Scholars and Practitioners: Debate or Collaborate?

Working Together to Advance Our Understanding

Scholars and practitioners often see the world from different perspectives, providing an opportunity for them to learn from one another.  Such an opportunity only helps us advance our understanding of ethics and ethical leadership if we take advantage of it.

Marshall Goldsmith, in his article “The Sunk Cost Fallacy” in Talent Management Magazine (November 2011) remembers behaviors he has observed in his colleagues.

When my UCLA colleagues would respond defensively, even violently, to well-meaning constructive criticism of their research papers, I saw it as another sign of the sunk cost fallacy. They were so attached to their years of hard researching they couldn’t brook an alternative viewpoint.

Marshall Goldsmith in The Sunk Costs Fallacy, Talent Management Magazine, November 2011

Scholars seek to prove that ideas are valid through research, and practitioners seek to prove that ideas “work” in today’s complex and connected society. It takes both a research focus and a focus on real-world relevance to provide the kind of clarity about ethical leadership that today’s leaders need.

Choosing Respectful Collaboration

I am saddened by the many times I see scholars and practitioners judging one another and trying to prove each other wrong. Defensive and judgmental reactions to other people’s ideas and feedback signal an unwillingness to learn.

Linda M. David, in her article “Perspective Shift – The Power to Change Your Mind” (Training and Development, November 2011) says that “the concept of shifting perspectives is a tool that will give you a wider view of most situations you encounter and, with practice, expand the options for how you perceive your world.”

Philip Friedrich points out in his article “Feedback as a Gift” (Training and Development, January 2012) that

Too often we reject the gift of feedback before we even understand it by explaining, justifying or rationalizing our actions. Explaining why we did or didn’t do something is a form of defensiveness that slams the door on opportunities for growth.

Choosing A Learning Perspective

Learning to shift our perspective and to be open to the ideas of others keeps us learning. The alternative choices (being defensive and  judging others) do not.

When we are defensive, we aren’t hearing valuable insights and observations that others offer, and we are:

  • Protecting our “turf” (our ideas)
  • Pushing away anyone who is “too interested” and “getting too close for comfort”
  • Closed to the ideas of others that could make our work better

When we are judging others, we are not open to learning from them.  When we judge we are:

  • Discouraging others from doing their “good works”
  • Moving away from a collaborative mindset, and
  • Missing the learning opportunity

When we choose to adopt a learning perspective, we believe that:

  • Ideas are made to be talked about and improved
  • We are more knowledgeable collectively than we are individually
  • We grow and advance our work by learning
 I am optimistic that we can enrich our understanding of ethical leadership with the experience of executive leaders and the rigor of scholarly inquiry, without devaluing either, and achieve the clarity that today’s leaders need.
.
Related Leading in Context Blog Posts: 

Thinking Beyond Disciplines: Why We Need It

Ethical Leadership Thinking: When We Attack An Issue

The Ethical Leadership Puzzle: A Broader View

Ethical Grey Areas: Our Choices Define Us

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For more, see new book 7 Lenses and the 21 Question Assessment: How Current is My Message About Ethics?

7 Lenses is a Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner in Business Ethics41cEVx-Tu4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_
2014 Axiom Business Book Award Winner 
About 7 Lenses
 
 
Info@LeadinginContext.com  @leadingincontxt  @7Lenses

© 2012 Leading in Context LLC 


Responsible Management Education: UN Principles

What is the Purpose of Management Education? 

The purpose of management education is obviously to develop capable and responsible managers. But what does that mean?

Does it mean:

  • Responsible profitability?
  • Service to society?
  • Economic development?
  • Sustainability?

How Do We Know What to Teach?

The UN Principles for Responsible Management Education guide us so that we can be sure that we are incorporating the global principles of  responsible management into our teaching and training. They provide clarity about the values we should focus on when teaching managers.

Principle 1 provides a great deal of clarity about the purpose and scope of our teaching:

Principle 1 | Purpose: We will develop the capabilities of students to be future generators of sustainable value for business and society at large and to work for an inclusive and sustainable global economy.

United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education at unprme.org

Principles 2 through 6  provide guidance about how to achieve that purpose through Values, Method, Research, Partnership and Dialogue.

