At the end of this day of unplanned Andersen reunions and impromptu alumni meetings, the positive elements of this entire episode are clearer than ever. Not just for the lives upended by the indictment and the conviction nor for the empty rejoicing of a reputation less tarnished but for those affected by the churn. That means all of us who conduct business.
Four good things.
Sarbanes-Oxley and the daylighting of the back office, the back room and maybe even the university club.
Less self absorption and more introspection on the topics of accountability, responsibility and personal motivation.
A higher — and more specific — burden of proof in the prosecution of actions as well as intent.
Andersen values alive and well.
Despite the betrayal and the missteps, the benign neglect and deliberate upheaval, the achievements, performance, competitiveness, work ethic and service orientation of thousands were not lost. These things never are. Instead, they are imbedded in organizations the world over. Companies and governments and foundations and schools are the beneficiaries of a professional energy that has long been the secret sauce of the Andersen alum. Fabu, I say.