Laura Nash – Harvard Business Review (1981) “Ethics without the Sermon”

Renowned Harvard author Laura Nash displays a strong working knowledge of organisations in her 12 question suggestions for facilitating decision making:

  1. Have you defined the problem accurately? (factual neutrality – experts would not disagree on facts)
  2. How would you define the problem if you stood on the other side of the fence?
  3. How did this situation arise in the first place?
  4. To whom and to what do you give your loyalties as a person and as a member of the organisation? (Decisions with corporate / family / society hats on)
  5. What is your intention in making this decision?
  6. How does this intention compare with the likely results?
  7. Whom could your decision or action injure?
  8. Can you engage the affected parties in a discussion prior to making the decision?
  9. Are you confident your position will be as valid over a long time period as it seems now?
  10. Could you disclose without qualm your decision or action to your boss, CEO, Board, family or society as a whole?
  11. What is the symbolic potential of your action if understood? misunderstood?
  12. Under what conditions would you allow exceptions to your stance?

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