Our Clear Responsibility

If we had no guidelines, we’d be left to determine just what we wanted responsible business management to mean. Because these guidelines exist for us as educators, we are now compelled to stretch beyond whatever definition of  “responsible management and leadership” we are now using to incorporate this broader global definition.

There is no longer a place for the kind of management and leadership training that teaches only how to make money while following the law. There is so much more required of us that it is irresponsible to teach only profitability and law to the exclusion of other variables like sustainability and service to society that are important for our global future.

“We urge business schools to adopt the Principles and organizations to balance their economic and social objectives.”

Declaration for the 2nd Global Forum for Responsible Management Education

As Teachers and Trainers, We Need to Be Role Models for Others

When teaching managers and leaders in universities and corporations, we need to be sure that we are teaching the global values that will serve leaders well in our connected society. When we do, we are demonstrating and modeling responsible leadership and preparing leaders to be part of the solution as we solve problems that cross organizations, continents and disciplines.

“The Principles for Responsible Management Education have the capacity to take the case for universal values and business into classrooms on every continent.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, quoted on unprme.org

Questions for Discussion:

1. How well does our management and leadership education align with the UN Principles?

2. What are the major differences between what we are teaching and the UN Principles?

3. How will we realign what we do to be in line with the UN Principles?

4. How will our realignment with UN Principles help the leaders we teach be more responsible corporate and global citizens?

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For more, see new book 7 Lenses and the 21 Question Assessment: How Current is My Message About Ethics?

7 Lenses is a Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner in Business Ethics41cEVx-Tu4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_
2014 Axiom Business Book Award Winner 
About 7 Lenses
 
 
Info@LeadinginContext.com  @leadingincontxt  @7Lenses

© 2012 Leading in Context LLC 

Thinking Ethically: 5 Sources

How Will People Learn to Think Ethically if We Don’t Teach Them?

While we place a heavy emphasis on corporate education and childhood education as a nation, we don’t often see “learning to think ethically” on the classroom agenda or the corporate training schedule. How can people be expected to navigate the complexities of life and work responsibly without learning how to think ethically?

Ethical Thinking Helps us Behave Ethically

The most responsible and ethical response to a situation only becomes obvious by applying ethical thinking.

If you are teaching in a classroom or corporate setting and ethical thinking is not yet on your agenda, review these interesting sources and evaluate their application. See if you agree that ethical thinking needs to be one of the foundations included in childhood and corporate education.

5 Sources for Thinking Ethically

Five Ways to Think Ethically  Video Featuring Kirk O. Hanson, Executive Director, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Santa Clara University

The Ethical Mirage: A Temporal Explanation as to Why We Aren’t as Ethical as We Think We Are – a Harvard Business School Working Paper by Tenbrunsel, Diekmann, Wade-Benzoni and Bazerman, hbs.edu

Should We? How to Think Ethically by Mary Ann Cutter Ph.D., University of Colorado

The Importance of Responsible Thinking by Bob Korn, truthpizza.org

Teaching Children to Think Ethically by Susan Gardner, published in Analytical Teaching and Philosophical Praxis, posted online at viterbo.edu

Questions for Reflection

1. Have we made it a priority to help people think ethically about their work?

2. How well are we teaching people the process of thinking ethically?

3. Do our leaders understand that ethical thinking does not just “happen” and that they need to coach people through it?

4. How will ethical thinking help our company in the future, in areas that include risk prevention and customer service?

5. How will we incorporate ethical thinking into our meetings and leadership training programs in 2012?

© 2011 Leading in Context LLC 

522

For more, see new book 7 Lenses and the 21 Question Assessment: How Current is My Message About Ethics?

7 Lenses is a Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner in Business Ethics41cEVx-Tu4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_
2014 Axiom Business Book Award Winner 
About 7 Lenses
 
 
Info@LeadinginContext.com  @leadingincontxt  @7Lenses

 

Thinking Beyond Disciplines: Why We Need it

What is Transdisciplinarity?

The Institute for the Future and the University of Phoenix Research Institute list transdisciplinarity as #7 in a list of skills critical for Workforce 2020. They define it as “understanding concepts across multiple disciplines.”

Why is it Important?

Why is it increasingly important to understand concepts across multiple disciplines?

