Company bosses must “up the tempo” to ensure long-term success for their firms.

That’s the view of Huddersfield-based businesswoman Judith Cork following her new research into the world’s most ethical companies (WMEC) developed for the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII).

“Tempo from the top” is the term Judith has coined to demonstrate the leadership drive needed for companies to achieve long-term, sustainable success.

She said: “These organisations have to be firing on all cylinders to maintain their competitive positions and need tempo and dynamism to drive ‘momentum from the middle’.

“What is really interesting about these companies is that they have deeply, entrenched ethical values and behaviours and are financially successful - the two aspects go hand-in-glove.

“I felt that the current ‘tone from the top’ was just too passive and apologetic – a term to reflect these leaders’ dynamism, high visibility and support for their teams.

“Leaders need to remember that they are the most powerful change agents and key symbols in generating belief in organisational values.

In her paper – Changing the story: reasons to believe – Judith said: “Organisations need to reflect on what stories are told by employees to their family and friends, what stories customers and stakeholders hear and whether these stories give reasons to trust the organisation.

“To rebuild trust in business, we need to provide all stakeholders, customers, employees, suppliers, communities with genuine reasons and stories to help them to believe the values they may claim.

“This is likely to involve changing the organisational story starting at the very top with leaders living and believing the behaviours they espouse.”

Judith is a business ethics consultant and regular blogger on the subject at .