Tag Archive for ‘Giving Voice to Values’
Some 90,000 bankers in the Netherlands are now required to take an oath pledging integrity, an effort to help restore confidence in the financial industry. Other proposals are being considered in countries and industries where employees are being asked to publicly reaffirm their commitment to a code of conduct. Columnist Gael O’Brien says such oaths are fine but not enough; what’s needed is strong, consistent corporate leadership that shapes enduring ethical cultures.
When we think of bullying, school kids come to mind. But columnist Gael O’Brien reports that bullying is also a growing problem on the job. By one estimate, more than 54 million people will be bullied in U.S. workplaces this year. The toll can be high for individuals and organizations. “It creates such a toxic environment,” says one executive,”that it undermines anything you are trying to accomplish from a business perspective.”
December 2011 brings to a close the official commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Riders. Columnist Gael O’Brien suggests that the experience of these 1960s civil rights activists offers inspiration – and some very practical lessons – to those seeking to create common purpose in 21st century organizations and companies.
Columnist Gael O’Brien says recent crises at University of California Davis, Syracuse University and Penn State University raise questions about the role of risk management on campuses. One problem, she writes, is that university leaders “often don’t have practice thinking through how their values, and those of the institution, will come into play in a variety of different potential situations.”
Columnist Gael O’Brien thinks that in these increasingly uncertain times it’s worth examining the basic methodology used by many serial entrepreneurs. The process of taking small steps to “act, learn and build from,” she says, offers models for navigating the unknown, building trust and handling potential ethical conflicts.
When students return to campus in coming weeks, so will debate about the purpose of management education and the role of ethics. Columnist Gael O’Brien wonders whether current business leaders will support training new leaders in skills and competencies that support new models of business – or will it be simply business as usual?