Speaking Point: It seems that many companies are beginning to get serious about business ethics. Building a “culture of integrity” requires senior management commitment, involvement, and on-going support. Ethics and integrity comes down to an individual having to make a personal choice. It’s about good decision-making and taking responsibility.
Speaking Point: Integrity is acting on a personal commitment. It’s not merely a moral, or principled idea or position. We must act in accord with our position.
Speaking Point: Most ethical dilemmas are not black and white, and ultimately, every individual has the responsibility for making “in-the-moment” decisions based on gray areas. It becomes incumbent upon the organization to remove ambiguity from the decision-making process by initiating dialogue around ethical topics and issues through very carefully planned and facilitated meetings.
Speaking Point: The Three-Point Ethics Checklist
When faced with an ethical dilemma, employees must ask themselves the following three questions in order:
1) Am I breaking any law?
2) Am I in alignment with company code (policy, credo, values, etc.)?
3) Am I in alignment with my “Platinum Standard”
Speaking Point: The Centering Power
What I refer to as the “Centering Power” is the interwoven set of morals, principles, values, and standard that evolve throughout one’s life and acting on a commitment to honesty, openness, and fairness; living by and for standards. It serves as an anchor firmly grounding us before taking action, as well as during.
Speaking Point: We should all use consistent and appropriate criteria to measure our own behavior and performance.
Use ethics, morals, and principles to guide activities.
Do not undermine or criticize others behind their backs.
Acknowledge our own weaknesses and areas that need improvement.
Acknowledge others’ efforts and give them credit.
Strive to create “win-win” outcomes with others.
Do what is right even though there are other easier, more expedient solutions available.
Speaking Point: The first two questions are objective. If the issue is clearly illegal or against company code the message should be “don’t do it!” If an employee answers “no” to the first two questions, before taking any action, they must refer to their “platinum standard,” which is a subjective measure. Sometimes you "you don't do it" because it just doesn’t feel right. At one time slavery in the US was legal, but it didn’t make it right.
Speaking Point: The Platinum Standard
The third question of the checklist is subjective, or based on a “gut feel.” Platinum does not break down, rust, corrode, expand or shrink; it is virtually unchangeable. A platinum standard is a personal ethical framework that serves as an anchor and guide giving us a sense of right and wrong.