Episode 3: Issue Spotting and Problem Solving
The third episode of the financial ethics video training series produced by Seven Pillars Institute shows how to use the principle of fiduciary duty to spot ethical issues.
In Episode 1 we learnt financial ethics is a tool to help us become better professionals. Learning to apply ethics in finance helps us issue spot and problem solve, not unlike learning how to pick a good stock (use fundamental analysis), or how to choose a profitable project (use discounted cash flow). Similarly, we need tools to help spot possible ethical issues in finance that may have significant negative repercussions if they are ignored. We need tools to solve ethical problems that arise.
“Some of the most difficult dilemmas of business life occur when individuals become aware of questionable behavior by others or are pressured to engage in it themselves. In a survey of 30 recent Harvard University MBA graduates, many of the young managers reported that they had received “explicit instructions from their middle-manager bosses or felt strong organizational pressures to do things that they believed were sleazy, unethical, or sometimes illegal…The Harvard graduates did not believe that their superiors or their organizations were corrupt. The cause is rather intense pressure to get a job done and to gain approval. Ethical and even legal restraints can get lost when the overriding message is “Just do it!””
“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”