Editor's Note: CIOs Have Lead Role In An Ethical Ecosystem - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Business & Finance
Commentary
8/9/2002
05:28 PM
Stephanie Stahl
Stephanie Stahl
Commentary
50%
50%

Editor's Note: CIOs Have Lead Role In An Ethical Ecosystem

Great products. Low prices. Brand loyalty. Customer service. Strong leadership. Knowledge. Strong code of ethics. Which of these give your company the biggest competitive advantage? Which do you look for in the companies you do business with, as a consumer or a business partner?

Chances are that ethics aren't at the top of the list, even if your personal beliefs about the topic are strong. I'm not suggesting that there aren't companies whose names are already strongly associated with long-standing commitments to ethics. But by and large, it's not a place where companies seek competitive advantage.

Dov Seidman would like to change that. Admittedly, he has a vested interest. He's the CEO of LRN, which sells Web-based tools and services for legal compliance and ethical-awareness training to some of the largest companies in America. But he's very passionate about the impact technology and business-technology managers can have in avoiding an ethical crisis. "I deeply believe that CIOs have a central and leadership role to play," he says.

That's a topic that's spurred a lot of letters from readers over the past few weeks. Some believe that suggesting that a CIO can or should help prevent accounting or other scandals puts them in a policing role that they aren't equipped to handle. Others, however, believe they can--and should--help foster a set of core values that create an ethical culture and implement technologies that can help make it happen.

While technology has created a significant amount of visibility into business doings, ultimately, the transparency has to go far beyond the numbers, Seidman says. Yeah, it's good to have the CEO and CFO sign off on the financial results, and it's good that some companies are divulging more financial data and going to greater lengths to ensure accuracy. But it's important to open the books on how you hire, whom you compete with, who your leaders are, and more.

Skip hanging the codes-of-conduct posters around the company. Instead, infuse it through online courses on conflict of interest, antitrust, E-mail etiquette, etc. Then measure it and perform a gap analysis between spoken values and actual practices, Seidman says. At the very least, this could help create a work environment where ethical lapses are much less likely to happen. But it could also help create standards for building an ethically aware ecosystem. Who could argue with that?

Stephanie Stahl
Editor
sstahl@cmp.com

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of the Cloud Report
As the use of public cloud becomes a given, IT leaders must navigate the transition and advocate for management tools or architectures that allow them to realize the benefits they seek. Download this report to explore the issues and how to best leverage the cloud moving forward.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll