"Governance is the sine qua non of any successful, sustainable organization– whether it’s a company, an NGO, a government agency or any other form of organization. Governance is the foundation without which it is not possible to build the other critical components of a resilient organization one of which is a strong ethical culture and system. Governance is the top of the 'tone from the top'."
In The Rule of Nobody, Philip Howard describes how bureaucracy is stifling U.S. institutions as well as the spirit of autonomy and free will among Americans.
The book is packed with examples of inept laws replacing common sense human judgment. In many cases, government agencies are comprised of well-meaning individuals who can’t apply their common sense and best judgment to resolve the problems they are hired to manage.
New research by Eugene Soltes points to a variety of executive misdoings by ostensibly smart and talented— not to mention prominent— leaders that illustrate that even those under scrutiny and fully aware of their responsibility for shareholder funds can act in self-serving ways that, in retrospect, they realize are obviously unethical. And, as Soltes writes, in hindsight the fact that these were adverse decisions are not lost on these individuals, but in the moment they failed to consider the impact or consequences.
Rashmi was a successful lawyer who graduated with honors from Columbia Law School. During the housing boom, she was recruited to work with a local real-estate developer who later engaged in shady business practices. Her involvement resulted in a one-year incarceration in Federal prison, alongside a $19M judgment against future earnings.
Ethical Systems Events: January Salon and February Talk
Ethical Systems held its first 2017 Salon on January 25, featuring Philip K. Howard (author of The Rule of Nobody) in conversation with Jonathan Haidt. The far-reaching discussion centered on insights from Howard on the regulatory environment in a Trump presidency.
On February 23, Ethical Systems- in partnership with the Aspen Institute's Business and Society Program and the NYU Stern School Business and Society Program- will hold an event with two of America's leading experts in social psychology. Jonathan Haidt will interview Paul Zak (Trust Factor: The Science of Creating High-Performance Companies), on the business case for building a culture of trust and why it is essential for any successful organization.