Context Matters: What We’re Learning About Food

By Linda Fisher Thornton A day when so many people eat too much candy seems just right for sharing new research that turns conventional wisdom on healthy eating inside out. This new research will begin to change the thinking and practices of the food and restaurant industries. Here is a sneak preview:

What is Ethics?

By Linda Fisher Thornton We are globally connected and becoming more aware of the complexity of our connections. We need a robust understanding of ethics - what it means, what it requires of us, and what we need to know and do to be ethical. As we learn about ethics, we need to understand it in a multidimensional way. One-dimensional definitions lead us down a single path and prevent us from seeing our broad responsibilities as citizens and leaders. Here is a quick tour of ways to think about ethics.

Ethical Leadership: The “On Switch” For 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 it, 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.

Is Our Ethics Who We Are Or What We Do?

By Linda Fisher Thornton This week's question is about what defines our ethics - "Is our ethics based on who we are or what we do?" Some people would argue that we have a persona, a manner, either ethical or not. Others would say that it is our decisions and actions that define how ethical we are, and therefore our ethicality changes from moment to moment.

What is “Harm?” (It Depends On Your Perspective)

By Linda Fisher Thornton Leaders interpret "harm" according to the perspective on ethical leadership they are using to make decisions. They may consider harm narrowly (only what would harm them) or broadly (what would harm others and society). At its most narrow, harm could be interpreted as harming me or my company's profitability.

Got Ethics? Are You Positive?

In spite of all the bad news you see in the media about ethics, we don't build ethical cultures by focusing on the negative. Let's face it - thinking about fraud, embezzlement and conflict of interest won't make us better leaders. But that's what many of us are focusing on in our organizations.