Building Ethically Healthy Organizations

Gill's bookToo often, compliance and ethics training is little more than a rather dull necessity to minimize a company’s likelihood of litigation, indictment, fines, and jail time.  It’s all about damage control and risk management.  Narrow, reactive, negative.  Author and educator David Gill says, “Ethics is not just (or primarily) about cataloging and ranting about the evil, unjust, and ugly.  Its historic focus is on the good, the just, and the excellent.  Ethics is about excellence.

In his new book, It’s About Excellence: Building Ethically Healthy Organizations, business ethics consultant and educator David Gill argues that the damage control approach to ethics is partial at best, misguided at worst.  He builds a compelling case that corporate ethics should be a proactive, positive account of “how we operate our company in order to achieve our mission and vision with excellence.”  Treating all  stakeholders with fairness, respect, and good ethics is not just altruism but almost always a clear competitive advantage and a step toward business excellence.

Beyond concepts and good ideas, actual business examples and cases from the trenches provide evidence that ethics is something that can be woven through the whole organization, created and owned by the whole workforce.  David W. Gill is Principal of EthixBiz, an organizational ethics consulting firm (www.ethixbiz.com).  I first met David when he was a panel member discussing ethics.  His contributions David Gillstuck in my mind, with comments like “ethics is a team sport” and “most everything we do is driven by love or fear.”  We had much in common in our approach to education, albeit in different but related fields.  I am pleased to include David in the program at the PMI NorCal Symposium 2008 at Stanford University on September 3rd.

When David asked me to review his new book, my response was, “David Gill provides a compelling and insightful manifesto linking ethics to healthy, excellent organizations.  He doesn’t just preach at us about what to do but also provides why and how to implement an ethics program–a program that weaves throughout an organization and guides people to achieve more than what they may have thought possible, in ways consistent with innate desires for fairness.  It’s About Excellence helps us see the power of authenticity and integrity.”

These words still capture why I believe David and his blueprint for linking ethics with business excellence deserve a prominent spot on an agenda for a continuing quest to increase maturity, manage risks, and achieve greater results from projects.

Be inspired: be challenged: transform!
Randy Englund, Englund Project Management Consultancy, www.englundpmc.com

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