In these times of heightened awareness of impropriety in financial dealings, with actual or potential consequences on brand, image, reputation, and entailing possible economic detriment, it is imperative to be cognizant of the moral, ethical hazards, legal implications and business opportunity costs from failures in following established rules and proper practices. It is critical to act proactively and diligently to prevent ethical failures, and where infractions arise to deal with these most professionally and efficiently, deploying all the possible communication in crisis management capabilities, and mitigation or damage limitation skills.
A model is proposed by the author, as follows:
REACTIVELY: Acknowledge the actual or potential problem(s)/issue(s) of concern. Assemble carefully all the relevant facts and information.
Appraise/evaluate the given situation(s), and identify the most ominous threats/risks and get a measure of their actual or likely impacts. Arrive at a conclusion and ascertain what possible options exist to act differently, so as to avoid the wrongful courses of actions and their consequences, as delineated or evident; and seek and implement decisive, effective and timely remedies, determining the needed resources (human, technical and financial), in addition to the appropriate procedures, processes, the implementation strategies, conformance or compliance structures and mechanisms.
PROACTIVELY (1): Bridge the discrepancies between values, norms, mores and behaviour at all times. Bolster pre-existing ethicising plans and programmes; build on these as necessary and as befits the circumantances and contexts. Bring in the best benchmarked practices iteratively. Borderlessly apply/integrate/mainstream ethics globally
PROACTIVELY (2): Communicate the positive vision, values, ethical guidelines and expectations. Collaborate on a team-wide, intra-organisational and extra-organisational /broader stakeholder/multi-perspective bases.Conspicuously position the organisation’s ethical principles, practices, and action plans and norms of observance. Codify and formalise/ ‘institutionalise’ or embed all intentions/stances and proclamations on ethics, to create a durable/enduring and transparent culture of ethical behaviour. Control and correct deviations, and above all maintain exemplary governance.