EthicSpace 2020 - Personalize Your Path to Act Ethically
"Hi, I am a former internal auditor for Enron."
That's a way to catch an audience's attention.
For EthicSpace 2020, I was invited to co-present with one of my friends and colleagues, Ms. Shari Thompson. Shari and I have known each other for some time. About five years ago I invited her to come speak to my MBA Business Ethics class about her experiences working as an internal auditor at Enron. I thought it would be great for my students to hear first-hand how someone experienced the rise and fall of one of America's most unethical companies.
I was right. The students salivated at her stories, asking questions and demanding answers. Her amazing performance earned her an invitation as a guest speaker in my class for every semester that followed.
Our collaborative discussion to ethics earned us an invitation to present at this year's EthicSpace conference, a conference dedicated to expanding the awareness of ethics in the workplace for the Omaha community. Our session titled, "You've seen something unethical...now what?" engaged Omaha professionals from start-ups for Fortune 500 corporations.
We wanted attendees to have a takeaway: When you see something unethical, recognize that you have many paths forward. Even when one path doesn't work, or you come to a roadblock, know that you have many options, and pursue a different path.
Attendees left our session empowered to think about the options that they have in front of them to bring an ethics issue to light.
I'm sharing the handout that attendees received with you today. Please take this handout and use it. Print it and put it next to your computer. Put it on the message board at your office. Send it to your colleagues and friends. We can only do better if we share resources and support each other along the way.