Ethics in Danger, the Road Well Paved with Good Intentions

Share Article

To address the rising tide of anxiety and regulations pertaining to Ethics in Business and Government, Executive Blueprints Inc is hosting a series of Executive Seminars to develop and deploy customized Codes of Ethics. Interactive workshops include reference to relevant current events, federal and state compliance, and recommended practices for successful implementation.

A relevant and public Code of Ethics not only increases customer confidence, it can reduce risk related to personal and professional liability. Many federal and state regulations address equal employment opportunity, harassment and discrimination. A Public Code of Ethics must be much more precise, related to business activity, and adopted by all levels within the organization. Executive Blueprints Inc will host a series of Executive Seminars, beginning with the Ethics Workshop on February 1, 2006 at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa in Dana Point, California.

In a year that set new records for Hurricanes, there is bigger and more sinister storm lurking in dark clouds on the horizon. There have been flashes of lightening with Enron, Worldcom, Tyco, insider trading scandals and identity theft. The low rumble of thunder that follows these momentary headlines is the oncoming attention to ethics. Although the concept of ethical behavior is typically welcomed with open arms, what actions has your business taken to weather the storm?

“Regulations resulting from Enron and other corporate scandals spurred a renewed emphasis on corporate ethics and new laws and regulation related to compliance,” said Patricia Harned, president of the ERC. “Since that time organizations, especially for-profit companies, have invested significant resources in ethics and compliance programs, but we are not seeing change in the direct impact that these programs are having.”

More than 3,000 people participated in the 2005 National Business Ethics Survey (NBES). 69% of employees said that their organizations have Ethics training, and yet 52% of respondents observed discrimination, stealing or sexual harassment. 21% of respondents observed abusive or intimidating behavior, and 19% witnessed lying to customers, vendors, employees or the public.

“The whole corporate culture matters,” said Maryanne Levan, vice president of Business and Ethics Conduct for Lockheed Martin. “It makes good business sense to be viewed as an ethical company, and it benefits the workplace to have a more positive work environment.”

White House officials are required to attend briefings on ethics and “the rules governing the protection of classified information.” On a November 5, 2005 Memo from the White House counsel Harriet Miers, “Your attendance at one of these sessions is mandatory.”

According to Circular No.A-123, beginning with the fiscal year 2006, federal government agencies are required to apply the same discipline and standards for internal controls on finance and operations as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. “They’re just beginning to realize they need help,” said Denise Rabun, an associate partner with IBM Business Consulting Services. Rabun said she sees many agencies manage documentation with Excel files and filing cabinets. “It’s all over the place. The hard part is getting your arms around what should be tested.”

Attention to ethics extends beyond responsible and accountable behavior to protect customer privacy. Federal and state laws regulate basic aspects of ethical behavior. California AB1825 requires organizations with 50 or more employees to provide two hours of training and education every two years to all personnel in supervisory and management roles, training must be complete by January 1, 2006. SB1809 “Sue your Boss Law” allows individual employees and attorneys to sue for alleged violations and bypass state agency enforcement for certain activities.

In response to this rising need to organize and develop individual Code of Ethics Policies, Executive Blueprints Inc will host a series of Executive Seminars at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort and Spa, Dana Point, California. Registration is currently open for the Ethics Workshop on February 1, 2006. This workshop is designed to assist organizations with developing Standards and Conduct, and an Ethics Statement to post for customers and public awareness. The seminar includes a review of relevant cases for harassment, internal policies, and addresses the critical importance of proper handling for controversial issues.

“The first danger is the absence of ethics, or lack of a well defined Code of Ethics. It must be easy to understand, based on relevant company activity, and it must be adopted with discipline by every member of the organization. Ethics should come from within the organization and permeate it,” said John Mehrmann of Executive Blueprints Inc. “In some organizations the lines are drawn like a jigsaw puzzle, you only know where you stand if you are backed into a corner piece. This leads to frustration and encourages deceptive behavior. Adopting ethical guidelines in any organization should be a motivational experience. If the results are controversial, conflicting or confrontational, then it is time to seek professional assistance.”

In addition to the Ethics Workshop, Executive Blueprints Inc will be offering a seminar on Human Capital Return on Investment, for Career Path and Succession Planning. This is followed by a Trans-Cultural Workshop for integration by multi-regional organizations, coping with diverse geographies and business cultures, and consolidating environments after mergers and acquisitions.

To obtain the Guide and Registration Form for the February 2006 Executive Seminar Series, please visit

For additional information on the Executive Seminar Series, please visit

About Executive Blueprints Inc.
Executive Blueprints Inc provides Executive Training, Strategic Planning and Human Capital Development. Programs are developed by professionals with management experience, and customized to each participating business to maximize the existing internal intellectual capital with the ideas and enthusiasm of the emerging leadership potential within each organization. Expanding the investment in Human Capital extends beyond Management Succession Planning and includes individual contributor performance evolution planning. Customized Training, Consulting and Management Mentoring Programs are also available.

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

John Mehrmann
Visit website