  • The problems we are trying to solve are increasingly complex.
  • The view from within any one discipline can be too narrow to provide a clear solution to a complex problem
  • Looking beyond the boundaries of knowledge that define a discipline can help us solve problems and understand complex information in a new way, using a broader view.

Transdisciplinarity connotes a research strategy that crosses many disciplinary boundaries to create a holistic approach.

Transdisciplinarity at Wikipedia.org

How Does Thinking More Broadly Help Us Lead Responsibly?

Broadening our thinking is particularly helpful in understanding concepts like “ethical leadership” which involves leading within multiple interrelated systems and meeting the needs of multiple constituents responsibly.

Sometimes looking at a problem from a single perspective may cause us to overlook important systems that are not completely within the scope of that one perspective.

Systems don’t stop where the boundaries of a discipline stop. That means that we need to broaden our view to avoid missing important pieces of the problem we’re trying to solve or the responsibility we’re trying to fulfill.

Looking at the research and information across disciplines helps us understand complex, connected systems and problems in a broader context. That broader level of thinking is the level that we’ll need to use to solve today’s complex, connected problems.

Transdisciplinarity and Ethics

Transdisciplinary ethics seeks to describe ethics in ways that transcend any particular discipline or profession.

 “Transdisciplinary Studies are an area of research and education that addresses contemporary issues that cannot be solved by one or even a few points-of-view. It brings together academic experts, field practitioners, community members, research scientists, political leaders, and business owners among others to solve some of the pressing problems facing the world, from the local to the global.”

“The values embedded in the transdisciplinary vision are basic: sharing, respect, and resolve.” “It is a distinctly postmodern point-of-view, calling on women and men, on “transdisciplinary-minded persons of all countries” to join in bringing this vision into reality, into “everyday life.” It is a bold vision; some might even say an impossible one, filled with a zeal for justice, equality, inclusion, and true democratic decision-making.”

Transdisciplinary Studies, Wikipedia.com

“As the prefix trans indicates, transdisciplinarity concerns that which is at once between the disciplines, across different disciplines, and beyond all discipline.” – Basarab Nicolecsu, 2002 quoted by the Woodbury Institute of Transdiciplinary Studies

When solving difficult problems, consider looking across disciplines for clues. Stepping back far enough to look across disciplines may lead you to an elegant solution.

Learn More

These articles discuss the broad values and value of interdisciplinary research, thinking and ethics.

Overview of Transdisciplinarity as Methodology McGregor Consulting Group

Unity of Knowledge From Transdisciplinary Research on Sustainability by G. Hirsch Hadorn

From Inter-Disciplinary Ethics to Trans-Disciplinary Ethics  NCBI, Pubmed.gov

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For more, see new book 7 Lenses and the 21 Question Assessment: How Current is My Message About Ethics?

7 Lenses is a Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner in Business Ethics41cEVx-Tu4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_
2014 Axiom Business Book Award Winner 
About 7 Lenses
 
 Info@LeadinginContext.com  @leadingincontxt  @7Lenses 
© 2011 Leading in Context LLC 
 

Ethical Leaders Care Part 2: In Action

Author’s Note: As a follow up to the October 5, 2011 post “Ethical Leaders Care”, this post explores what leading with care looks like in action.

Encouraging and Supporting Others is a Leader’s Job

It is our job as leaders to bring out the best performance each person has to offer. When we do that with care we make sure that we demonstrate care and respect for others and encourage each individual and group we lead to be the best that they can be.

Leadership is fundamentally about relationships and ethical behavior.  It’s about accomplishing the mission of the organizations we serve in ways that enhance trust and relationships with people and honor ethical principles. Caring for others and supporting their success is an important part of that responsibility.

What Does Care Look Like?

Caring as leaders includes not only leading with care but also building cultures where people treat each other with respect. Encouraging ethical behaviors in those we lead while handling complex problems is a continual challenge.

To make this responsibility easier, we need a shared understanding of what caring leadership looks like in action. To respond to that need, Leading in Context published a color graphic showing interpersonal behavior in three zones.  This color-coded graphic excerpt (originally shared with readers on April 27, 2011) provides a visual context for how leaders show they care in their day-to-day interpersonal behavior choices.

