By Linda Fisher Thornton
To achieve corporate integrity, we must do a number of things well. We need to have a clear message about what taking responsibility for ethics means to us; clear expectations for what it looks like in our organization day-to-day; and a congruent system for managing for ethical performance.
There is a current ethics trend away from a “push” mentality when it comes to learning about ethics (making people do it) to a “pull” mentality (making it positive so that people will want to do it). Taking on a “pull mentality” involves creating a positive ethical environment, which includes:
- Reaching beyond laws and regulations (they represent the punishment threshold, not ethical business)
- Reaching for ethical values – respect, care, trust, doing good and avoiding harm
There are specific actions that we must take to develop a positive ethical culture where our ethics message and our day-to-day actions are clearly aligned. The 7 actions listed below are some of the most important ones to take on the journey to corporate integrity.
Companies With Corporate Integrity Develop:
- An ethical leader’s mindset.
- A multidimensional understanding of what ethical responsibility means in a global society.
- An ethics message that we keep current as times change.
- An awareness that profitability is not an ethical value and decisions about money must always be balanced with ethical values.
- A well-informed leadership team that knows what leading ethically looks like in action.
- A quick response to problems, and full accountability for ethical behavior.
- A consistent and integrated performance system that rewards ethical behavior.
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