A New White Paper on Culture and Ethics, Accounting Ethics Q&A, an Interview with Jonathan Haidt and More: Ethical Systems July/August Newsletter

A New White Paper on Culture and Ethics, Accounting Ethics Q&A, an Interview with Jonathan Haidt and More: Ethical Systems July/August Newsletter

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Ethics Scholar Interview: Jonathan Haidt, Social Scientist and Professor at NYU Stern School of Business

It’s really important for business leaders to talk about ethics often, and to encourage midlevel managers to take a systems approach to ethics: talk about ethics, hire for ethics, and promote for ethics, not just for hitting financial targets by any means. If the E&C officer is the only one talking about ethics, she’ll have a very tough job convincing people that ethics really matters. But if the leadership is supportive, then there’s so much the E&C office can do.

Learn more about lessons learned since founding Ethical Systems and how the intellectual climate on college campuses overlaps with business ethics >>

A New White Paper on Business Ethics and Culture

We are pleased to announce a newly-released white paper in partnership with MindGym entitled The Only Way is Ethics: Why good people do bad things and how to stop us.

This resource is a free, 44-page guide which presents research on why traditional solutions to managing ethics aren’t working, while also providing a set of tools and a framework to begin diagnosing your own organization alongside concrete advice for improvement. The Only Way is Ethics includes a foreward by Ethical Systems Founder/Director Jonathan Haidt and CEO Azish Filabi.

Learn more and download your copy of "The Only Way is Ethics" >>

New Behavioral Science One-Sheet on Speak Up Culture

Download and post our new behavioral science one-sheet on Speak Up Culture, created in partnership with the Notre Dame Deloitte Center for Ethical Leadership.

Our behavioral science one-sheets are designed to connect behavioral science concepts to daily workflow and organizational cultures. We use simple language and concrete examples about how to apply behavioral science concepts in practice. We have added a creative commons license to allow you and your organization to use these one-sheets in a variety of ways.

Download our new one-sheet and see the entire series >>

Coming in late July: Our new eBook for C&E professionals!

Head to Head: A conversation on behavioral science and ethics is structured as a series of dialogs between ES collaborator Jeff Kaplan and our CEO Azish Filabi on various facets of compliance and ethics work.

By integrating social and behavioral science research with the core elements of effective compliance and ethics programs, Head to Head helps practitioners broaden their focus to behavior and culture in organizations, enhancing their approach to risk management.

Look for a special announcement email when this free resource is publicly available later this month!

Upcoming Ethical Systems Events

Ethical Systems welcomes Dr. David Miller of Princeton University on Tuesday, September 19. Dr. Miller is Director, Princeton University Faith & Work Initiative and Associate Research Scholar and Lecturer.

Most relevant for our audience, he is the on-call ethicist for Citibank working to handle issues around the intersection of banking, finance, and morality.

Ethical Systems events are held in New York City and are by invitation. Email Jeremy Willinger to request an invite to upcoming ES events.

Ask an Ethics Expert


Question for Robert Bloomfield, our July/August expert. See more questions and answers online!
Q: My boss thinks mistakes at work are a result of poor character or morals. Her statements in several meetings support this. But often her directions are confusing and now morale is low. How do my colleagues and I shift the culture without her input or help my boss understand that she is contributing to a bad work atmosphere?
 

A: Here’s the easy part: Your boss is wrong. While some people are more competent or moral than others, circumstances have far more influence in who makes mistakes and acts immorally. The “fraud triangle” pushes this insight a little further: people behave badly when they are pressured to do so, can find opportunities to get away with it, and operate in a culture that makes it easy to rationalize bad behavior.  Psychologists would probably say that your boss is suffering from the ‘fundamental attribution bias’, attributing bad behavior to people’s natures rather than their circumstances.

Here’s the hard part:  you need to help your boss improve your circumstances without inducing too much resistance. This becomes a matter of diplomacy. I strongly recommend the book Difficult Conversations, as well as the simple advice to focus on what changes will help, rather than on who is to blame for past problems. 

Continue reading and see more questions and answers >>

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