I’m hoping that this graphic generates broader conversations about responsible and appropriate interpersonal behavior. Early feedback has been very positive, with readers saying that they see this as a starting rubric for talking about expected interpersonal behavior.

A leader using this graphic could explain it to a work team by saying “Behaviors in the green zone are what we want you to do, the yellow zone means “caution” and the red zone behaviors have no place in our workplace.”

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For more, see new book 7 Lenses and the 21 Question Assessment: How Current is My Message About Ethics?

7 Lenses is a Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner in Business Ethics41cEVx-Tu4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_
2014 Axiom Business Book Award Winner 
About 7 Lenses
 
 Info@LeadinginContext.com  @leadingincontxt  @7Lenses 
© 2011 Leading in Context LLC 
 


Future of Learning 2011

Learner-Directed Learning

In today’s complex, connected global society, people prefer to learn in their own ways, at their own pace, using the resources they choose. They enjoy following their curiosity and creating their own meaning. Adapting to this learner-directed style of learning is creating an ongoing challenge for leaders and organizations.

The Networked Workplace of the Future

In “10 Principles for the Future of Learning” on the Ecology of Education Blog, Jason Flom describes a picture of connected, networked learning that  is decentralized and self-directed and has no “expert” authority at the helm.

According to Dr. Miriam Leis, Foresight Researcher, in “The Future of Learning 2030”  we are dealing with changes that include:

  • The decreasing half-life of knowledge
  • (Need for) growing interdisciplinarity
  • Rising life expectancy
  • Growing complexity and expectations
Engaging the Networked Learner

Self-directed, networked learning is inherently engaging. Networked learners already know how to find information fast and they have little patience with dull educational experiences.  Corporate learning has to engage learners at that level, too, in order for them to see the value in the experience.

In this evolving “Learning Future” we will need to embrace the technology, social media and collaboration needed in today’s global society, give up any thought that we “know” a subject and focus on how to engage the already networked learner.

Leaders Adapt First, Then Help Others

To lead responsibly, we need to understand and approach learning at multiple levels:

Level 1: Adapting to Changes

As leaders we are responsible for continual learning and adaptation as the world around us changes.

Level 2: Helping Those We Lead Adapt to Changes

As leaders, we must model continuous learning and adaptation, and coach others as they need help adapting to change.

Level 3: Helping Our Organizations Adapt and Learn

As we adapt and support the learning of others, we help our organizations stay current and relevant as times change.

Questions for Reflection

  1. How will I stay adaptable so that I can support the learning of others?
  2. How will I need to change my thinking?
  3. What will I need to start doing?
  4. What will I need to stop doing?
  5. How will I need to change how I lead in order to respond to the evolving future of learning?
  6. What fears will I need to put aside to succeed in this new learning environment?

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For more, see new book 7 Lenses and the 21 Question Assessment: How Current is My Message About Ethics?

7 Lenses is a Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner in Business Ethics41cEVx-Tu4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_
2014 Axiom Business Book Award Winner 
About 7 Lenses
 
 Info@LeadinginContext.com  @leadingincontxt  @7Lenses 
© 2011 Leading in Context LLC 
 

Ways That Leading in Context® Publications Meet Your Needs:

“I need to stay current but I don’t have time to do the leadership research myself.”

Leading in Context® Blog Index

Thank you for being committed to responsible leadership, and for following the Leading in Context® Blog. This Index includes over 550 posts that I have written since 2009 on a wide variety of subjects related to ethical leadership. May they help you find your way as you undertake the journey to authentic ethical leadership.

Helping You Unleash the Positive Power of Ethical Leadership®

Linda Fisher Thornton, CEO, Leading in Context LLC, LeadinginContext.com.                                                        © 2009-2018 Leading in Context® LLC. All rights reserved.

41cEVx-Tu4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

7 Lenses is a Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner in Business Ethics
2014 Axiom Business Book Award Winner 
 
About 7 Lenses
 
 Info@LeadinginContext.com  @leadingincontxt  @7Lenses 
 
 

Leading Ethically is the New Leading

All of us who lead and develop leaders need to be tuned in to the “New Leading.”  To embrace the “New Leading,” we need to realize that leadership and ethics are joined in important ways.

