Episode #11: Jennifer Elder - Build a Sustainable Future
Could you be the next Bernie Madoff? Could I?
What is the ethics diamond?
What is meliorism and why can't we be ethical without it?
These and many other gems of wisdom are found in this week's episode with executive coach Jennifer H. Elder, CSP, CPA, CVP.
1:00 The ethics diamond (the fraud triangle + one)
- Facing the dilemma of choosing knowing someone will get hurt
- Pressure from one side or both: angel and devil on your shoulder
- What’s the likelihood of getting caught?
2:30 The crisis of COVID magnifies all these elements
5:30 Gray areas are fertile ground for rationalization:
How honest can I be with myself?
How much we need a community to hold us accountable
*8:00 Slippery slope: small violations lead to bigger ones
Without consequences, we get bolder
10:30 Transgressions become permitted and then become values
11:30 The fallacy of the slippery slope?
13:00 An ethical culture allows for making mistakes and missteps as a mechanism to do better
Change starts with individuals, and is modelled from the top down
The damage caused by mixed messages and double standards
Noble behavior inspires higher personal standards
18:30 Keep ethical values up front
Don’t just print, post, and pray
21:00 Is this the right thing to do?
Ethics begins where compliance ends
Take the moment of failure and focus on past successes
24:00 The story of Noah and the ark: the world was filled with violence and on the brink of self destruction
Try to raise up others while not letting them pull you down
27:00 Does the ethics of a company resonate with the culture of the time and fit with its own people?
*30:00 In a polarizing culture, finding common core values becomes increasingly essential to survival
Harvard/ University of London study: ethical businesses have 4 times higher sales
“Help me understand your position”
Learn to be curious
35:00 Whistleblowing: “What is lawful can be awful”
The importance of having a hotline
“Hold me accountable”
Report but verify
41:30 Why is it so hard to sell ethics?
The evil of “soft skills”
45:30 Word of the day: meliorism -- the belief that the world can be improved through effort
Ethics is impossible without optimism
*47:30 Organizational ethics defines the culture
Three questions for employees to create an ethical climate
52:00 Communication, collaboration, and problem-solving
55:00 Ethics requires courage; courage requires support and rewards (when they work)
1:01:00 Whistleblowing should be hard and should be worth it
FEAR: false expectations appearing real