A report out this year indicates that too many boards are dropping the ball when it comes to their own ethical culture. LRN interviewed 26 Ethics & Compliance Officers of large corporations, nearly half of whom reported that their boards had not received education or training on their responsibilities regarding ethics and compliance.
That fact is somewhat confusing when you consider the oft repeated “tone at the top” maxim. Organizations seem to know that leadership plays a role in their ethical culture, but the board appears to be a blindspot in their execution of that knowledge. They either exclude the board from “leadership” or they wrongly assume that boards are immune from ethical lapses.
Alliance Executive Director & CEO Dr. Beverly Kracher says,
“When a company scandal hits, we can often trace difficulties and challenges back to its board. That’s why it is important to spend some time designing and maintaining the ethical cultures of governing boards.”
Check out her full article on ethical boards in Omaha Magazine.
So if companies are serious about “tone at the top,” they need to include their board of directors in their E&C initiatives.
We at the Alliance know that can be a daunting task—especially for boards with a limited amount of time and space on their meeting agendas. That’s why we created the Governing Board Ethics Series, a six-part compilation of ethical conversation starters designed to empower board members to speak candidly and confidently about ethics. Visit our Products & Services page to learn more.