Bettina Palazzo on Business Ethics [Podcast]


Post By: Adam Turteltaub

We all face ethics issues in our lives and work. Yet, while there is so much these days people feel comfortable speaking about, ethics is often not one of them.

To better understand why, we sat down with Bettina Palazzo (LinkedIn), of Switzerland-based Palazzo Ethics Advisory.

As she explains, ethics is a systematic way of thinking about what is good and bad, how we should live together and what makes for a good life. These are all questions people have to answer for themselves. Yet, people hesitate to talk ethics because there is often not a clear cut or easy answer. That creates ambiguity and feelings of uncertainty that make people uncomfortable, and that discomfort is more acute in a business setting where quick, certain decisions are prized.

To encourage more discussions of ethics issues, Dr.Palazzo advises better marketing. Safe spaces for discussing ethics have to be created, and ethics talks need to be packaged attractively and focused on real-life experiences that people are likely to encounter in the workplace.

She also encourages ethics teams to be mindful of the perspective of the workforce.  They are adults, and if ethics training comes across as parenting – with the employee as the child – it can shut down any learning.

The conversation concludes with a provocative discussion of leadership and ethics and how intertwined they are. Leadership, she argues, is inherently an exercise in ethics because leadership comes with power over people, and leaders must think about how that power will be used.

Listen in to learn more, including how best to set the right ethical tone throughout the organization.