When you look at your ethics training programming, has it been designed to forestall possible future ethics lapses or is it lost in compliance requirements and therefore muddying the difference between ethics and compliance?
Is your ethics training just to fulfill a requirement (a “have to”) or is it a chosen proactive approach to help deal with future situations?
When ethics training is a “Band-Aid” approach to the artery problem…
- It is a temporary fix. No real problem will be solved.
- It lacks thoughtful consideration about the cause and effect of such an approach.
- The concept of ethics is cheapened due to sporadic training and reinforcement.
- Are the skills of discernment, moral decision-making, case studies and analysis taught, or are yes and no answers the modus operandi?
When ethics training embraces a “sutures the artery problem” approach:
- Time is taken to develop an ongoing ethics training program.
- Actual skills are taught, modeled and reinforced.
- Ethical theories, research and their applications are explained and internalized.
- Ethical resources are made available in ways and formats all can access and use.
- Case studies and real life examples are examined and discussed in order to apply ethical theories.
So which is it – the Band-Aid approach to the artery problem or taking the time to suture that problem up?
Think about this:
You use a Band-Aid for a scratch or a minor cut as the wound is not that serious and eventually you remove the Band-Aid and all is well. No skills and no training required in putting on a Band-Aid, meaning no real technique and only minimal knowledge are needed. Anyone can do this.
When a more critical wound, such as to an artery, needs to be sutured, it is serious and if not done right, could cause more suffering and pain. A suture needs the attention of one who is highly trained and has the skills and techniques to do it right, so you go to a professional.
Would you let just anyone suture a wound or do you go to a medical professional?
Doesn’t this analogy relate to ethics training? Can just anyone do ethics training (Band-Aid) or do you partner with an expert or thought leader on ethics, one who has the training, the experience and the skills to do the job?
Here’s the worst case scenario. You put a Band-Aid on an artery problem. Now what? It still bleeds and causes long-term problems.
Suturing is a proactive, skilled approach and practice of solving the problem for the long term. Putting a Band-Aid on an artery program is a short-sighted approach not really dealing with the seriousness of the issue and only temporarily stemming the flow coming from the problem. It doesn’t work!
You don’t need a professional to put on a Band-Aid, but you do need one to suture an artery problem.
Where are you investing these training dollars? Which will really cost you more?
Is your ethics training proactive or reactive? A suture approach or a Band-Aid approach? And are you willing to pay the price?