Posted by: nuleadership | August 23, 2014

Better Decision Making for a Better Life

criticism1

Have you ever wondered why some people continue to make bad decisions? You see million-dollar celebrities doing it. You can see this action in government officials and business leaders. There are no discriminators. From the very rich to the poorest of the poor, we see people caught in a vicious cycle of bad decision making. Sadly, we see it much closer than that. We witness relatives making those bad decisions. Despite all the wise counsel, the poor decisions continue.

 Why is it important to teach people how to make better decisions? Anthony Robbins, author of Awakening the Giant Within, attributes good decision-making as a key attribute to a happy life. Bestselling author Brian Tracy argues, “The further you think into the future, the better decisions you will make in the present to assure that future becomes a reality.” Making better decisions improves the quality of one’s life.

 

As a young advisor and college professor, I constantly hear students proclaim, “I’m grown.” This statement implies I don’t have to listen to anyone. I know best. Therefore, I can make my own decisions. Through series after series of bad decisions, the youth continues on merry ride of worsening consequences. Two things generally can stop this dead-end trap.

One lies in becoming more mature with age, and the other is experience. In going through a series of bad decisions, a wise person gains insight on the consequences of a bad decision. Every person, regardless of their background or social standing, can benefit from good decision-making techniques. Here are some methods to use: (a) define the problem or issues, (b) conduct research on the matter, (c) discuss with respected individuals with similar circumstances, (d) consider at least two alternatives, (e) select best decisions, based on your value system, and (f) move on and accept any consequences.

Making the right decision is a difficult process. No one will usually applaud your many good decisions; however, you will probably catch heat over the bad ones. Les Brown, author of How to Become the Person You Always Wanted to Be-No Matter What the Obstacle, explains, “Your values are not set by government or church leaders. Your values give you consistency in the way you approach life…By holding to your beliefs, you can always stay on track toward your dreams.”  By making better decisions, individuals can look forward to a better quality of live.

 

© 2014 by Daryl D. Green

 

Posted by: nuleadership | June 2, 2014

2014 College Grads & Beyond: Revising Your Job Strategy

unemployment-line-2011

Many parents will celebrate their child’s graduation from college this year.  However, most parents are concerned that their children will not have a better life than they did.  According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the U.S. ranked fourth worst among 29 developed countries for children obtaining a higher level of education than their parents.  In fact, only 22% of those 24 to 34 years old achieved a higher level of education than their parents in the United States compared to an OECD average of 37%.

For many former college graduates, unemployment and underemployment continue to be a curse on their dreams and aspirations.  Yet, this pressing problem has impacted many segments of our society and way of life.  For example, adult children are returning home to their parents at record numbers. Sadly, overly-protective parents may stunt the maturation of their college graduates by destroying their independence as they return home.

These miscues in understanding the financial climate and the hiring process of employers could jeopardize their future.  This article examines the current economic crisis and how recent college graduates and parents can better position themselves for more employment opportunities.

According to several polls, including Harris and Career Builders’ polls, employers expect to hire more college graduates based on feedback from more than 2,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals from various industries.  In fact, 57% of employers plan to hire new college graduates which are up from last year (53%).   Businesses and other organizations intend to hire graduates in percentages from these majors:  computer/information (28%), engineering (18%), math/statistics (14%), health/clinical services (14%), communications technology (12%), engineering technologies (11%), liberal areas (10%), education (7%), science technologies (7%), and communications/journalism (7%).

Consequently, in society, getting hired can be shown as the important effect on the demand for any particular college major.   If there is no demand or interest for college major, students will have a difficult time in finding gainful employment.

Despite this positive prospect, many employers feel that most college graduates are not prepared for the workforce.  According to a recent study, 24% of employers do not feel that recent graduates are prepared for positions in their companies.  Sadly, employers do not have the time and patience to groom prospective graduates who are talented but lack experience or preparation for the workforce.  Companies want prospective employees who are ready to work.

