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The Black Hole of Little White Lies

by Art Gillis That was the title of last night's meeting at the Dallas chapter of the Institute of Management Consultants. And what a great job Tim Mazur did. He's the VP of Ethics at Countrywide Financial Corp. His presentation consisted of 29 PowerPoint slides. They were all worthy of careful study. Boiling it down to a few things that I want to keep in mind for myself, I offer this oversimplification to you: • Be guided by the "right thing to do." Sort of the way your mom taugh

by Art Gillis

That was the title of last night's meeting at the Dallas chapter of the Institute of Management Consultants. And what a great job Tim Mazur did. He's the VP of Ethics at Countrywide Financial Corp. His presentation consisted of 29 PowerPoint slides. They were all worthy of careful study. Boiling it down to a few things that I want to keep in mind for myself, I offer this oversimplification to you:

• Be guided by the "right thing to do." Sort of the way your mom taught you. • Business should never make a bad thing right. • There's really one code all the time. Non-profits, corporations, individuals and governments have to abide by the good code. • Personal morals, religion and law don't necessarily establish the basis for (not the same as) ethics. • Ethics is now a popular concern. Companies teach it. Consultants specialize in it. Courts prosecute ethics violations. And the press embarrasses the hell out of violators. • The good news is that awareness is having a positive effect. It's not blind optimism to expect that we won't see another Enron.

It's interesting how timing seems to add more penalty to the bad guys. The former CEO of Radio Shack was never so popular as last night.

There's a new 29-minute jump start to my day now.

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