Each year the Center for Ethical Leadership at Mount St. Joseph University sponsors a forum on ethics in conjunction with the Cincinnati Better Business Bureau. The BBB’s Center for Ethics annually acknowledges businesses that exemplify business ethics and create trust in the marketplace. The BBB’s Torch Awards honor those selected. More information about Torch Awards and links to the criteria can be found here.
This year the university forum included 2015 Torch Award recipients Tim Rettig, President & CEO, Intrust IT, and Aaron Stapleton, Founder/CEO, Queen City Homecare. Linda Neenan, Executive Director, iSpace, The STEM Learning Place, a 2014 Torch Award recipient offered the perspective of a non-profit business. Leslie Kish, VP, Operations, for the Cincinnati BBB moderated the discussion. A Q & A session with students and faculty concluded the session.
I look forward to this event each year. The discussions are always real, insightful, encouraging, and thought-provoking. This year was no exception. Here are my key take-aways:
- Integrate ethics into all aspects of your business -- your culture, operations, and talent management (hiring, training, and so forth).
- Hire people who share your business’s core values.
- Communicate clearly and thoroughly -- both internally with your people and externally with your customers.
- Be honest, straightforward, and when appropriate, tactful.
- Insure all employees are comfortable communicating any ethical issue they see.
- Grow your people, discussing ethical situations in your regular meetings.
- Grow yourself, ask “What did I learn today?”
- Avoid unethical ways of doing business regardless of what others may do.
- Understand that ethical conduct occasionally may hurt the bottom-line in short term but it will help bottom-line in long term.
Image: “Torch Awards Forum.” From left to right: Tim Rettig, Linda Neenan, Aaron Stapleton. © J. Ballard, 2016. Permission to use image granted to the participants, the Cincinnati Better Business Bureau, and Mount St. Joseph University. Here are previous blogs about these forums: 2012 Forum, 2014 Forum.
Decoding the Workplace: 50 Keys to Understanding People in Organizations
"Astute and keenly observed business advice, yet down-to-earth in its use of real-world workplace examples and everyday language." Kirkus Reviews
Available at leading on-line bookstores such as Amazon.com
Follow on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/johnballardphd
On Twitter: @johnballardphd