The Buffett Newspaper Test: What It Means and Why It Is Important

Screenshot of the first page of The Buffett Newspaper Test: What It Means and Why It Is Important
Board Perspectives: Risk Oversight, Issue 146

When the subject of ethical and responsible business behavior arises, Warren Buffett advises managers to evaluate every action they take — and not just by legal standards, but also by what he calls the “newspaper test.” The test itself is not a morality play. It’s more about the reality of losing one’s legacy and the specter of permanent damage to one’s personal brand. That reality alone makes the Buffett test one of preserving and sustaining reputation and the right to play.

In this issue of Board Perspectives, we offer three actionable steps boards can take to focus employees on what the company stands for and reinforce expected behaviors.

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