Peter Cappelli, author of Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs, explains that employers have shifted their expectations for prospective employees: “Employers do not have time to develop the new skills they need internally when dramatic changes in products and strategies happen so quickly.”  Regardless of where you stand on today’s college students, it is clear that some intervention is necessary if they are to be successful in this environment.  The following job strategies are offered to better assist this segment of the population:

  • Evaluate your current online appearance so that your image makes a positive impression.
  • Get an independent assessment on your resume and job strategies.
  • Develop a personal brand that will create an image of indispensability and uniqueness.
  • Showcase your expertise on a variety of levels (blogs, media expert, etc.).
  • Champion a significant cause in a nonprofit organization such as United Way.
  • Consider volunteering in areas where you can build or enhance your expertise.
  • Extend your network globally with social media platforms such as Linkedin.com.
  • Obtain special training or certifications to become more competitive.

With the ever increasing competition for limited job opportunities, college grads must understand today’s hiring process. Additionally, parents can assist their recent grad by providing other non-traditional strategies for obtaining full employment.  This article demonstrates the need for careful and deliberate job strategies in today’s competitive environment for employability.

Individuals can help themselves by becoming knowledgeable in all aspects of the employment process.  The road may not be easy, but dedicated planning will pay off for recent college grads and their parents to find successful employment in the future.

© 2014 by Daryl D. Green

 

 

[1] “U.S. students struggle to top their parents” by Leslie Kwoh

[2] Talent on Demand by Peter Cappelli

Posted by: nuleadership | April 14, 2014

Disruptive Technology in Today’s Business

outsourcing-multiple-pics

In life, sometimes it is the simple things that count, despite modern technology. In the next few months, I will be able to see 3-4 of my books published. Traditionally, it takes most large publishing houses 12-18 months before their books are published. As an independent publisher, I learned that the speed of products to the market place is a good way to beat a large competitor.

In fact, my success relates to a simple website called Elance.com, a freelance website that allow customers to solicit work from a variety of outsourcing services, which include programmers, designers, office support, translators, marketers, researchers and many other disciplines.

Elance.com allows a business to post a job opening and invites freelance workers who believe they have the requisite skills for the job to make a bid. The company charges a $10 fee to each business to post a job and also takes a small portion of what gets paid to contractors. Through this website, I have found some of the most talented individuals from across the world. For these services, it is a buyer’s market. Some people would argue that it is all about buying cheap labor for profitability.

In this scenario, developed countries appear to be exploiting underdeveloped countries. This is not always true. I have paid more in the past for the best talent. With that said, potential employers see a website that attracts over 500,000 talented freelancers. For the freelancer, there is an opportunity to bid on 48,000 jobs, worth $480K.[1] Therefore, a differentiating strategy can defeat a low-cost strategy on a global playing field.

Technology must be a management tool that is used strategically. Clayton Christensen, author of The Innovator’s Dilemma, provides a framework for understanding the interrelationship between technology changes and a business success. Christensen demonstrates how successful companies have been overtaken by small disruptive technologies.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGzXWO_anLI

The cell phone, undermining the profitability of the established communication networks such as AT&T, further showcases the impacts of disruptive technology. Sadly, more executives are unwilling to think strategically due to the wrath of their investors and financial pundits.

For example, Amazon’s revenue grew in 2012, but the details were lacking. Amazon.com’s revenue rose to 17.4 billion (35% increase) in the fourth quarter. However, it fell short of Wall Street predictions. According to VentureBeat, Amazon sold as many as 6 million Kindle Fires and its older tablet prototype.

Given this reality, the Fire would move ahead of Android tablets from Samsung and Motorola, making it only second to Apple’s iPad. Analysts were concerned that the $199 Fire would not make a profit. Additionally, Amazon.com is spending capital on clouding technology.

Maximizing profits on Fire as an industry leading tablet is a near-term strategy. However, CEO Jeff Bezos appears to have disappointed Wall Street with a long-term perspective instead of sacrificing shareholders with profits in the near term.

Innovators take note of disruptive change as positive turbulence in the market. John Gamble and Arthur Thompson, authors of Essentials of Strategic Management, explain, “Understanding the nature of competitively important resources allows managers to identify resources or capabilities that should be further developed to play an important role in the company’s future strategies.” Therefore, organizations which do not understand the importance of making sustainable growth by being more efficient will not be successful over the long-term.

Please discuss application of this topic in your organization and industry.

