Making an Ethical Difference

Quandary #1: Speed Kills

The company you work for is deciding whether to build a super-fast car for street use. There is a demand for the car and your company needs the boost this signature product would give it. But you wonder if it is right to produce a car that capable of travelling at two or three times any posted speed limit.

How to Think This Through

Consider the interests of the parties to this situation. While the interests of your company are clear enough, you have to consider the interests of those who might be affected if the car is built and sold. It is not only the drivers of superfast cars that are injured by them. On the other hand, if your company does not build the car, won’t some other company make an equally fast car? Does this make a difference?

Quandary #2: My Back Yard

A developer wants to build a casino immediately adjacent to your neighborhood. You recognize that the casino will benefit most of the community – except for those who live adjacent to it. You wonder if it is right to oppose the casino based on your interests and the interests of a few others in the community.

How to Think This Through

While you are correct to consider the benefits to all concerned, there is more to the story. You also need to consider the benefits of having a system of property use that protects property holders. So it comes down to whether the benefits to the community outweigh the benefits of protecting the rights of property holders. Be sure to factor in your own bias as someone directly affected by the casino.

Many such ethical quandaries come up in the daily life of those of us in business. When faced with such ethical challenges, how do you work them through and how do you respond when the ethics are doubtful?

In our next Soundview Live webinar, How to Make an Ethical Difference, Mark Pastin will argue that we all have an innate ethical sense—what he calls an “ethics eye.” He will offer tools for sharpening the ethics eye so we can see and do the right thing ourselves, particularly in the workplace, where our decisions can affect not just ourselves but coworkers, clients, customers, and even an entire organization.

With examples drawn from his decades of experience advising governments, corporations, and NGOs, Pastin will show how to identify competing interests, analyze the facts, understand the viewpoints, measure the benefits of different outcomes, and build consensus. You’ll gain confidence in your ethical sense, make better leadership decisions, and take actions that elevate the ethics of the groups and organizations you belong to—and society as a whole.

Join us on May 6th to learn about the tools that will help you with your next ethical dilemma, and bring your most challenging quandaries for Pastin to unravel.

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