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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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Responsibility and Ethics

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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The impressionable years seem to come earlier and carry on into early adulthood.  Those photoshopped bodies showcasing ideal body types plays on the psyche, of how people see themselves and internalize it.  Is it moral to make fantasy the reality, that wearing the same will make you feel like a million.  Or, does recognition of one’s own reality set in, that you’ll never measure up to the image of the perfect world.  Is it dishonest or unethical to influence consumers with false images of perfection in order to sell?  Is there anything altruistic or of social value in shaping perceptions? The potential harm these photos in media popularizing the “perfect” body type through retouching can bring has not been lost →

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Meeting Scheduling.  It used to be easy and quick, especially if there’s an automated system involved. But it has become the bane of my existence.  It seems that lately the people I’m scheduling meetings with have needed to reschedule. Sometimes more than once. And the back-and-forth emails to try and find a common date fill multiple pages of my inbox. I’m not sure people understand this, but when someone asks to reschedule a meeting the message they I receive is that I am less important, less valuable, or less respected than some other opportunity that has just come up. I’m sure it’s unintentional, but it is an ethics issue for me.  It’s a lack of respect and integrity. And it’s frustrating as hell. If →

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My mom periodically sends me ethics articles.  Today’s article was absolutely unbelievable.  (Thanks, Mom!)  According to a Fox News Article Published 2/14/2016 a Spanish government worker got paid for six years without showing up to the job. He collected an annual salary of $42,000 for supervising the construction of a waste water treatment plant.  The water company building the plant thought the man was a government worker.  And the government thought he was a water company employee. They caught him when he became eligible for an award for 20 years of service.  The man was penalized $30,000 the maximum amount allowable under Spanish law. Aside from the fact that $30,000 is the maximum allowable under Spanish law (wouldn’t that be nice →

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You do not trust any of your staff to talk to clients because you do not know how they will respond to client requests for additional work. This scenario involves accountability and reliability, which either build or destroy trust. What would you do in this situation?

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