Trust Project CEO Consulting Ethics School
CATEGORIES
Ethics for Learners
Ethics Conversations
Ethics for Leaders
Everyday Ethics
Organizational ethics
Trust Matters
The Big Picture
LATEST ARTICLES
Seven steps : ethics for learners
Exercising emotional & rational integration
Trust 101
Beyond the basics
Top ten ethical blunders
The wrong mean is the new norm
Broken busyness
Business Ethics Audit

As part of Marketing Magazine’s ongoing Ethics & Marketing series, John Dalla Costa has designed this Business Ethics Audit to help organizations gauge the state of ethical practice within operating cultures.

Give your organization (or working group) a grade on the following dimensions:

We proactively probe ethical issues

We are alert to ethical issues as they are emerging

We respond when the ethical issue is exposed

We await ethical problems before responding

We avoid ethical issues

  (5 points) (4 points) (3 points) (2 points) (1 point)

Doing research






In competitive analysis






Identifying future trends






When doing “gap analysis”






When working out ROI






During strategic planning






Setting performance measures






In process and systems design






During activity management






For customer satisfaction






Managing recruitment






In new product development






Setting cross-functional goals






During crisis management






As part of continuous learning






During cost-cutting exercises






For strategic partnerships






Managing brand value






As a variable in brand equity 






In annual reports






* Even organizations with no ethical consciousness operate with some minimum of responsibility, simply to fulfill the legal or competitive requirements to stay in business.

The scores provide a two-level diagnostic: The first is impressionistic and the second is indicative. As an impression, the first measure is like taking the pulse of the organization to assess the strength, pervasiveness and frequency of ethical deliberation. Although qualitative, the tallied number suggests the current trajectory and current priorities:

For scores 85+: The task is not so much ethical development, which is already strong, but perhaps more aggressive involvement in the public sphere–like investing in social capital or promoting integrity through leadership.

For scores 75-85: The task is to take ethics to the next level. This usually means shifting focus from avoiding wrongdoing to actually advancing what is good, better or right. Instead of compliance, the developmental need is for the creativity to go beyond obligations and invest in ethical opportunities.

For scores 60-75: The task is to aggressively elevate and align ethical skills. This involves rigour in studying and adopting best practices, recognizing that ethical excellence is a key competence for competitive advantage.

For scores under 60: The task is to go back to basics. Such poor ethical scores likely indicate other problems in culture such as lack of innovation or lack of currency with customers. Going back to basics is helpful because there are elements in founding purpose or heritage that inevitably point to key values, commitments and value-adding responsibilities. By retrieving what matters most, we often encounter what matters ethically.

Based on your score, begin to scope out an action plan for ethical enhancements:

• Objective: What overall score can you realistically aim for? By when? 

  Score: __________ By When:_____________

• CSF: What are the “Critical Success Factors” to drive score improvement? Which three of the 20 dynamics listed in the exercise represent the most critical promises or liabilities for your organization?

Dynamics Why?

i) ----------------------- ---------------------------------------------------

ii) ----------------------- ---------------------------------------------------

iii) ----------------------- ---------------------------------------------------

• Strategy: What can you do to improve performance on these three most critical dimensions? What must be done in the next 30 days; over the next quarter; for the next fiscal year?       

Next 30 Days Short-term Long-term

i)

ii)

iii)


ii)

iii)

 

 



Contact | Home | John's Blog | Trust Project | CEO Consulting | Ethics School