By Linda Fisher Thornton
As we strive to build ethical organizations, we must remember that our target is moving. As the world changes, ethical expectations change.
It would be easier to develop ethical leaders and build ethical organizations if ethics were a fixed destination. A point on the map. A line in the sand. But it’s just not that simple.
Ethical expectations are evolving.
As we learn more about the impact of our choices on others, society and the environment, ethical expectations are increasing. The changes reflect a better understanding of how we need to live on this planet we call home in ways that are sustainable in the long run.
Some leaders still mistakenly think about ethics in terms of short-term gains and losses, but the trend is toward thinking broadly and long-term about our choices.
Keeping up with evolving ethical expectations is a challenge that ethical organizations take on. They seek out information about consumer expectations and trends. They embrace meeting changing expectations as part of their leadership responsibility. They always want to know how they can improve.
The trend is toward thinking broadly and long-term about our choices.
Responding to evolving expectations helps organizations stay competitive. It helps them engage employees who want to make a difference. It helps them be ready for success in the future world of business. Because our understanding of ethics is always evolving, we must aim for where it’s headed, not where it’s been.
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