Many leaders have traditionally thought of ethics and leadership as separate. That fragmented way of thinking is part of why we’ve reached a point where there are so many examples of ethical violations in the news.

What Really Happens When We Separate “Leading” From “Ethically?”

When you separate “leading” from “ethically,” you get a form of  “leadership” that ignores responsibility to others and would look like this:

  • greedy
  • callous
  • harmful
  • insensitive
  • controlling
  • lax about safety
  • overly demanding
  • refusing to change
  • and other unsavory things.

…and a general lack of concern for…

  • other people
  • the community
  • the environment
  • natural life
  • responsible business practices
  • and the long-term good of society

How Is “Leading Ethically” Different From “Leading” in General?

Leading Ethically isn’t different from “Leading” at all.

It’s an integrated view of leadership that incorporates ethical thinking and ethical behavior.

It’s a view that keeps the “responsibility” in leadership.

It’s a kind of leadership that acknowledges that there are other constituents that matter and that how we treat them defines us as leaders.

It’s a broad set of evolving expectations for how to lead responsibly in a global society.

It’s not different from leadership.  It is the new leadership. It’s leadership done responsibly in a global society.

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For more, see new book 7 Lenses and the 21 Question Assessment: How Current is My Message About Ethics?

7 Lenses is a Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner in Business Ethics41cEVx-Tu4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_
2014 Axiom Business Book Award Winner 
About 7 Lenses
 
 Info@LeadinginContext.com  @leadingincontxt  @7Lenses 
© 2011 Leading in Context LLC 
 

 

Ethics Training Shouldn’t Be Boring

Ethics Training Shouldn’t be Boring

Keeping people engaged in the process of learning about ethical leadership is important. I see tweets from people attending ethics classes about how bored they are and how they already know the material that’s being reviewed. Are these participants learning? Will they be ready to make ethical choices when they encounter complex situations?

Use Stories and Case Studies 

People learn how to lead through complex situations responsibly by discussing the complex situations that they struggle with in their day-to-day leadership.  Stories, case studies and examples based on real ethical issues that have happened in our company or elsewhere (with the names changed to protect privacy) help learners relate to ethical issues in the workplace in a new way. They can see the kinds of problems that happen and discuss appropriate ways to handle the situation, with feedback provided by a facilitator.

Engage Learners by Solving Their Real Problems. That’s Rarely Boring!

When we’re talking with leaders about the real problems they face in the grey areas of ethical leadership, and helping them resolve them ethically, that process is rarely boring!

Help Leaders Perform Ethically in the Midst of Complexity

Engaging ethics training for leaders goes well beyond the obvious ethical violations and “Ethics 101” topics and helps them behave and think in ethical ways that support our company’s ethical performance expectations in the midst of complexity. 

Resources

Creating Engaging Ethics and Compliance Training by the Corporate Executive Board at cfo.executiveboard.com

Questions for Discussion

1. How well does our ethical leadership training engage learners?

2. How well do we incorporate stories and cases that are challenging and real?

3. How well do we go beyond “Ethics 101” topics and cover issues that are real to participants?

4. How could we ensure that our leaders are more fully engaged in the process?

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For more, see new book 7 Lenses and the 21 Question Assessment: How Current is My Message About Ethics?

7 Lenses is a Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner in Business Ethics41cEVx-Tu4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_
2014 Axiom Business Book Award Winner 
About 7 Lenses
 
 Info@LeadinginContext.com  @leadingincontxt  @7Lenses 
© 2011 Leading in Context LLC 
 

Shared Ethical Values: Global Consensus?

Are we Approaching a Consensus About Global Ethics? 

Rushworth Kidder in Trust: A Primer on Current Thinking says that “the work of the Institute for Global Ethics suggests that there are indeed core global values that transcend individual cultures.”

As we struggle day-to-day with what ethics means in business, groups of concerned leaders around the world are studying common ethical values that could clarify ethical behavior and unite us in a common global code of ethics.

Global Values Transcend Boundaries

The Institute for Global Ethics conducted a survey to discover whether or not there are universally shared global values:

“The 272 survey respondents–representing 40 countries and more than 50 faith communities–identified a core of values centering strongly on truth, compassion, and responsibility. This core appears to be largely unaffected by the respondents’ gender, nationality, native language, or religious affiliation.”

