Jeremy Willinger's blog

Long Term Thinking Means Ending Short-Term Reports

The chorus to end quarterly corporate reporting recently gained two prominent voices from the financial world. In a recent article in Bloomberg, Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, and Warren Buffett, the Chairman of Berkshire-Hathaway, advised companies to do away with their emphasis on quarterly earnings reports, arguing that it motivates misconduct and shifts the focus from sustained growth and stability to immediate profits and performance.

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FCA UK Culture Conference Event Summary & Next Steps

At the recent Financial Conduct Authority March 2018 meeting in London, Ethical Systems Executive Director Azish Filabi and collaborator Celia Moore participated in panels featuring fellow experts discussing current, pressing issues in regards to culture, regulation, ethics and compliance in the financial sector.

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Regulating for Ethical Culture in Behavioral Science & Policy

Ethical Systems partnered with The Behavioral Science and Policy Association (BSPA) to put on our 2016 conference “Ethics By Design.” One byproduct of the event- in addition to knowledge transfer and widespread press coverage- was the extension of our conference theme in an issue of BSPA’s interdisciplinary journal Behavioral Science & Policy (published twice yearly with the Brookings Institution) with a focus on applying behavioral science strategies and strengthening ethical culture. 

In a "spotlight on ethics," co-edited by Jon Haidt and Azish Filabi, the Journal's issue has just been released with three review articles on how behavioral insights can guide policies and interventions meant to promote ethical behavior. The three pieces include: “Treating ethics as a design problem,” by ES collab Nicholas Epley alongside David Tannenbaum, “Using behavioral ethics to curb corruption,” by friend of ES Yuval Feldman and the essay we summarize below, “Regulating for ethical culture,” by ES collab Linda Trevino, co-founder Jonathan Haidt and Executive Director Azish Filabi.

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Tribes, vibes and hives: improving diversity through science

This is an article by Laura Smart cross-posted from Insight, the opinion and analysis page of the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Original post.

 

Behavioural science can tell us a lot about how humans are hardwired, and where efforts to improve diversity will be best spent.

In 1951, Solomon Asch carried out an experiment which was to become one of the most widely known and pivotal findings in psychology.

Wanting to investigate how people were influenced by others when making decisions, he recruited students to judge the relative lengths of lines on a piece of paper. The catch was that each student was put into a group which, unknown to them, was made up of actors who had been instructed to give the same, obviously incorrect, answer some of the time.

The videos show the conflict faced by the participants when they come to give their verdict after listening to others ahead of them denying what is in front of their eyes. All in all, 70% of participants gave the same answer as the others at least some of the time - despite knowing that it was wrong.

There lies a perfect illustration of the dangers of conformity and groupthink - dangers that employers are increasingly trying to tackle, in part, through increasing diversity.

In financial services, considerable effort and resources have been put into diversity and inclusion programmes, including mandating training, introducing targets and changing recruitment processes.  But senior managers often find it hard to know which efforts are most effective and where resources would be best spent.

Fortunately, behavioural science can tell us a lot about this.  And some of the findings might come as a surprise.

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A Behavioral Science Approach to Bank Culture, with Azish Filabi

At a recent Thomson Reuters forum in New York on culture and behavioral science in the banking industry, Ethical Systems' Executive Director Azish Filabi joined a panel with fellow experts to discuss how research and data helps shape ethics and culture.

We invite you to read a piece on Reuters on the event featuring the following takeaways we share in this blog. Video from the event is also embedded. 

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New Behavioral Science One Sheet: Motivated Reasoning

Our newest topic is "Motivated Reasoning" explaining how the process by which we make decisions is less like a judge who carefully evaluates all the facts and arrives at a well-reasoned judgment and more like a lawyer who advocates for a particular outcome.

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Creating and Maintaining a Healthy Corporate Culture: RANE podcast with Azish Filabi

In this podcast, (Risk Assessment Network + Exchange) RANE’s Serina Vash sits down with Azish Filabi, Executive Director, Ethical Systems, to discuss what drives a healthy corporate culture and best practices for creating and maintaining that culture. Through research and collaboration with the best academics in the field, Azish dedicates her time to helping businesses assess and promote ethical behavior and culture in their organizations.

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The Echo Effect of the Bear Stearns Collapse: The Loss of Trust

In the wake of the 10 year anniversary of the collapse of Bear Stearns, we’ve been considering the long-term impact of the financial crisis and its reverberations on Main Street today. For many, there’s been a seemingly permanent shift in how they view Wall Street, including its purpose and the people who have been charged with managing their hard earned money. While the economy may have recovered since the Great Recession, there are numerous former investors whose levels of trust in financial companies have not.

In a recent piece in The Wall Street Journal, writer Jason Zweig spotlights how the collapse of Bear Stearns wreaked havoc on the sense of fairness among everyday investors and “what psychologists call ‘belief in a just world,’ the notion that, on average, we get what we deserve.”

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Bank Culture Reform & Behavioral Science Event April 9

Ethical Systems is partnering with Thomson Reuters Legal Managed Services, Regulatory Intelligence, and Starling to put on a panel event on Bank Culture Reform & Behavioral Science.

 

Location:

Thomson Reuters 
3 Times Square
30th Floor
New York, NY 10036

 

Date and Time:

Monday, April 9th
8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET

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Jon Haidt Presents Keynote on "Maintaining Ethical Culture" at Global Ethics Summit 2018

In today's polarized political climate, it is even more important to know how to engage in constructive dialogue in order to advance mutual business interests and perpetuate a sustainable organizational culture of ethics and respect.

Addressing this head on, Ethical Systems co-founder Jonathan Haidt delivered a mid-day keynote entitled Maintaining Ethical Culture in a Political Whirlwind on day 1 at Ethisphere's Global Ethics Summit 2018.

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