© 2014 by Daryl D. Green

 

[1] Elance.com

Posted by: nuleadership | April 7, 2014

Scientific Management in Organizations

human-vs-robot-09

Scientific management has many advantages for today’s organizations, including a systematic approach. Fredrick Taylor is credited with being the Father of Scientific Management. He transformed the Industrial Revolution. In fact, this approach brought a lot of productivity. However, the difficulty with Scientific Management is that it requires sales managers to select employees that fit the job and train them effectively. Additionally, it increases the monotony of work. This reality could cause some salespeople to be uninspired in their jobs. 

Whereas the Scientific Management approach was a focus on tasks, the Behavioral Management approach was a focus on people. Historically, Fredrick Taylor didn’t disregard the importance of workers. In fact, the study of behavioral science and organizational behavior resulted from a criticism of the human relations approach as ‘simplistic’ and ‘manipulative’ in addressing the relationship between worker attitudes and productivity. Therefore, each management approach has its weakness.

Yet, Scientific Management has a lot of drawbacks if you want to build personal relationships with people. One of the sticky points about Scientific Management is its impersonal approach to managing people. People are a resource, but not machines. There are several other issues associated with this classical approach of managing workers, which include: (a) heavy reliance on experience and unproved assumptions, (c) failure to consider informal operations, and (d) operations assumed under static conditions. 

There are no magical bullets when you are dealing with employees as human beings. The Scientific Management approach was built on the shoulders of the Industrial Revolution. Behavioral Management followed suit later. Both approaches have their shortcomings. I suggest taking the best from both worlds. Some aspects of Scientific Management can be used to further develop and standardize an organization’s operations. Employees then understand what’s expected of them. 

With the Behavioral Management approach, sales managers can push performance by understanding what motivates each employee intimately. Quality expert George Peeler argues that the task of personalizing and communicating product value through interactive discussion is the task of the sales organization. Therefore, the best scenario would be to use all of the best management practices, including Scientific Management and Behavioral Management, for enhanced relationship customer relationships.

  Organizations may look to a Theory Y environment for creating the right manager’s mentality that builds trust in people to do the right things. When managers demonstrate they believe in their people and set clear expectations, most individuals will work harder. Management expert Stephen Covey explains that having trust fosters confidence. Salespeople are then motivated to go the extra mile for the organization (i.e. work longer hours, work harder, etc.). Therefore, Scientific Management has its own share of problems when discussing relationship selling.

Please discuss application of this topic in your organization and industry.

 

© 2014 by Daryl D. Green

Posted by: nuleadership | March 31, 2014

Living With Criticism

talent-management-photo

No one wants to be criticized. Dr. William Watley, Senior Pastor of the St. Phillip African Methodist Episcopal Church observed, “Criticism’s certainly something that you can’t be delivered from…From the womb to the tomb, you can’t escape it.”

Criticism can be defined as ‘the expression of disapproval of someone or something based on perceived faults or mistakes.’ No one can avoid criticism if they are active in an organization or serve in a leader’s capacity.

Yet, individuals can also be criticized because of lack of action. Dr. Watley argues that criticism is all that some people know how to do, which indicates to him that ”these people need to get a life.” Perhaps, actress Ava Gardner summed it up best about critics: “Hell, I suppose if you stick around long enough, they have to say something nice about you.” 

On the contrary, a Constructive Critic points out things that will assist in the personal or professional development of a person. A Petty Fault Finder can always locate some short coming in an individual that is not helpful and a fault that he or she does not have a problem with.

In fact, no matter how hard you attempt to correct a problem noted by a Petty Fault Finder, he or she will not be satisfied; a Petty Fault Finder will seek to only locate another problem in this individual’s life.

Great leaders know how to use criticism in a way that can transform an organization. Most people are unwilling to change even when it is out of necessity or survival. Richard Daft, renowned author of Management, notes that change can be problematic for organizational growth.

Employees and managers often resist change. Dr. Daft explains, “Yet most changes will encounter some degree of resistance. Idea champions often discover that other employees are unenthusiastic about their new ideas….People typically resist a change they believe conflicts with their self-interest.”[1] Most managers understand how to control and oversee their organizations.

