By Nabil Istafanous
Principal, Corporate Counsel Solutions PLLC
Lawyer, former Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer and sometimes commentator
Compliance and Ethics Officers might find themselves increasingly uncertain or uncomfortable defining what integrity and ethics looks like, in a world where examples of uncivil behavior surrounds us. These days, one would be hard-pressed to turn on a news show, listen to a news-radio report or read the comments that accompany a news item on the web without hearing or reading examples of people espousing their particular point of view in a hyperbolic and vitriolic way. Sometimes, you will hear or read very personal attacks on people who hold opposite view points. Perhaps these commentators, politicians, media types and readers feel compelled to “yell” and “scream” at each other simply to get attention in this multi-media world with a seemingly infinite number of outlets for information and opinion.
I guess we have come a long way from the times where most Americans shared the experience of hearing Walter Cronkite expressing the mood of the nation regarding history’s most notable events. The democratization and infinite ways in which are views can be “published” instantaneously is “progress” to some extent, but it has not come without cost. I hope it has not come at the expense of a shared understanding that being civil to one another, even those with whom we vehemently disagree, is part of a just society. Within many of our organizational cultures, we often include values statements that include “respect” as one of the behaviors marking a culture of ethics and integrity. I, for one, agree.
Wish me luck as I wade into articles discussing today’s arguments heard before the US Supreme Court relating to the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act. Because of my professional and personal interest in this policy debate, I will browse some of the reader’s comments and suffer through many ad hominem attacks on one side of the debate or the other before I find that one “nugget” of thoughtful insight that I had not previously considered swirling the debate around this important/historic/overreaching/unprecedented piece of legislation; (the reader can choose their own adjective depending on your own view).
[bctt tweet=”@SCCE Promoting #Integrity and #Ethics in an Uncivil World”]