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Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Anchor Your Business in Ethics

All businesses should have some ethical stance that guides employees to making the right choices. Ethics is a system that people compare and contrast possible outcomes against to ensure that their behavior is sociably acceptable. When the ethical system is not open or easy to follow people begin to skirt such ethics in their own self interest.

People are inherently selfish if not civilized by society and taught higher values. Sharing is inherent when we can receive the benefit of receiving when we are in need. Biologically we are designed to need status among our peers and support of our friends.

Because society is full of people we don't know and often don't connect with, we may not feel any real obligation to follow the rules. As long as we don't break the law or people know about our behaviors then we can break all the ethical rules. Add some smart lawyers and everything sounds ok.

T'he problem is that as soon as we do this we also reduce the need for others to follow the rules as well. We cannibalize ourselves as each person takes more than their fair from the system. The brightest can't come forward because the selfish have blocked the paths. To run a smart business means enforcing ethics.

The way in which we can do that is through making ethics part of our system. We talk about it, enforce it, promote in part on it, and expect it from everyone. All the people of an organization exist under the same ethical rules. Keeping ethics helps manage an organization without the constant need for oversight.

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