Global Values, Moral Boundaries: A Pilot Survey  (download requires registering) The Institute for Global Ethics, globalethics.org

A Global Understanding of  Business Ethics

There are two resources readily available that present ethical values in a global context and provide guidance for ethical corporate behavior.  The Caux Roundtable Principles for Responsible Business and Principles for Responsible Globalization provide benchmarks for ethical corporate behavior and are available free online. Responsible businesses are reviewing them and discussing ways to abide by the principles.

 “The CRT Principles for Business are a worldwide vision for ethical and responsible corporate behavior and serve as a foundation for action for business leaders worldwide. As a statement of aspirations, the CRT Principles aim to express a world standard against which business behavior can be measured.” Caux Round Table Principles for Business at cauxroundtable.org

The CRT Principles of Globalization include new principles for Governments, in addition to the Principles for Business. Just as the Principles for Business, these Principles of Government derive from two ethical ideals: “Kyosei” and “Human Dignity.” The Japanese concept of “Kyosei” looks to living and working together for the common good, while the moral vision of “Human Dignity” refers to the sacredness or value of each person as an end, not simply as a means to the fulfillment of others’ purposes or even of majority demands.”   Principles for Responsible Globalization at cauxroundtable.org


522For more, see new book 7 Lenses and the 21 Question Assessment: How Current is My Message About Ethics?

7 Lenses is a Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner in Business Ethics41cEVx-Tu4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_
2014 Axiom Business Book Award Winner 
About 7 Lenses
 
 Info@LeadinginContext.com  @leadingincontxt  @7Lenses 
© 2011 Leading in Context LLC 
 
 

Are Sustainable Businesses Ethical?

“Planet Ethics” 

One way that leaders may interpret “ethics” is to consider how our decisions and actions affect the long-term health of the natural world in which we live. If I interpret ethical leadership as planet-based, then I will make decisions that maximize benefits to the planet and minimize harm to natural resources, natural life and ecosystems.

 The Sustainable Business Approach

Many businesses that focus on operating in a way that does not harm the planet’s natural resources are considered sustainable. A sustainable business may have a zero footprint (re-using or recycling everything used and avoiding using new materials from nature) or will be moving toward reusing all production materials and generating no “waste.”

“Sustainability” is much broader than just protecting the planet’s resources, although that is the most widely used interpretation. Wikipedia defines sustainability for humans as “the potential for long-term maintenance of well being, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions.”

Sustainability interfaces with economics through the social and ecological consequences of economic activity. Moving towards sustainability is also a social challenge that entails, among other factors, international and national lawurban planning andtransport, local and individual lifestyles and ethical consumerism. Ways of living more sustainably can take many forms from reorganising living conditions (e.g., ecovillageseco-municipalities and sustainable cities), reappraising economic sectors (permaculturegreen buildingsustainable agriculture), or work practices (sustainable architecture), using science to develop new technologies (green technologiesrenewable energy, or new and affordable cost-effective practices) to make adjustments that conserve resources.

 “Sustainability” Wikipedia.com

Are All Sustainable Businesses Ethical?

Are all sustainable businesses ethical? Not necessarily. There are ways that sustainable businesses can operate unethically, including pretending to be more sustainable than they really are, or making decisions that are dishonest or cause harm. Sustainability is multi-faceted and is just one of many areas of concern in leading an ethical organization.

All businesses, even those considered sustainable, need to include these variables (among others) in their business thinking to be sure that they are considering a broad enough spectrum of constituents and a long enough time-orientation when they make decisions:

  • The impact of my products and services on consumers and society
  • The long-term unintended consequences of my choices
  • The changing consumer mindset toward a broader definition of ethical business and avoiding harm
  • Balancing impact on the planet with impact on people and society
  • Ethical business behavior and an ethical culture

Resources

Ecological Overshoot and Sustainability Ethics  johncairns.net

The Ethics of Sustainability Dunstan and Swan, National Park Service, at nowforourturn.org

Sustainable Everything: What C-Suite Leaders Need to Know About the New Thinking Linda Fisher Thornton, Leading in Context Blog, November 24, 2010

The Ethical Leadership Puzzle: A Broader View  Linda Fisher Thornton, Leading in Context Blog, February 16, 2011

522For more, see new book 7 Lenses and the 21 Question Assessment: How Current is My Message About Ethics?

