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Broken Business

Seven Steps to Reform
Good Companies Gone Bad

"An essential read for all corporate leaders."
– Louis J. Freeh, former FBI director

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#ethics  #scandal  #transformation

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About the book

Drawing on two decades' experience helping global companies respond to catastrophic ethical scandals, Ortus CEO José Hernandez tells the compelling story of how such scandals happen and shares insight on how corporate leaders can prevent them in the first place. 


Offering real-world case studies of corporate failure, reckoning, and renewal, Broken Business: Seven Steps to Reform Good Companies Gone Bad details how corporate leaders can learn from these events to mitigate key risks, protect their reputations, and ultimately build more ethical, resilient, and profitable companies. The book dispels common misconceptions about the causes of corporate misconduct, bringing together research on organizational psychology and compelling first-hand accounts from Fortune Global 500 c-suites and boardrooms. 


This book was written to help leaders, board members, and compliance professionals:

  • Understand recent cases of corporate misconduct and their long-term impacts; 

  • Prevent, manage, and recover from serious ethical crises; 

  • Implement managerial frameworks to quickly address cases of misconduct; and

  • Empower Integrity in your organization. 


At its core, this book is an engaging guide that offers practical advice on institutionalizing integrity in any organization. Broken Business is an essential text for leaders seeking to understand the underlying causes of ethical crises so they can ultimately avoid them. 

Published by Wiley. Available in English, Dutch, German, and Korean. 


"Broken Business is an extremely important resource for boards, especially in the context of today's global regulatory environment. It provides invaluable lessons learned about how to uphold your governance duties in the face of a major crisis arising from misconduct, and how to mitigate the risks to your organization."


Former Executive Board member of Royal Ahold 

Partner, Spinath + Wakkie 

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More acclaim for Broken Business
“I recommend this book to all corporate directors and executives. It provides a concise look at how things can go wrong, how to deal with the fallout and how to ultimately become a better company. More importantly, Broken Business provides insights to those who have not had to experience an ethics crisis and therefore hopefully will not have to!”
Ian A. Bourne
Chairman, Teine Energy
Former Chairman, SNC-Lavalin Group 

“The Empowering Integrity process illustrated in Broken Business properly describes the steps a company must take to master the journey from crisis to successful transformation. I got to know José Hernandez in 2005 as part of his work for Daimler.
I appreciate him as a person and value his convincing professional work and competence, as well as his understanding of business.”
Bodo Uebber
Audit Committee Chair, Adidas AG
Former CFO, Daimler AG
"Broken Business is a current and compelling treatise on how to prevent, detect, and fix corporate mismanagement, the condition precedent to corruption, fraud, waste of shareholder property, reputational harm and costly enforcement action. Infused and instilled throughout this corporate governance failure ‘post mortem,’ Hernandez drives home the core lesson for corporate managers that ‘integrity’ is the sine qua non of business success and sustainability.

Beyond a good product or service, good business strategy and leadership, a strong commitment to integrity is critical in making a company strong and profitable in the long run. Every CEO, board member, CFO, general counsel and business manager should read and embrace Broken Business.”
Louis J. Freeh
Vice Chairman, AlixPartners
Former FBI Director
“Every current and aspiring business leader should read Broken Business. This foundational work shines a much-needed light on the murky business systems failures that lead to corruption and wrong-doing. It provides business professionals with a practical and clear seven-step-road map to fix the inherent problems within their organizations. Author José Hernandez conveys critical insights through compelling stories illustrating how leaders can take action to strengthen their organizations.

Broken Business is an easy yet inspirational read. Business leaders who take up Hernandez’s challenge and adopt the Empowering Integrity framework will be reshaping their organizations in ways that generate real, sustainable and positive benefits for employees, stakeholders, and society."
Joy  Thomas
Former CEO, CPA Canada
“Excellent reading: very clear and to the point, lively through real-life examples, and ready to implement with practical recommendations based on deep corporate experiences.
Broken Business underlines the importance of culture and tone from the top, and how crises are opportunities to make the company stronger and more valuable for society.”
Klaus Patzak
Former CFO, Bilfinger SE
“This book brings together key insights from José Hernandez's career working with business leaders to navigate high-profile corporate crises. In Broken Business, Hernandez shows how to identify and address the root causes of such crises, which very often lie in systemic failures of a company's ethical leadership and culture.”
Roger Dassen
Chief Financial Officer, ASML 
Former Global Vice Chairman, Deloitte

"As an ethics and compliance professional, I have been fortunate to work closely with José Hernandez and benefit from his guidance and support over several years. He possesses a deep understanding of corporate misconduct and the subsequent crises that so often follow it. I recommend this book to all ethics and compliance professionals: I am confident you will enjoy the read and find yourself empowered, encouraged, and enlightened." 
Michaela Ahlberg
Ethics and Compliance Professional
Former Chief Compliance Officer, Telia

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Video Gallery: José Hernandez talks Broken Business 

Ortus CEO José Hernandez speaks about Broken Business, shortlisted for Management Book of the Year in The Netherlands

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Order online
Broken Business: Seven Steps to Reform Good Companies Gone Bad
is available in English, German, Dutch, and Korean via the links below.
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