Advancing Ethics in Your Organization (Part 1)

By Linda Fisher Thornton Each day brings new challenges for leaders. They struggle to deal with uncertainty and complexity and sometimes the most ethical choices are not obvious. In this kind of environment, we can’t assume that things are going well even when there are no lawsuits or imminent ethical crises. What we need to do is build an ethical workplace that will discourage ethical problems. The focus of this week’s post is on Ways to Improve Accountability For Ethics. Here are 3 ways to avoid relying on the status quo – that also help you “do good” in your organization, community and world.

Focus on Teaching Students How to Think (Not What To Think)

By Linda Fisher Thornton Have you noticed that the current fray about what to teach about difficult subjects has been focused on teaching "one way or the other?" "Are you for it or against it? and "Which side are you on?" This approach completely misses the point that the purpose of education is not to teach students what to think. It's to teach students how to think, and how to navigate differences respectfully.

Non-Violence and the Greater Good (Part 2)

By Linda Fisher Thornton Nonviolence provides a higher order mindset that helps us provide lasting solutions to global problems. In the process of human development, we reach a point when we become increasingly concerned about our impact on others and society. We begin to consider our impact more broadly and use a long-term perspective when we approach problems. We outgrow the notion that expedient violence will solve our problems.

Non-Violence and the Greater Good (Part 1)

By Linda Fisher Thornton When we lead for the greater good, we leave a positive legacy for future generations. At this highest level of ethical leadership, we ensure quality of life and opportunities for others we may never meet, well into the future. We intentionally create a better world.

Transdisciplinary Thinking Leads to Better Decisions

By Linda Fisher Thornton There's a problem that people don't talk about often enough. In the quest to understand things, we have divided up content and areas of science and our world in general into categories that we label (like biology, art, and psychology for example) and think of as separate. People study inside these realms intensely until they become experts in them. The problem is that these divisions and their labels are false constructs that we have imposed on a world that is much more complex than the categories convey. When we think in these simple terms (and teach using them) we are oversimplifying our decision making, and that can lead us to make choices that don't lead to the outcomes we want.

Get News Closer to the Source

By Linda Fisher Thornton We have a "spin" problem in the media and it's out of control. Unfortunately, many media channels have decided that clicks, and the dollars they generate, are more important than journalistic integrity. So we end up with people getting what they think is "news" when what they are actually getting is from sources of "infotainment," and using that bad information to make bad decisions and even in some cases commit crimes. Infotainment sources that incite anger, violence, and bad decisions do not care about you. They are using you as a pawn for their own financial gain.

No Routine Decisions

By Linda Fisher Thornton As a leadup to a keynote I'm doing for the Michigan Association of School Boards, I was invited to submit a feature article for their fall issue of the MASB LeaderBoard. In the article, "Meeting the Challenge of Ethical Decision Making," I write about how since the start of the pandemic, decision making has become more complex and requires much more intentional decision making.

Recognizing Ethical Issues (Part 6)

By Linda Fisher Thornton In Part 1 of this series on Recognizing Ethical Issues, I addressed the gaps in our thinking that require us to develop an ethical alert system. in Part 2, I explored why some leaders who want to do the right thing still don't "do the work" to learn how to do it. In Part 3, I dug into the importance of ethical awareness as the basis for ethical decision making. In Part 4 I described ways to develop ethical thinking. In Part 5, I shared some recent blog posts about how to recognize ethical issues in current events and make good decisions about them. In Part 6, I provide an overview of each post in the series and an opportunity for you to practice recognizing ethical issues with your teams.

Recognizing Ethical Issues (Part 5)

By Linda Fisher Thornton In Part 1 of this series on Recognizing Ethical Issues, I addressed the gaps in our thinking that require us to develop an ethical alert system. in Part 2, I explored why some leaders who want to do the right thing still don't "do the work" to learn how to do it. In Part 3, I dug into the importance of ethical awareness as the basis for ethical decision making. Part 4 described ways to start developing ethical thinking. In Part 5, I share some recent posts that address current societal issues. Read the ones below that strike you as the most relevant, to learn about how to recognize the nuances of ethical issues in current events and make good decisions about them.

Recognizing Ethical Issues (Part 4)

By Linda Fisher Thornton In Part 1 of this series on Recognizing Ethical Issues, I addressed the gaps in our thinking that require us to develop an ethical alert system. in Part 2, I explored why some leaders who want to do the right thing still don't "do the work" to learn how to do it. In Part 3, I dug into the importance of ethical awareness as the basis for ethical decision making. In Part 4, I will explore how you can develop ethical thinking.

Recognizing Ethical Issues (Part 3)

By Linda Fisher Thornton In Part 1 of this series on Recognizing Ethical Issues, I addressed the gaps in our thinking that require us to develop an ethical alert system. in Part 2, I explored why some leaders who want to do the right thing still don't "do the work" to learn how to do it. In Part 3, I'll dig into the importance of ethical awareness as the basis for ethical decision making.

Recognizing Ethical Issues (Part 2)

By Linda Fisher Thornton In Part 1 of this series, I explored why it is important to develop our own internal warning system to alert us when we need to think carefully about ethical issues. In this post, I'll address why some leaders who want to do the right thing have not yet developed their capacity to detect ethical issues.

Recognizing Ethical Issues (Part 1)

By Linda Fisher Thornton When a plane experiences heavy turbulence, a light on the overhead panel alerts passengers to take a seat and fasten their safety belts. The instructions are clear, people know what to do, and it’s usually an orderly process. When people make decisions in their daily rounds, though, there is no external alert or audible alarm to signal that they are stepping into an ethical issue or an ethical gray area and need to carefully consider ethical issues. This can be a problem, especially because there are so many cognitive biases working against us as we try to make responsible decisions.

Navigating Return to Work Challenges: Virginia Business

By Linda Fisher Thornton Today I'm sharing an article from Virginia Business called Future Shock that includes my recent interview with John Blackwell. His article focuses on how leaders are navigating through the many challenges of returning to in-person work after workers have enjoyed the increased flexibility of remote work during the pandemic.