7 Lenses is a Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner in Business Ethics41cEVx-Tu4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_
2014 Axiom Business Book Award Winner 
About 7 Lenses
 
 
Info@LeadinginContext.com  @leadingincontxt  @7Lenses

© 2011 Leading in Context LLC 

 
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Ethical Leadership Context

The Context for Ethical Leadership is Broader Than You May Think

The context for understanding ethical leadership is evolving as we connect information from a wide variety of disciplines that have not traditionally worked together. Here are some quotes from the Leading in Context Blog that illustrate the edges of  its context:

Curiosity and Imagination

On the surface, it doesn’t seem that curiosity and imagination are related to ethics. But think about what would happen in an environment where people were not able to use them. Could employees still be relied on to consistently behave ethically in an environment where they were not engaged in their work, and where they did not feel respected or fairly treated?

Linda Fisher Thornton, in Leading in Context Blog Post “Curiosity and Imagination Necessary Ingredients in Ethical Culture” published May 18, 2011.

Beyond Profit

The trouble with using a profit-based definition of “ethics” is that by using profitability as a way to make decisions an entire spectrum of other issues is conveniently ignored. In order to avoid this trap and to move away from profit-based thinking, it’s important to broaden the variables we consider when making business decisions to include:

  • The impact of my products and services on consumers and society
  • The impact of my business operations on the planet
  • The long-term unintended consequences of my choices
  • The changing consumer mindset toward ethical business and avoiding harm
  • The erosion of customer confidence in my products, services and ethics
Linda Fisher Thornton, in Leading in Context Blog Post “Profit-Based Ethics: The Mindset Behind It” published May 11, 2011.
Harm and Inclusion

As we better understand how we are connected as a global society, and our thinking about ethical leadership evolves, our standards of  expected behavior begin to change.

We don’t accept treating people disrespectfully or abusively.

We tolerate less harm.

We think of harm more broadly.

We expect leaders to be inclusive.

We think of inclusion more inclusively.

…It raises the stakes for all of us.

Linda Fisher Thornton, in Leading in Context Blog Post “Curiosity and Imagination Necessary Ingredients in Ethical Culture” published May 18, 2011.

Respect and Trust
Have you noticed a trend toward more respectful behavior? Customers and employees aren’t accepting anything less. People are helping each other more, and sharing what they know more. They are expecting a higher standard of trust, respect and ethics.
Linda Fisher Thornton, in Leading in Context Blog Post “Leadership and…Respect: The New Minimum Standard for Workplace Behavior” published February 2, 2011.

 

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For more, see new book 7 Lenses and the 21 Question Assessment: How Current is My Message About Ethics?

7 Lenses is a Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner in Business Ethics41cEVx-Tu4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_
2014 Axiom Business Book Award Winner 
About 7 Lenses
 
 
Info@LeadinginContext.com  @leadingincontxt  @7Lenses

© 2014 Leading in Context LLC 

Ethics at the Intersection

How Do We Determine Our Ethics as Leaders?

Why is it such a challenge to determine how we interpret “ethical leadership?” Because there are many different ways of determining what we consider to be ethical.  Even while trying to be responsible we can still miss the mark by a mile.

Consider some of the possible ways that a leader might interpret ethics.

Ethics in a Vacuum

  • Looks at “ethics” in a silo, investigating deeply rather than broadly
  • Excludes areas that others consider to be part of ethical leadership
  • Ignores how emerging knowledge in other areas of practice should impact ethical leadership
Ethics of Convenience
  • Determines what is ethical based on individual values and selectively chosen research
  • Defines “ethics” in the context that provides the most benefits for the interpreter
  • Often fiercely defends own decisions as “ethical” using judgemental words and blame

Ethics in a Historical Context

  • Defines ethics based on the knowledge of  ethics scholars and historical thinkers
  • Uses historical ideas to solve today’s complex challenges
  • Ignores the current evolving leadership context and new research
  • Limits the boundaries of ethics to those that have been extensively written about and studied

