Ethikos Weekly Editor’s Picks – October 29, 2014


Editor’s Top Choice:

Culture is a Business Issue

Norman Marks writing for Internal Auditor Online:

​​Just what is culture?

Is it about organizational ethics and values?

Is it about attitudes towards risk and the protection of information?

Is it about exciting and stimulating imagination and creativity?

Is it about attracting and retaining talent?

Is it about stimulating teamwork, collaboration, and the sharing of goals and success?

Is it about engaging in a shared voyage to success?

Is it about all of these and more?

Yes. Read more

Other Featured Picks of the Week

How Successful People Handle Toxic People

Travis Bradberry, contributing to Forbes:

Toxic people defy logic. Some are blissfully unaware of the negative impact that they have on those around them, and others seem to derive satisfaction from creating chaos and pushing other people’s buttons. Either way, they create unnecessary complexity, strife, and worst of all stress.

Studies have long shown that stress can have a lasting, negative impact on the brain. Exposure to even a few days of stress compromises the effectiveness of neurons in the hippocampus—an important brain area responsible for reasoning and memory. Weeks of stress cause reversible damage to neuronal dendrites (the small “arms” that brain cells use to communicate with each other), and months of stress can permanently destroy neurons. Stress is a formidable threat to your success—when stress gets out of control, your brain and your performance suffer. Read more

7 Deadly Business Sins

Daniel Draz writing for Fraud Solutions:

The “F” word…Fraud. Have you ever stopped to think about the “F” word’s eerie correlation to the word apathy? Apathy: “A lack of interest in, coolness or indifference to” (Random House) fraud, fraud losses and fraud risk mitigation efforts.

Businesses in this country are losing money hand over fist due to fraud, computer intrusion (data breaches are at an all time high), the theft of data and personally identifiable information (PII). Yet, strangely enough, for many companies, fraud, risk and loss mitigation ideals are just “lip service.” Given the tidal wave of tsunami like criminal events we’re witnessing there really isn’t any other plausible explanation.

Quite honestly, for some organizations, saying that they care about preventing fraud, risk or data losses, prior to their occurrence, is solely an effort to appease shareholders, regulators and the public. Oh sure, when the “spin doctoring” starts post event, in an attempt to sway public sentiment, everyone’s a good corporate citizen and cares tremendously. Read more

Leaders Need to See the Opportunity in Behaving Ethically

Roger Trapp writing for Forbes:

Every time there is an economic crisis of some sort there are clarion calls for change. This is understandable enough. After all, even the fact that cycles seem an inevitable part of economics should make business people, policy makers and all those involved in markets better prepared for the downturns that follow the periods of expansion that always seem to lead to trouble. The trouble is, though, that the change that results is usually a new set of rules that is probably a good defence against the activities that contributed to the last crisis but less effective against the one the one that is yet to arrive.

This is the drawback of relying on rules to ensure that “bad things” do not happen. Such an approach might work with a game such as football (soccer in the US), where behaviour is – to a large extent – predictable. Although even here adaptation is required to deal with developments, such as the widespread faking or exaggerating of contact in tackles in order to win free kicks, which would not have been envisaged by those who originally set out the rules. Read more

Corporate Culture and Compliance in the 21st Century

Wayne Brody and Mark Rowe writing for

We are approaching the tenth anniversary of what, at the time, appeared to be a watershed moment in the evolution of corporate compliance programs: the 2004 amendment of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations (Guidelines) which, for the first time made explicit the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s fundamental proposition that “organizations must promote an organizational culture that encourages ethical conduct and a commitment to compliance with the law.”

The introduction of the concept of “ethics”—values-based principles, as opposed to rules-based compliance—and the new focus on culture reflected a growing recognition that unethical organizational culture had been a significant factor in driving the misconduct that brought down Enron, WorldCom, Adelphia and other major corporations at the turn of the century.

Much has been made, including most of the “compliance industry,” out of the Guidelines’ original seven “elements” of an effective ethics and compliance program (and the unofficial eighth, risk assessment.) Despite the 2004 amendments, a good deal more attention has been paid in the corporate world to those elements than to the culture they are meant to promote. We believe such a focus is short-sighted, and limits the ability of ethics and compliance programs to impact levels of misconduct or promote worthwhile corporate objectives. Read more

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