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Diverse Ethics - Atul Shah - Wisdom Blog

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Over the last few months, there have been a spate of news about Executive pay and bonuses, their greed and behaviour, and a huge national outcry about the leadership that we have in the Corporate Boardroom. Politicians and looking for solutions to curb the excesses, but often find that they have few choices, or are scared by the huge power of these Corporations and their Executives. They are constantly calling for greater diversity in the Boardroom, and by diversity they really do mean difference rather than similarity.

How do we in reality speak truth to power?

These are the choices we have a society:

1. Legislation - the Law is a powerful instrument and can force changes in behaviour, but it take a long time to bring in new legislation, and powerful people are often clever at finding loopholes or hiring professionals who can advise them to do so.

2. Revolution - The Occupy movement which has gone global is a kind of rebellion against the Status Quo. It has raised the profile of these concerns, and this is hugely important.

3. Creativity - We can use creative media like films and plays to show how such greed is not only ruining society, but themselves as individuals too. It is only giving Executives temporary fulfilment, and at the same time dividing them from society.

4. Role Models - We need leaders who are different and willing to shout about their difference e.g. leaders who have taken pay cuts in the recession or Executives who have refused to cut the wages of their staff. Peer pressure can help to change behaviour and embarass Executives into fairness and equity.

5. Media - Naming and shaming are powerful tools, and they are already being applied to some extent by the media as bonuses and pay packets are public information.

6. People Shift - Completely changing the people at the top of our organisations can also lead to dramatic shifts in behaviour, but it is more like a revolution than a step change.

Change is urgently needed, and leaders need to change their ways and means. The planet is crying for it.

Article added on 24th January 2012 at 9:24am