By Linda Fisher Thornton Ethical leaders seek the truth and speak the truth.
By Linda Fisher Thornton As we near the 4th of July, it is a fitting time to remind ourselves of the greater vision for our country. During a tour of the Constitution Center in Philadelphia, I realized that the U.S. Constitution opens with a beautiful ethics code designed to ground our nation in a commitment to the long-term greater good of society.
By Linda Fisher Thornton Building on last week's post about Seeing the Facets of Facts, this week I'm digging into the dangers of "Partialized Facts." When I say "Partialized Facts" I refer to treating one perspective on an issue that is only part of the picture as the whole truth. I have seen it happen so many times. It's time to call it what it is. Unethical.
By Linda Fisher Thornton Most of the time when we answer a question with a single response, that answer is only part of the picture. We have all seen leaders (who may feel a need to appear decisive) answer quickly without thinking through the implications of their response. When this happens, what they share is oversimplified and "partialized," not a relevant or responsible interpretation of the complex issues involved.
By Linda Fisher Thornton Managing the ethics of artificial intelligence is only becoming more complex over time, and the stakes are high for finding a path forward. This week I am sharing a special report "AI: Where Are We Now?" published by EDUCAUSE. This timely report includes an article I wrote for the EDUCAUSE Review titled "Artificial Intelligence and Ethical Accountability." The article (on pages 8, 9 and 10 in the EDUCAUSE Special Report) explores the intersection of AI and ethical accountability and provides practical guidance, closing with Five Steps IT Departments Can Take to Manage the Ethics of AI.
By Linda Fisher Thornton The definition of "good leadership" is changing over time as people become more aware of the long term impact of poor leadership decisions. Other factors that change our current understanding of leadership include increasing ethical awareness and stronger physical evidence of the impact we are having on the planet. Watch this video for a quick overview of this evolution and why more is expected of leaders now.
By Linda Fisher Thornton I have a special message for our 2022 graduates. The pandemic risk may be lower than it was at this time last year, but sorting out the way forward as a new graduate is still going to be a challenge. How can you gain a clear focus on your future to move ahead?
By Linda Fisher Thornton When I was asked by The University of Richmond SPCS to give a Commencement address, I did what most anyone would do - I struggled. I struggled to choose a topic, and struggled to write the remarks on a short deadline.
By Linda Fisher Thornton After teaching for more than 20 years, I was surprised last week by the University of Richmond School of Professional and Continuing Studies with the Itkowitz Family Distinguished Faculty Award. This is especially meaningful recognition for me, since I had 'learned through' the process of completely redesigning my Applied Ethics course as an online course and changing my teaching approach during the pandemic. This course redesign was an arduous process, and one that stretched me to become a better professor and a better person.
By Linda Fisher Thornton More commitments than time. Six or more meetings a day. Eating at your desk. Does any of this sound familiar?
By Linda Fisher Thornton The post Should Trust Be Freely Offered or Conditionally Earned generated lively discussions in LinkedIn Groups about extending trust when we meet someone new. It was clear from reading the discussions that trust has many different dimensions. Readers shared how they perceived trust – some saw it as an emotion, some saw it as a relationship, others described it as a mindset. They took the discussion beyond the original question and explored how we extend trust to others based on many variables.
By Linda Fisher Thornton When we meet someone new, should we trust them right away? Should we assume that they are trustworthy and give them the benefit of the doubt, or should we hold back until we are sure that they are worthy of our trust?
By Linda Fisher Thornton The post “Leader Competence: Will It Be A Multiplier or Divider?” generated some great discussion on social media. Here’s a quote from the post: “Leader competence is either going to be a multiplier or a divider. When you have it, you multiply performance and trust, with exponential results. Without it, you divide your possible results by the incompetence factor.” After reading the post, one reader requested that I write more on the topic. This week I’m digging deeper into the multiplying and dividing effects of leader (in)competence, looking at how a leader’s ethical competence impacts trust, people, bottom line results and organizational adaptability:
By Linda Fisher Thornton Some leaders take the view that it's important to plan for the worst case scenario. Others prefer to keep it positive and focus on the best possible outcomes. Which is better leadership?
By Linda Fisher Thornton Any time you draw a line that excludes, you're leaving ethical territory. That's a bold statement, but when someone draws a dividing line that intentionally excludes people or groups, it can lead to an "us versus them" mentality. And from there, it's a short slippery slope to this and more...