You are here

Adding value to corporate responsibility

Friday, September 12, 2014

How can you effectively stand up for your values when you are being pressured by your boss, colleagues, customers, or shareholders to do the opposite? One of the principal architects of Harvard’s Leadership, Ethics and Corporate Responsibility curriculum says leaders need to be provided with training, practice and scripts for dealing with corporate misconduct.

The Australian Institute of Management is hosting a national tour in October by Dr Mary Gentile as she shares a ground-breaking new approach to preparing business managers and leaders for values-driven decision making.

Dr Gentile is Director of Giving Voice to Values, an innovative curriculum at Babson College in Massachusetts which focuses on ethical implementation and asks the question: “What would I say and do if I were going to act on my values?”

As the previous manager of case research at Harvard Business School, Dr Gentile is well known in the academic field of business ethics.

Challenging the assumptions about business ethics at companies and business schools, Dr Gentile argued that often the issue isn’t identifying what is right or wrong, but knowing how to act on your values in the face of opposing pressure.

“I think it’s always been an important issue but I think leaders are beginning to think about values, ethics and leadership in a new way,” Dr Gentile said.

“People are attracted to the ideas around values because it doesn’t come from a cognitive or intellectual approach but more from a practical and action-oriented approach.”

“Managers get frustrated by the conversation about values because they are being told to do the right thing but feel that they aren’t in an environment where they can do that. It isn’t that people can’t recognise what’s right or wrong – all they need are some positive examples and practice at creating the action plans and scripts they need to deal with difficult situations.

“At a personal level, my hope is that people will come away from my presentation with a sense of empowerment, inspiration and motivation to voice and act on their values more often.

“What’s important is people realising they actually already have the skills and abilities for persuasion, negotiation and influence, but haven’t felt that they could apply these skills when it comes to ethics and that’s the mindset we’ve set out to change,” Dr Gentile said.

Dr Gentile’s presentation will be held on the following dates:

  • Brisbane - Tuesday 7 October
  • Sydney - Wednesday 8 October
  • Canberra - Thursday 9 October
  • Melbourne - Friday 10 October

For enquiries and bookings please call 1300 658 337.