Few managers have the innate ability to inspire their employees from mediocre to extraordinary performance. That position description requires a leader, not a status quo manager. All great leaders, from President George Washington to Albert Einstein, had their own share of criticism and a merry band of Petty Fault Finders.

Sadly, some individuals never are effective in their positions because they can never seem to manage because of fear of negative criticism. Gareth Jones and Jennifer George, authors of Contemporary Management, explained how bad leadership damages an organization: “When leaders are ineffective, chances are good that their subordinates do not perform to their capabilities, are demotivated, and may be dissatisfied as well.”[2] Consequently, it is important that leaders develop strategies for managing criticism effectively in order to move their organizations to exemplary performance. 

Please discuss criticism from your professional experience.

 © 2014 by Daryl D. Green

 

 

[1]Management by Richard Daft

[2] Contemporary Management by Gareth Jones and Jennifer George

 

Posted by: nuleadership | March 17, 2014

Performance Measures in Today’s Businesses

blind-leadership

Finding the right performance measure in today’s organizations is like trying to determine for each swimmer the right temperature of the water to swim in the Gulf of Mexico (a great place to vacation).  There are many variables to consider. Certainly, the amount of revenue produced for each customer would speak to the bottom-line of most organizations.  In relationship selling, you have the personality factor.

In fact, Mark Johnston and Greg Marshall, authors of Relationship Selling, maintain that customers pick up on a salesperson’s attitude. Does good chemistry exist between the salesperson and the customer? That’s an important performance measure. When developing performance measurement with relationship selling in mind, good chemistry between the salesperson and customer should be a factor.

The amount of customer referrals can be an extremely good indicator, because this friendly act speaks to the issues of customer trust.  Quality expert George Peeler argues that the key to designing and using systems that will build the traditional product source relationship in the Quality Era will be the creativity and commitment of management and customer insight provided through empathy.  Successful organizations understand the attitudes and emotions of their customers. Therefore, connecting with customers would be a vital performance metric.

In being effective, businesses need to understand what to measure.  Many times, organizations are measuring the wrong objectives or doing the analysis incorrectly. Johnston and Marshall argue for designing an effective measurement system which includes (a) what do we want to measure, (b) when do we want to measure, and (c) how do we measure. Therefore, it’s important that organizations create effective performance measures.

Yet, performance measures are very difficult.  Management expert Stacey views performance measures as a process rather than an event, involving a series of specific activities for creating, implementing, and using performance metrics. Organization must be careful about using the right data collection tool to measure performance. For example, most people hate doing surveys.

Given this reality, organizations must carefully analyze the survey data for bias. Are they truly getting a picture of their customers?  I found focus groups more useful. Peeler further explains that management must facilitate the processes of quality innovation through prompt action, removing barriers to employee performance by continually attending to process improvement. Regardless, management must establish a reliable performance measurement system for organizations. The bottom-line is that there is inherent risk with customer surveys.

Finally, businesses should be strategic and focused in their performance measures. If an organization wants to spin its wheel and go nowhere, having unclear direction is a great pathway.  It’s important to have clear objectives and desired outcomes.  The transformation process from where an organization is to where an organization wants to be is a clear application for performance measures.

Johnston and Marshall argue that specific, realistic, and measurable objectives are essential to a sales training program. They further acknowledge that salespeople exist in a highly competitive environment where a great deal of information must be assimilated for effective customer sales.

Please discuss organizational performance measure from your professional experience.

© 2014 by Daryl D. Green

Posted by: nuleadership | March 10, 2014

Value Perceptions Among Customers

women_holding_money_face_2

Organizations should think strategically when creating value perceptions of their products or services.  In fact, they should seek to establish a formal tiered system where possible. Strategic leaders have a long view on value creation.

Strategic thinking is defined as ‘the generation and application of business insights on a continual basis to achieve competitive advantage.’ In fact, strategic thinking focuses on value creation by enabling a provocative and creative dialogue among people who can affect a company’s direction.

Marketing expert Ken Favaro maintains that putting value creation first gives businesses two advantages over their competition in driving for profitable and sustainable growth: the first is capital and the second is talent. In fact, he argued that successful value creators never suffer from capital shortage. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjHVJgdGXyw

Yet, this process shouldn’t be done in a vacuum. Customers and all members of the supply chain should provide input so that the expectations are clear. Businesses that pay more would get more benefits (i.e. certain perks, discounts, etc.). Therefore, the value proposition would be enhanced.

