Ethikos Weekly Editor’s Picks
Examining Business Ethics Since 1987
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Harriet Tubman and Navigating to Become an Ethical Company
March 10th was the 101st anniversary of the death of Harriet Tubman. She was one of the greatest conductors on the Underground Railroad, which took slaves out of the old south and up to freedom in the north and into Canada. I read about her as a child and her story always moved me. The one thing I remembered is that when traveling at night in the pitch darkness, she would feel for the moss growing on trees so that she would always know which way to travel. Moss grows on the north side of a tree, so she would always be able to move her way north and to freedom for those she helped escape.
I thought about Harriet Tubman and her story of how she could determine which way to travel in pitch darkness when I recently read an article in the Ethisphere Magazine entitled “Ethics By Example,” by Gary E. McCullough. In his article, McCullough drew from 25 years of experience with organizations as varied as Proctor and Gamble, Career Education Company and the U.S. Army, offering specific steps companies can take to help foster and create an ethical culture… Read more
Other Featured Picks of the Week
From Dina Medland, contributor to Forbes, “It is difficult to know to what extent the March breeze in the UK is in any sense a wind of change. The arrival of warmer temperatures and sight of the sun after a hard winter invokes a grateful response to ‘weather.’ But is there also a welcome parallel shift in thinking when it comes to the role of business in society?
The quick response is ‘too soon to tell.’ However, there is no doubt that this role is being questioned, and that ‘accountability’ is becoming a buzz word – fueled quietly by a sense that perhaps ethics matters for better sustainable business and that it is acceptable to champion these values.
Amid endless reports of banker’s excesses – and repeatedly – bankers’ plans to pay themselves huge sums of money, a few quiet bombs have exploded.
The Bank of England (BOE), the UK’s central bank, last week announced that it was strengthening the proposals for bonus clawbacks in case of bad behavior. It is consulting on proposals to require all firms authorized by the UK’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) to amend employment contracts to ensure bonus awards that have been vested can be clawed back from individuals where necessary…” Read more
The Value of an Ethical CultureMichael Volkov of the Corruption, Crime & Compliance blog writes, “When it comes to compliance, the best investment a company can make is to create and promote an ethical culture. Dollar for dollar, communicating this message is the money well spent.
A CEO has to commit time and effort to the program. If the CEO does not want to commit, the job will be much harder. A CEO who believes in the message of ethics and integrity can quickly turn his or her belief into a reality for a company…” Read more
Finding the Appropriate Balance between Ethics and Compliance in a Regulatory LandscapeStefanie Mosca of Inside Counsel writes, “Remaining ethical in the world of compliance continues to be an ongoing struggle for companies regardless of the market they are in. But maintaining balance while still being effective is the sweet spot that organizations strive to find as they establish regulatory compliance. However, before you can find that healthy balance, it is essential first to investigate the underlying culture of your organization.
There is no doubt that the foundation and longevity of any company begins with a strong and motivating senior management team, however, the companies that are most successful and boast the highest retention rates are those where the culture is embedded into each level of staffing and reflects the values and beliefs of the entire organization. If employees at all levels aren’t on the same page, it is clear that the executive team isn’t doing their job…” Read more
“We all know that compliance officers are already overworked and understaffed; that in itself is not news. When you see the survey results laid out visually in the graph below, however, it’s very startling. Almost half of an average compliance officer’s week is already committed to tracking and analyzing regulatory developments, updating policies and procedures so they are current, reporting to the boarding and working with other control functions. That means everything else has to fit into the time left. Everything else includes quite a bit: managing regulatory examinations and inspections, regulatory reporting, managing regulator relationships with regulator, internal compliance monitoring, implementing any necessary new controls, undertaking remedial or corrective action, implementing corporate ethics training programs. That’s not to mention any lobbying, or input or sign-offs relative to implementing regulatory change, or the involvement of any real governmental or legislative action that may be happening…” Read more
The Power of Compassion to Drive Your Bottom LineFrom Rob Asghar of Forbes, “Is kindness the missing piece of your brand—the ingredient that can allow your organization to stand out in an age in which consumers long to be treated as more than a nuisance?
Lloyd H. Dean, president and CEO of Dignity Health, one of the nation’s five largest healthcare providers, tells a story about a member of Dignity’s housekeeping staff, who in the course of cleaning a breast-cancer patient’s room took the time to listen and share her own personal experiences and encouragement. Later, the patient wrote to say, ‘The clinical care was excellent … but it was the housekeeper who saved my life. She gave me hope.’
Dean draws a conclusion: ‘Compassion and kindness aren’t expensive,’ he says. ‘But the yield is priceless.’
A few weeks ago, Dean shared the stage with the Dalai Lama at Santa Clara University, where they led a session on the advantages that come from a compassionate business model…” Read more
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