Emmanuel Lulin, Chief ethics officer of L'Oreal, proposes key questions every director should answer to test their culture.
When you are a boss, an employee or a director, when it comes to decisions, you must ask two questions. The first question is, do you have a right to do it? That’s a compliance question.
The second is the ethical question: is it the right thing to do? Just because you have the right to do something, should you do it?
When you are a boss or an employee, there is a test for what your organisation’s culture is really like.
You ask these questions:
- Do you feel free to speak up without fear of retaliation?
- Do you feel pressure to compromise ethics to achieve other business goals?
- Do you think your manager is well equipped to have a conversation on ethics?
- In the past 30 days, have you personally taken ethics into consideration in your decision-making?
- If you see something unethical can you talk about it publicly?
Always remember: ethics rocks.
A former tax lawyer and barrister, Emmanuel Lulin set up the Office of the Group Chief Ethics Officer at L’Oreal in 2007. The company has won several international ethics awards and has an annual ethics day where it encourages 80,000 employees worldwide to raise ethical issues via a webchat with CEO Jean-Paul Agon.
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