Ethics at the Intersection

  • Determines what is ethical based on a holistic view of ethics
  • Changes definition of “ethical” based on new research. .. not finite… ever evolving
  • Considers research beyond the boundaries of “formal ethics” to include the impact of  choices on employee engagement, innovation and more
  • Takes an integrative perspective, looking at what we can learn from the places where many disciplines intersect (for example:  philosophy, psychology, sociology, ecology and leadership)
While we cannot ignore what we have learned from the past, we also cannot ignore what we are learning in the present. It is equally important to take a broad and integrative approach, not limiting the scope of our view to incorporate only that which is personally familiar or personally beneficial.  A combination of approaches is probably the most responsible, studying the historical understanding of ethics but not being restricted by its boundaries, and studying the emerging knowledge without losing sight of its historical context.
522For more, see Linda’s book 7 Lenses and the 21 Question Assessment: How Current is My Message About Ethics?

7 Lenses is a Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner in Business Ethics41cEVx-Tu4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_
2014 Axiom Business Book Award Winner 
About 7 Lenses
 
 
Info@LeadinginContext.com  @leadingincontxt  @7Lenses

© 2011 Leading in Context LLC 

11 Learning & Development Reports 2011

In 2011 we know more about how people learn, and as leaders we have a responsibility to adapt our corporate learning practices as times change. Here is an index for leaders of current research, articles and predictions about learning:

Special Report: Learning Delivery 2011 Chief Learning Officer, clomedia.com

10 Predictions for 2011: Trends That Will Reshape the Training Industry Training Industry Inc, trainingindustry.com

Top Tools for Learning: Emerging Trends  Jane Hart, in Learning Technologies Magazine

Learning Technology Trends to Watch in 2011 theelearningcoach.com

Business Training Trends in 2011 Integration Training, integrationtraining.co.uk

Learning and the State of Business 2011 Bob Lee, in Chief Learning Officer

Directory of Learning Tools 2011 Center for Learning and Performance Technologies, c4lpt.co.uk

Trends in Learning and Development 2010 2012 Summary Overlap R & D Team, on slideshare.net

The State of Learning Delivery on Mobile Devices in 2011  Marci Paino in Chief Learning Officer, clomedia.com

Continued Dedication to Workplace Learning Laleh Patel, at astd.org

Evaluating Training and Learning Circa 2011 Tom Gram, at performancexdesign.wordpress.com

522For more, see Linda’s book 7 Lenses and the 21 Question Assessment: How Current is My Message About Ethics?

7 Lenses is a Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner in Business Ethics41cEVx-Tu4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_
2014 Axiom Business Book Award Winner 
About 7 Lenses
 
 
Info@LeadinginContext.com  @leadingincontxt  @7Lenses

© 2011 Leading in Context LLC 

100th Blog Post: The Ethical Leadership Training Challenge

I am delighted to report that this is the 100th Leading in Context blog post! Special thanks to all of you who are subscribers and regular readers!

Today’s graphic is a Wordle of my article “Ethical Leadership Training: Why is it So Hard to Get it Right?”  published in the September 2009 issue of Training and Development by the American Society of Training and Development and reprinted in The Best of Leadership 2009: Leadership Development issue.

The scope of leadership ethics is broadening. Leadership ethics used to be about honesty, integrity, fairness, following rules and laws, and being true to your values. Now, in the global marketplace, with fierce competition for business and resources, the scope of problems that can occur in leadership ethics has expanded exponentially.

The global scope means that the issues we encounter may involve the widely differing values, rules, and laws of multiple companies and cultures. The way that we define “leadership ethics” has to be different in this new marketplace and has to incorporate more than individual values.

Linda Fisher Thornton in “Leadership Ethics Training: Why is it So Hard To Get It Right?, Training and Development Journal, American Society for Training and Development,  September 2009.

To read the complete article:  LeadinginContext.com/Articles 

522

For more, see Linda’s book 7 Lenses and the 21 Question Assessment: How Current is My Message About Ethics?

7 Lenses is a Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner in Business Ethics41cEVx-Tu4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_
2014  Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner 
About 7 Lenses
 
 
Info@LeadinginContext.com  @leadingincontxt  @7Lenses

© 2011 Leading in Context LLC 

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