Jeremy Willinger's blog

A Dream Remit For the New DOJ Compliance Counsel

Designing ethical systems is about having the right policies and programs in place- as well as the right people. Recently, the Department of Justice took a needed step forward by retaining a new full-time expert in compliance programs for their prosecution team. ES collaborator Jeffrey Kaplan, of Kaplan & Walker, LLP explains in a new Conflicts of Interest blog entry, cross posted below, how the new hire will allow the government to advance not only their understanding of how to strengthen and evaluate organizational compliance programs, but how the DOJ can leverage this position to put forth an agenda that highlights positive actions in the field.

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Framing the Language of Business

Framing is not just how you present a painting. Framing helps to communicate the type of art, it complements subject matter, and it influences how the viewer perceives the image. Framing also matters when it comes to business, and the language we use can deeply affect both the rules we follow and those we are willing to break.

While business has its own lexicon, a new piece in Ethisphere by Scott Killingsworth, Senior Counsel with Bryan Cave LLP in Atlanta, illustrates that when we couch the business of business in terms of war and gamification, we prime the pump for pernicious results.

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Meet Azish Filabi, our new CEO

To Our Community, 

We are proud to introduce Azish Filabi, our new CEO. 

After a comprehensive search over several months, we identified several potential candidates to take over the helm of our organization. However, one stood out above all others and we are thrilled that she has come on board. 

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Poisoning the Well: The impact of incivility in the workplace

Culture matters more than any other factor in determining the level of ethical conduct within an organization. Knowing this, leaders need to be ever vigilant to how toxic day to day interactions can poison the working environment.

Christina Porath, associate professor at Georgetown University and co-author of “The Cost of Bad Behavior” recently published an op-ed and online quiz (“No Time to Be Nice at Work,” Sunday, June 21, 2015) in The New York Times illuminating the dramatic degree in which courtesy and consideration in the workplace actually impact individuals. 

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Book Review: Richard Thaler's "Misbehaving: The making of behavioral economics"

What do economics, psychology, and experimental science have in common? As Richard Thaler implies in Misbehaving: The making of behavioral economics, most economists would say little to none — but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Misbehaving is, first and foremost, a story of how modern economics, finance, and theoretical analysis have become increasingly specialized and narrow without substantial practical value. Utilizing empirical studies and anecdotes, funny stories, and even some jokes, Thaler persuades the reader that behavioral studies — or psychology-motivated disciplines which focus on humans, not mythical rational agents — are here to stay. 

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Ethics and Compliance Trends: Interview with Ellen Hunt of AARP

Part of the mission of Ethical Systems is to enhance the work of practitioners and experts in the ethics and compliance field, as they are on the front lines of helping businesses transform their cultures and their employees act more ethically. 

​In a recent interview with Ellen Hunt, Ethics & Compliance Program Director at AARP, she outlined current trends in the Ethics & Compliance (E&C) field as well as the most important steps businesses can take to encourage ethical behavior among organizations of all types and sizes. AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million.

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R-E-S-P-E-C-T: How can banks win it back

At a recent banking summit in China, the focus was on how international banks can regain the moral high ground. In response, Norman Chan, chief executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, wrote a piece in the South China Morning Post that argues this will be difficult unless banks move from a shareholder model to a stakeholder focus. At Ethical Systems, we couldn’t agree more.

When companies- especially banks- prioritize short-term profits over the health of their long-term relationships and reputation, they invite ethical problems, long term costs, and the animosity of the general public. Yet, while the call to action is simple, the steps needed to get there are anything but.

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A Disruption Method for Bribes: Governments and Systems Interventions

large_bribes_0.jpgLike dancing the tango, a bribe requires two people for it to be successful. Current governmental policies reward whistle blowers and punish the party who offered the bribe- in other words, reactive punishments are commonplace. But what if governments instituted proactive policies that obviated unethical behavior and made bribes more trouble than they are worth?

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"Mind, Society and Behavior" and Ethical Systems Design

David Brooks recently published an insightful piece (In Praise of Small Miracles) about “Mind, Society and Behavior,” a recent report issued by The World Bank on how behavioral economics can be applied to global development and global health.

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