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We believe transparency, social responsibility, and ethical transformation are essential elements for the competitive business. A culture of productivity, great morale, personal satisfaction, mutual trust and high reputation for ethical behavior all depends on how the organization lives out its understanding of what it takes to have a culture of integrity--its values and its behaviors.

Having a culture of integrity goes beyond conforming to what is prescribed or meeting the legal minimum. In the movie, The Company Men, we see an instructive example of the difference – “…a higher standard.” Click here to see a video clip.

New Ripple with Drop
A drop of ethical value starts a ripple of change.

What does it take to live out a culture of integrity? Four profound things: First, recognizing that ethics is about people and relationships; second, recognizing that ethics is about taking personal responsibility for choices made; third, empowering people to prioritize their ethical values; and fourth, equipping leadership and employees with the tools and skills to build and nourish an ethical culture. It begins with this: A small drop of ethical value starts a ripple of change and influence. And, it grows to this: a transformed company that is respected and profitable.


An ethics program that exists on paper but never in the hearts, minds, and actions of the organization’s employees creates a breeding ground for violations.
- "Ethical Culture Building" - A report by The Ethics Resource Center – 2008

Organizational Values and Ethics Diagnostic

Your organization’s foundational values guide the policies, processes and strategies of daily operations. Your organization’s ethics are how you and your employees practice those values--“how things are really done around here.” Time and change can affect both. Do you know if they are working together or are at odds?

You might have a gap between values and ethics. Consistency between foundational values and ethical expectations is essential to a productive workplace. Strong alignment has a positive impact on behavior. Poor alignment has a negative effect. Future success depends upon assessing the effects of inconsistency.

TWI’s Organizational Values and Ethics Alignment Diagnostic (OVEAD) assesses whether, how, and to what effect, the consistency between values and ethics is perceived and communicated throughout all levels of the organization as measured by essential components of an ethical culture

  • Evidence of openness and commitment to ethical communication
  • Evidence of respect for individual judgment
  • Evidence of organizational integration of ethics and performance integrity
  • Evidence of individual trust and empowerment
  • Perception of the overall workplace environment

Example of an OVEAD assessment--you can guess at the implications...

How the OVEAD works

OVEAD Introduction Video

To learn more about how to assess the values/ethics alignment in your organization, contact David Braaten at awareness@ethics-twi.org or call 480-517-1891.

A Problem with Ethical Culture: Reliance on Conforming

For the past several decades, more and more companies have relied on writing ever more detailed codes of conduct, policies and processes to enforce ethical behavior--Conformative Ethics. The continued reliance on an ever increasing number of written prescriptions for driving behavior, or punitive actions for failing to adhere to those prescriptions, has not led to fewer ethical failures.

In fact, in most circumstances, little has changed. This means of control often has minimum impact on positive ethical behavior. To the contrary, as more rules are generated, the more people respond negatively to them. The same issues resurface year after year. As Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” How insane is your ethics program?

Conformative vs. Transformative Approach to Behavior

TWI offers the different approach to organizational training that achieves “different results” is available —Transformative Ethics. This approach affirms that standards, policies, manuals and codes of conduct are necessary, both legally and practically, but are not sufficient for managing risk related to behavior. People, relationships, personal responsibility, and accountability are ultimately what ethics is about. Employees taking ownership of their choices, being equipped with the tools to make good ethical choices to build mutual trust, and being empowered to use their judgment, are the means to transform attitudes and behavior that build a culture of integrity.

The chart below shows the difference between the two approaches to ethics training.

Training Emphasis

Training Effect

Attitude Result

Conformative
Ethics

- Codes of Conduct,
- Standards, Rules, Laws
- External Focus

Compliance

- “I can't, there are rules...”
- Reactive responses

Transformative
Ethics

- Codes of Conduct
- Personal Responsibility
- Internal Focus

Compliance and
Commitment

- “I won't, it is not the right
thing to do...”
- Proactive actions

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An Ethical Culture = Profitable Business

A strong ethical culture is an essential aspect of a more profitable business. Recent research results demonstrate that ROI. According to Ethisphere, “Investing in ethics is beneficial for any company, even in a recession.” It takes more than a program that enforces conformity to prescribed behavior to build an ethical culture, it takes the “hearts and minds” of all in the organization. 

Culture of Integrity

What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

A culture of integrity is built upon a foundation of skills, tools and ethical awareness that support the ethical culture of a company. It starts with prioritizing a relational approach to ethical behavior and then providing the training that equips employees and leadership to make that culture possible.

Transformative Ethics Programs

The TWI approach to ethics is simple: Ethics is about people, relationships and taking personal responsibility for the choices we make. We refer to this as Transformative Ethics because we each have the ability to transform our relationships and our organizations by the ethical choices we make. TWI ethics programs move individuals from reacting out of an emotional response to situations and into choosing to act in doing what is right. 

Transformative Training Programs

Rowing

TWI offers a unique and practical communication process, applicable across all facets of a company, that is used in both our communication and leadership trainings. This process generates a common language that greatly enhances understanding and trust with both internal and external customers. The knowledge, skills and tools learned through our values-driven customized programs provide a powerful process for developing skills that improve performance for businesses.

Effective communication is vital in business today if organizations expect to meet their customer’s expectations and grow their business. An essential tool of leadership is empowerment that great leaders use to exponentially improve their effectiveness. 


 

Well-implemented ethics and compliance programs double reporting and lower the rate of misconduct. A strong agency-wide ethical culture also increases reporting and cuts misconduct in half. Coupling a strong ethical culture with a strong ethics and compliance program is the path to the greatest reduction in ethics risk.”
- 2007 National Business Ethics Survey, Ethics Resource Center

For more information about TWI's programs contact David Braaten or call 480-517-1891.

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Ethics Training Programs
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