It is a sensitive subject, but it can affect business if not properly tackled.
We like to work with people we know and have previous good experience with, right? But to others this may seem like favouritism and people at the short end of the stick, those who lost out (those who feel they had the goods and capability to be considered but didn’t make it) often will hint at some irregular process or even kickbacks that got someone else in rather than them. Typical sore loser syndrome…it is therefore important to be professional at all times and provide clarity and transparency of any selection process. Checks and balances, due diligence.
Conflicts of interests are nearly always driven by money, sometimes by loyalty. For instance take a lighting supplier who represents many brands with all similar lighting products and performances. This can be a good thing or a bad thing. From the designer/specifier or client’s perspective that maybe a good thing…like going to a super market and shopping around for the best deal, a one stop shop. For the brand manufacturer this may be different. Who is the supplier going to favour when it comes to recommending a brand. Unlikely he will give an objective advice, as he will recommend the brand that will make him the most money, surely. So from the perspective of the brand manufacturer this may seem like a conflict of interest as the supplier may not have his brand and interest at heart.
In Light Watch today branded cars and their LED head lights. Gradually but surely LED lighting is taking over the automotive market as well, possibly even faster than in our architectural lighting world.
Light Watch 58: Branded cards with LED head lights