Another in my belated series of summaries of the GO Society conference in Toronto, Ontario.
There was a special plenary-style session on “Ethics and RO” after dinner Tuesday night. It was an interesting discussion, partly because there were definitely different value sets in the audience. If it got recorded, I doubt that it would be useful: there was a lot of noise and the sound would be poor.
Still, a document of concerns or questions came out of it. Check the GO Society website for it. The conversation was interesting surrounding it.
I also went to the session on ethical issues led by John Bryan. Although we all prepared an ethical dilemma to be worked, we got so involved in the first one, from David Boals, that we didn’t get to any others. Boals raised an issue from back when Career Path Appreciations were newish.
A hospital system contacted him to do CPAs on their personnel so that they could do the RO warroom (described in Jaques & Clement’s Executive Leadership) and track their personnel. He felt that it was a dilemma in that on the one hand, he wanted to learn more and practice CPAs and earn money. On the other hand, he felt that providing managers with this information without providing it to the personnel themselves.
It was a robust discussion. I think especially so since I think that not everyone would have seen this as a problem, yet they were still willing and interested in addressing it from Boal’s point of view. I found the discussion extremely profitable for my own (albeit non-RO) consulting with clients. Check the GO Society website for the feed when it comes up. You’ll want to take a look at it (as long as the sound came through).
One last point: I never actually contributed my ethical problem that night. It seemed kind of pretentious. But here it is; perhaps you have some thoughts.
Is it ethical to implement a system that is so fragile that it will not survive a change in management? Is it ethical to show people a fair way of living when it can’t survive normal wear and tear?