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.

Leading the Return to In-Person Work: 5 Perspectives

By Linda Fisher Thornton This week I am sharing 5 interesting articles that tackle the challenge of leading the process of returning to in-person work. They each share a slightly different perspective. As a reminder, there are many human issues to consider beyond just keeping people well as we learn to live with COVID-19, and I discussed some of them in a previous post. Below are 5 additional resources, each highlighting issues to consider as you lead the return to the office this fall.

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.

Changing Our Mind (It May Not Mean We’re Indecisive)

By Linda Fisher Thornton When we change our position on an issue, sometimes it is because we simply can't decide. But when you look at mind-changing from the perspective of human growth and development, you can see that there is often more to it than that.

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.

Does “Politically Correct” Mean Inclusive and Respectful?

By Linda Fisher Thornton

I studied Linguistics and Communications at The University of Virginia and I am fascinated by how words shape our perception of things. Lately there has been a lot of discussion about the term "politically correct," sometimes shortened to "PC." I have noticed it is used when people refer to the pressure to be polite to all people, including those who are different from themselves. 

We The People: What We Value

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.

Seeing the Facets of Facts Part 1

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.

AI: Where Are We Now? Report via EDUCAUSE

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.

The Give and Take of Trust

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.

Ethical Leadership Fuels Adaptability

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:

How Do You Recognize an Ethical Leader? (Part 2)

By Linda Fisher Thornton In How Do You Recognize an Ethical Leader (Part 1) I shared 3 special qualities and behaviors that define ethical leadership. These three additional leadership outcomes even more directly impact others in a positive way.