When we were at Boeing, we had to endure 8 hours of Ethics Training.
So, what the heck is Ethics anyhow?
First you have to define “Ethics”.
What is it?
Who has it?
Who doesn’t have it?
Does anyone care?
Ethics is somewhat elusive.
You may say someone else has no ethics. Or they have bad ethics. Then we assume that we have good ethics, and the other person needs help.
If you tell someone else that they have bad ethics, before they say YOU have bad ethics, then you win.
In order to have good ethics, we decided that we needed ethics training. If we had ETHICS TRAINING, then we could assume that we had good ethics. So, everyone had to attend ethics training. Some tried to cheat by going to the bathroom, but that did not work.
Most of the training consisted of listening to stuff that was written by the Ethics Committee. I’m not sure who that was, or if THEY had good ethics. But someone had to write it up, maybe it is available online.
We all initially assumed that our ethics was (were?) just perfect. We also assumed that our ethics improved after the ethics training was completed.
After the 8 hour presentation, which was actually quite good, we all felt relieved.
There was a 15 minute question and answer session. Some in the audience asked very very poignant questions. It is a good idea to have a short Q&A session, because it is embarrassing to the presenters.
We all got a key holder that had the word “ETHICS TRAINING” on it.
At the end, we were all required to sign off our name from the list, which indicated that we endured. If we did not sign off for some reason, we would DEFINITELY attend the next week. No one escaped ethics training.
So, some of the things we learned:
1. We decided that ethics is not “Conflict of Interest”. That is something else
2. Ethics is not what most people think
3. Ethics is something altogether different than what you think
4. The only thing which made sense were the examples which were presented. Everyone likes a story
5. Some of the examples included asking the audience what would you do in a situation like this…
6. We had groups to address the situations which were presented
So, do I think that our ethics improved because of the Ethics Training?
Was it worth the effort?
Was it a good idea to spend 8 hours doing Ethics Training?
Would I recommend Ethics Training?
Did my ethics improve?
What is it? It depends on the Ethics Training which was presented
Who has it? Everyone does
Who doesn’t have it? Everyone needs improvement
Does anyone care? Yes