However, being strategically conscious about these business relationships isn’t simple.  Value must be understood and sought out.  Value is viewed as the perceived experience and worth gained from a product or service.  Organizations should make their product clear to customers; some businesses need to introduce a tiered system, based on value-added services.

For example, if I want cheap fast food, I go to McDonalds. Therefore, my expectations are lower than going to a five star restaurant.  Customers are very understanding when the seller’s value proposition is clear. Favaro further suggests that putting value creation consistently first requires leadership skills, discipline, and perseverance. He further challenged organizations to demand higher standards from managers who would jeopardize these business relationships.

Mark Johnston and Greg Marshall, authors of Relationship Selling, discuss that perceived value is in the eyes of the customer and varies.  They further argued that customers expect and deserve consistency in the way an organization’s value-added message is put forth.  Therefore, sales professionals’ biggest challenge is selling value.

Please discuss value perception of customers from your professional experience.

© 2014 by Daryl D. Green

 

Posted by: nuleadership | March 3, 2014

Time Management for Professionals

global-sourcing-man-strategy

As I teach working adults at the university level, the biggest complaint is the lack of time to fulfill academic requirements.  Of course, many working professionals must juggle their jobs, family obligations, and other priorities. It’s very difficult to be successful with these priorities. However, being successful is possible. 

Everyone can benefit from good time management.  Let’s examine professionals in the retail business. Professionals who interact with customers must be good stewards of their time.  Yet, most people have so much trouble with time management due to conflicting priorities in their lives in a busy society.

For salespeople, life can be pretty demanding; attempting to connect with customers often means taking away from one’s personal life. Understanding how to navigate one’s time is essential in managing our priorities. 

Salespeople are no exception. Mark Johnston and Greg Marshall, authors of Relationship Selling, maintain that the ability to manage time and territory is essential for salespersons for three reasons: (a) increase productivity, (b) improve customer relationships, and (c) enhance personal confidence.  Therefore, good time management assists salespeople and other business professionals in mapping out their priority obligations. 

Successful people distinguish the trivial from the important.  This reality is true in sales, as well as other industries. In my technical field, I see many people operating in crisis mode because they are engulfed in trivial matters. Working only on trivial matters is unproductive when an individual is ignoring the important things. Time management speaks to what is really important to you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XUmPKxDXfg

Stephen Covey, author of Seven Habits for Highly Effective People, argued that highly successful people know how to manage their time (aka ‘Put first things first’).  He notes, “Effective management is all about putting first things first. While leadership decides what the ‘first things’ are, it is management that puts them first, day by day, moment by moment.

Management is the discipline carrying it out. The successful person has the habit of doing the things failures don’t like to do.”  Therefore, distinguishing the important from the trivial is part of good time management.

Developing effective time management skills is not a simple or short process. When a salesperson is young and single, he or she has different priorities. The individual may be willing to make huge concessions, such as long hours, to move ahead or make additional income.

Yet, the individual may transition into a different stage, where he is married and has children.  This reality can shift his priorities. Some people balance this strategically. Therefore, different life stages can impact an individual’s time management. 

Discuss your professional experience on this topic. 

© 2014 by Daryl D. Green

Posted by: nuleadership | February 24, 2014

The Nature of Effective Problem Solving

Whiteboard--business man-strategic-planning-on-the-whiteboard

Our youth program continues to grow at my church.  Of course, it is a simple formula as our church is one of the biggest in the area.  Church going parents make it mandatory for their children to attend church and participate in church services.  However, when the children graduate from high school and became young adults, their attendance becomes very low or non-existent. 

At that time, Velma Biddles was the youth leader and fairly new to the position.  She and her youth advisors have seen the shift of young people’s attitude.  If churches want to be effective with youth, they must change their underpinning message of: “Children are to be seen and not heard.”  Our youth advisors started to deal with the root causes of matters concerning our youth. Sadly, many businesses are spending millions on symptoms. What about you? 

