Last night the news reported yet another Isis attack in Paris on the Champs-Elysees. Prior to that we learned on the news that Bill O’Reilly was leaving Fox because of allegations of sexual harassment resulting in Fox payouts of $13M in settlements. His “reward” was a golden parachute estimated at $25M at the time this article was written. And prior to that we saw vivid reports of airport police dragging a passenger off a United flight. United’s CEO first accusing the passenger of being belligerent and then claimed the flight was oversold and they needed to get a crew to another location. Neither of these statements was true.
Seeing the Champs-Elysees under lockdown just made me mad… and extremely sad. I lived in Paris for a year. It is one of the most beautiful places I’ve had the fortune to see in my life. The newscast brought me back to happier times, before 9/11 when airport travel was easier and it was a fun adventure to visit foreign countries and soak up the culture, wallow in history and meet wonderful people.
Can anybody tell me where Good News has gone? I’d like to go back to those happier times, please.
And this thought brought me back to the day I created e-Factor!® In between all of these terrible events I celebrated a milestone anniversary with e-Factor!® On April 11, 2007 (at 1:30 am to be precise) the game idea was born. It was before all the craziness of terrorism and blowing up buildings and car bombs killing innocent people. It was in those happier times that this idea came to me.
But the tide was already turning. Wall Street “Greed is Good” philosophy was taking over and becoming the rule. I was burned out so I left the corporate world for good, tired of being asked to do unethical and sometimes illegal tasks and being reprimanded for refusing. More and more ethical challenges were surfacing. And I remember in those wee hours thinking that I needed to create a safe place for people to practice how to solve problems and use their authority more wisely. I wanted to teach people what I’d been forced to learn to survive the corporate jungle. Intuitively I knew we were going to need unique and different ways to reach people and shift directions.
Creating the game was the easy part. Getting people to change their behaviors and act more ethically, well now, I’m still struggling to figure this puzzle out. What I can tell you is that since 2007 there are more professions who require an ethics course to renew their licenses. There is now a compliance and ethics profession. Companies have Chief Compliance Officers (with a push now to change the name to Chief Integrity Officer – see my article published on CorporateComplianceInsights.com). Companies have devoted resources and whole departments dedicated to fraud detection, compliance, and ethics training. The Ethics Resource Center, now called Ethics & Compliance Initiative, was created. And there are a whole lot of dull, boring lectures and training programs out there that do nothing to change people’s behaviors and attitudes towards ethics. I know. I’ve had to sit through enough of them.
It’s funny, in a way. I’m probably the last person anyone who knew me in 2007 would ever imagine could or would create a game, learn to love speaking in front of crowds, and leave a corporate job to start my own business. And here I am, 10 years after the idea popped into my head, still plugging away.
But the question still remains: where has all the good news gone?
If we can create “fake news”, why can’t we create “good news”? Well, now there’s an idea! If you want to help me make this one a reality, check out my group called Ethics Champions – I created one on LinkedIn and another on Facebook. This group is for highlighting all the good that we still have going on in the world – people who are helping each other, doing the “right” things for the “right” reasons, and creating safe space for honesty, truth, responsibility, accountability and integrity. Feel free to post a story or a comment about something good for a change! Maybe we can counter all the “fake” negative news with some “Good News” of our own!