David Rodin, Ethics is Now a Defining Aspect of Business

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CSR. ESG. Purpose. Code of Conduct. There’s an endless succession of acronyms and phrases that companies use to describe what a moral philosopher would call “ethics.” Or, put simply: how individuals and organizations can do right by others. David Rodin is the Founder and Chair of Principia Advisory and is one of the world’s foremost experts on ethics and organizational culture. For years, David says, his clients mostly sought guidance during an acute crisis or when something went wrong inside their company. But recently, companies are proactively seeking the same guidance, realizing that ethics are fundamental to their business, brand promise, and market position. David joins the podcast to discuss why ethics can be a competitive advantage and risk mitigator that informs and underlies business decisions. He also explains why companies are increasingly looking to be part of the solution to a range of societal issues, and why this “generational shift” towards ethics will be a defining aspect of business for decades to come.

Listen to this episode to learn:

  • The difference between utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics — and the three key ethical questions every organization should be asking themselves
  • Why, in order to drive ethical change and to build ethical capacity, you need to look at the organization as an organic whole (i.e., look at its “software and hardware”)
  • How the war in Ukraine has sparked a fundamental shift in how businesses operate on an ethical level
  • Why the language companies use around purpose and values is less important than their orientation around and commitment to ethical values
  • Why global organizations need to consider regional differences and define their ethical red lines
  • How do we retain the best parts of globalization, but at the same time make it more ethical and values-infused?