Good problem solving can be an asset in an organization.  Some organizations find themselves solving the wrong problems and getting less than desired results.  Other managers assume that good technical staff members are naturally good problem solvers.  However, this observation is not necessarily true.  Effective problem solvers often have an intuitive skill set or enough training in problem solving for finding the right problems and making the best decisions.  

 John Gamble and Arthur Thompson, authors of Essentials of Strategic Management, outline the importance of filling key managerial slots with people who are good at figuring out what needs to be done and possess skills in effective implementation and in producing desired results.  They note, “No company can hope to perform the activities required for successful strategy execution without attracting and retaining talented managers and employees with suitable skills and intellectual capital.”  A problem can be defined as ‘an obstacle that stands in the way of achieving a desired goal.’ In fact, problems are divergences from the preferred outcomes.  

The basic problem solving stages include: (a) Identify the problem, (b) Gather information, (c) Clarify the problem, (d) Consider possible solutions, (e) Select the best option, and (f) Make a decision and monitor the solution. High performing organizations move beyond superficial problem solving in order to get to the root causes.  Good businesses realize that uncovering the real problems can be beneficial in many ways, such as reduced risks, cost savings, and greater efficiencies.  

Jeff Butterfield, author of Problem Solving and Decision Making, argues about the benefits of talented problem solvers: “People who can identify, define, and solve problems are valued members of an organization.” 

 

Like our youth advisors recognizing the problem and adapting appropriate solutions, today’s managers must be willing to move beyond their own bias to discover the real causes of problems.  Too many managers seek to major in the minors.  High performing organizations cannot afford to let this happen. 

In general, effective problem solving can be a great competitive advantage for organizations.  Formulating better decision making happens with more effective problem solving.  Businesses with talented problem solvers will have a greater capacity for sustainable success. 

Discuss your professional experience with problem solving in your industry or organization.

© 2014 by Daryl D. Green

Posted by: nuleadership | February 17, 2014

A Pastoral Perspective on Ethics

church

Introduction

The purpose of this dialogue involves discussing the concept of Ethics from a moderate-induced pastoral perception.  Ethics per se, as a universal model, involves or requires the decision-making acuities of any rational corporeal agent who intends to initiate or maintain a common, communal, and cultural balance among individuals.  

As such, Ethics may be simplified by considering that the concept Ethics is a universal representative model that includes all the possible values, desires, and intents of human society.  These components serve to form the ingredients that are molded and shaped to create a sort of utilitarian ideal.   

This systematic decision-making process is then drawn to provide the ideal concept for what is to be considered as responsible and acceptable behavior.  Because the ideal model is grounded in the dynamic and continual activity of harmonizing shared or ecumenical values against communal intents and desired objectives, Ethics then becomes both a suitable and most reasonable strategy for any extant structure that would be devoid of a practical methodology that assists in sustaining prolonging and strengthening the human-inhabited community.  Very succinctly stated, Ethics, then, is the monitoring, sustaining, and prolonging of values and life using an acceptable set of agreeable contexts to avoid chaos at all costs. 

Ethics from the Common Pastoral Perspective 

From the common perspective, it is apparent that many individuals inhabit this cosmological domain we call society.  We indeed, have or are sharing the commonness of possessing uniquely distinguishable attributes.  Where this is not the case, then human behavioral characteristics would not be universally recognizable as uniquely separate and the simple adjective, individual and its supplementary cognates, would have no referenced or understandable meanings.   

Despite the broad-spectrum of agreement that reflects the general idea that most individuals exhibit a tendency of being extraordinarily  intelligent and competent to communicate and placate reasonable common practices on their own, unfortunately most of their efforts only result in creating or contributing to an undesired chaos.

 Therefore, one of the most ultimate objectives of the ethereal community or spiritual structures, the church, is to assist in ensuring that the state of balance, growth, and maintenance is continued within this physical society to assure a continued existence and promulgation of the human species.   

Unique differences do exist.  External negative factors  and the disproportionate presence of human values, illuminates the church, per se, as endeavoring to moderate the corpus of divergent human values and objectives with an intended hope of extending and bettering human society.  Hence, the pastoral ministry becomes the church’s primary ordering instrument and may be considered as a useful and constructive vocation.   

