Alphabet of Ethics

Ethics – from A to Z

A is for Professor Dan Ariely, whose books Predictably Irrational and The Honest Truth about Dishonesty provide insights into why good people do bad things.

B is for the Barrett Values Centre that provides me with tools for measuring culture based on values.

C is for Culture, that eats strategy for breakfast! Read about it in our new book, Ethical Business Practice and Regulation: A Behavioural and Values-based Approach to Compliance ann Enforcement.

E is for Ethics Ambassadors, an excellent way to embed Codes of Ethical Practice throughout the organisation. Read why in the Effective Practitioner (full title) originally published in the Journal of Business Compliance.

F is for the Fudge Factor, one of Professor Ariely’s wonderful expressions that explains how much someone can cheat, and still feel good about them self. Depends on rationalisation.

G is for Giving Voice to Values, an important skill once you know what is the “right thing to do”.

H is for Honesty, a core ethical value.

I is for Integrity, which according to Albert Camus, “has no need of rules”. I also is for the Institute of Business Ethics, whose publications on a variety of topics are helpful for anyone working in this field. 

J is for Just Culture, which is another way of saying “no blame”, a concept that helps airplanes fly safely, and that needs more application in the area of ethical behaviour – and that doesn’t negate accountability.

L is for Leaders who are fully committed to ethical values and set a strong, positive example, part of our EBP Culture & Leadership Framework which you can find in our latest book.

M is for Making a Difference, the value that motivates many people to dedicate their lives to fighting corruption and creating effective ethical cultures in their organisations.

O is for OECD Anti Corruption Index.

R is for the Richard Barrett Blog.

T is for Trust, which decreases transaction costs and improves results.

U is for UNODC Education for Justice initiative.

V is for UKVA (UK Values Alliance).

W is for Willful Blindness, a widespread enabler of misconduct, ably exposed by Margaret Heffernan in her book of the same name.

Z is for Zero Tolerance for bribery, no ifs, ands or buts!


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In my #AlphabetOfEthics …


The Alphabet of Ethics Card Deck in full

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Let’s build #EthicalBusinessPractice together.