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.

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.

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.

5 Unexpected Teaching Insights

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.

Should People Have to “Earn” Your Trust?

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?

The Danger of Us Versus Them

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...

How Do You Recognize an Ethical Leader? (Part 1)

By Linda Fisher Thornton How do you recognize an Ethical Leader? Today I'll share 3 special approaches to the leadership role that are central to ethical leadership. These are ways that ethical leaders understand their roles and responsibilities in relation to others and world. 

The Disinformation Machine

By Linda Fisher Thornton Global unrest is being fueled by widespread misinformation campaigns. Who's fueling these campaigns? The bad actors who are creating misinformation? Or the platforms who intentionally or unintentionally share false information for profit? Or the people who believe the disinformation they read and incite violence? Or the leaders who fail to recognize the clear and present danger of the disinformation machine? Or the leaders who do recognize the danger and turn away, doing nothing? Together, all of these are fueling the disinformation machine in a systemic self-reinforcing loop.

How Dangerous Are Conspiracy Theories?

By Linda Fisher Thornton How likely are we to believe things that aren't true? According to Lynne Malcolm in The psychology of conspiracy theories, "Psychological research suggests that we're all conspiracy theorists, thanks in a large part to our cognitive makeup."