Each day the Barometer muddles through four newspapers and scans in articles that involve ethical issues in government agencies, companies, nonprofits, NGOs, schools, etc. — anywhere humans are because where there are humans there are ethical issues. For futurists, where there are robots designed by humans, there will be ethical issues. The scanning is necessary because items disappear from the Internet. Also, some newspapers, in their online versions, update articles without explanation. Having the original often demonstrates ethical issues on the part of the journalists at the newspapers.
The Barometer is exhausted with the scanning. So, herewith is a plea to several companies, agencies, nonprofits, etc. to get some help. These organizations are in dire need of a review of their ethical culture. The hits just keep coming, yet they cannot seem to grasp that they have an issue. Herewith the Barometer’s list for ethical triage:
Facebook: From the privacy issues to the security breach that went undisclosed to its policies on pulling materials and closing accounts, this is a company struggling to find its way.
Tesla: Now facing a criminal investigation over its production numbers, which follows on the heels of the SEC settlement, which follows on the heels of accounting questions which follows on the heels of the conflicts in its purchase of a solar company run by Elon Musk’s brother– get some help quickly.
Goldman Sachs — with the criminal charges against two Goldman bankers in the Malaysian embezzlement prosecution and all the related and shady Jho Low activities, Goldman topped its previous issues. As the Justice Department phrased it, the Goldman fellows charged were focused on deals–“putting them ahead of the proper operation of its [Goldman’s] compliance functions.” This is a classic cowboy culture that still does not understand what its culture is. And it cannot be fixed with its fancy philanthropic and sustainability efforts.
Google– The “don’t be evil” gang surely struggles with ethical issues, from expanding into China to intolerance for diverse views to hiring practices to secret settlements to walk-outs — who exactly is running this company? An external review of its goings on and a slightly different perspective could help.
University of Maryland: Maryland’s Board of Regents is, in Shakespeare’s apt phrase, a piece of work. It recommended retaining the football coach under whom a player died. The president reversed the decision, but the Board was not pleased. The president agreed to retain the coach, but announced his retirement. Then the Board president resigned. The Board and the University need an external review. Without it, they both lose credibility internally and externally. The strongest and clearest communication any organization comes with this: Whom do you hire? Whom do you fire? Whom do you discipline? Who is quitting? Messages sent and received here, and the culture is affected and/or evidenced by both.