The church or ecclesiastical institution is but one agency among other ethical institutions such as business and commerce, court judicial systems, financial management corporations, and even merchandisers that exist.  While each is uniquely different, all have similar aspirations and purposeful intentions aimed at maintaining, building, and cultivating, a useful and practical universal arrangement that both molds and shapes the common society of all.  Merely addressing this common perspective regarding Ethics is not enough; the cultural perspective of Ethics too, must be addressed.

 

Ethics from a Cultural Balance Perspective 

Having considered the vastness of the anthropological species, it is apparent that the present earth has a landscape that is draped and cluttered with many disagreeing ethnic groups, opposing religious beliefs and ecologically-damaging vocational occupations.  Here, the sociological investigator or those who consider the boundaries of Ethics are met with impending difficulties in prescribing and designing an ethical system that truly benefits all and agitates none.  This sort of scenario offers an opportunity to introduce the utilitarian model of Ethics in a cultural perspective.   

Harsanyi (1986) states, “The fundamental assumption of utilitarian  theory is that we ought to choose our  moral standards by rational criteria…that we ought to choose the moral standards of the highest expected social utility” (Harsanyi, 1986, p 1).  While the previous statement of Harsanyi (1986) does indeed, suggest an idealistic prescriptive remedy for what one should do in the instance of possessing an innate sense of “oughtness”, one quickly realizes that such a solution is not readily practical or socially accommodating  because of the many differing cultural variances that do exist.   

Again, in employing the “oughtness” concept, additional accumulative difficulties tend to surface; language barriers, societal customs, and religious beliefs, are often the most prevalent conflicts when considering utilitarianism.  Despite this state of disunity, communication  becomes an indispensable component regarding helping to balance the great cultural divide.  Queries like “Whose global government is the most appropriate for all people?”  “What political persuasion truly benefits everyone?” and “Whose academic description of Ethics is most readily to be believed?”   

Societies have yet arrived at a most adoptable solution and the continual presence and practice of effective communication skills has helped leaders to sustain an operable state despite the world’s multi-faceted assortment of values, ideas, and objectives. 

Ethics from a Communal Perspective 

Imaginatively, there is an illustrative philosophical axiom that relates to the idea that if the physical world has sufficient amenities to sustain an individual people, then it must certainly also possess the capacity to sustain a corpus that contains every person.  Revisiting the three components that are useful in maintaining an equitable balance of values against the intended objectives of all humanity, a simple and practical solution is to begin to view the world’s populace as a single immense community.   

Although varying, culturally, and ethnically different, these observed differences truly make life an ongoing enterprise.  Irrational creatures, being much more numerous and less adept in the skills of intelligence and transforming abilities, do exist in harmony.  Humans, too, can co-exist peacefully if they would exercise their skills regarding communication.  Many instances of miscommunication have ignited wars, isolated cultures, and decimated whole societies.   

Sensibly, if the balance of human society is to continue, then more effective ways of ethical communication must be employed to retain the delicate arrangement of human society.  Two inquiries to consider are; “What becomes of a society that lacks a set of Ethics to enhance its development?” and “What benefit does a set of ethical axioms do when an intelligent species has annihilated itself do to the lack of communication?”  This scenario depicts that practical Ethics is not only possible but a necessity. 

Please provide your personal or professional insight on the subject discussed.

(c) 2014 by Bruce Martin

About the Guest Blogger

bruce

Rev. Bruce Martin is a native of Knoxville, Tennessee and is a licensed and ordained minister of 35 years.  He is a now-retired mechanical designer from the Tennessee Valley Authority.  Rev. Martin attended the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia as a Civil Engineering major in 1974.  He presently holds a Bachelors Degree in Systematic Theology from the American Baptist College in Nashville, Tennessee and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from the Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona.  

He also completed graduate studies in Divinity at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.  Presently, Rev. Martin is a 3rd year doctoral candidate in Education at the Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona.  Rev. Martin was formerly the Senior Pastor of the Oakland Baptist Church in Louisville.  While residing there, he taught New Testament Theology at Simmons College.

Reference

Harsanyi, J. C. (1986). Individual utilities and utilitarian ethics (pp. 1-12).  Physica-Verlag HD.

Older Posts »

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 113 other followers