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In starting my research for this blog post I found a USA Today headline reading “Trump delivers the death blow to ethics.”  Well That’s an Understatement!  Presidential advisers pitching products, releasing fake news, accepting positions for which they have no qualifications or experience, fighting with federal judges, name calling, dismantling laws without considering consequences, brushing off conflicts of interest as irrelevant… Have I missed any???! If this isn’t the death of ethics I don’t know what is.

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“If money is big enough, why not?” was the response to a 60-minutes investigator who asked Stefano Varjas, an inventor from Budapest, Hungary, about whether he would sell his invention, a motorized bicycle accessory, to clients who intended to cheat in bike races.  (Click here for the segment entitled “Enhancing the Bike” aired 1/29/17.)   The investigator was specifically talking about racers of the Tour de France. And while Varjas would not say if he directly sold the motor to athletes directly, he said cannot say what his clients do with his motor.  He also said he knew racers had used it and he participated in investigations of athletes in both the Tour de France and the Olympics. According to →

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As we usher in a new leader, I am compelled to write this article.  It is just bubbling out of me, because I have been witness to a change in our environment where ethics and accountability are taking a back seat to fear and anger and hate. How did this happen, and how do we release the pressure building up? I have visions of the future, and they sometimes include people curled up in little balls, afraid to speak up for fear of being attacked.  In other visions, the future is positive – a change of the guard and a new way of doing things is good.  The thing is, I am puzzled by the lack of accountability people are →

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I recently saw a disturbing 60-Minutes segment called “Not Paid”.  Disturbing to me was the lesson that life insurance companies who collect millions of dollars in premiums for death benefits Do Not Pay when a policy holder dies UNLESS the beneficiary specifically contacts the insurance company and makes a claim. WHAT??? Are you kidding??? Huh. Is this an ethical dilemma or what? Apparently this is not a joke, as this is quite common that beneficiaries do not know there is a policy.  The attitude of insurance companies is that these policies are contracts and the beneficiary has to follow the terms of the contract. In other words, they have to read the fine print and make a claim to get their →

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After a week of violence including police brutality and retaliatory shootings of police, it appears that the young ones understand ethical behavior and the “right” way to do things better than the adults…

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Nine years ago today, in the wee hours of the morning, the concept for e-Factor!® was created. When the idea popped into my head and I said a mental “OK, let’s do this”, I had no idea how to create a game or how to deliver workshops. All I knew was that I’d just decided to leave the corporate world for good because of unethical people and situations. I had no earthly idea what was in store for me next. In the beginning, e-Factor!® was just a simple ethics game. It started from a desire to learn from my own experiences and help others avoid the ethical dilemmas I always seemed to find myself dealing with. The game has morphed →

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It’s wonderful to find companies whose ethical business culture shines at all levels.  It is something every business can do with the right training and oversight that leads by example.  There are so many ways a small mistake turns out to be not so small.  A new way to learn the ins and outs of making the right ethical business decisions is through creating an environment of trust and playing the e-FactorGame.  By gamifying the material, it becomes much more engaging and fun to reestablish a higher set of business values.  By introducing interesting dilemmas, everyone works towards ironing out the best ethical decisions.  Understanding and implementation of ethical values take hold.  All stakeholders benefit, employees, staff, executives, and the →

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The early formative years is the time in sports that character is built.  Coaches are chosen for their ability to build teams that win, yet ethics of fair play and sportsmanship are important whether on either end of winning or losing.  Sometimes, the first string of starters get blown out of a game.  A coach can keep the starters in, or give the second string the chance to prove themselves.  It may look like the coach has given up and let the benchwarmers play.  But, in the face of overwhelming odds against you, every benchwarmer’s character and attitude to show what they can really do shows up and outscores the higher rated opposition.  Win or lose, the ethics of sportsmanship →

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Computers will face that fork in the road when a decision must be made between one path not being as bad as the other.  Choosing among bad outcomes based on making moral decisions could be part of what engineers must grapple with in designing driverless cars for example.  This comes down to designing and deciding what is the right set of constraints and algorithms that best resolve life and death conflicts for a machine.  Can machines be programmed to make ethical decisions?   Nowadays, when computer systems select from among different courses of action, they engage in a kind of decision-making process. The ethical dimensions of this decision-making are largely determined by the values engineers incorporate into the systems, either →

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