Showing a Spirit of Gratitude

Has our society forgotten how to be appreciative?  Many people are too busy running the rat race to say, “Thank you.”  I remember sitting in a Sunday school class of young students during my college experience at Southern University.  One student was saying how ungrateful he had been toward his parents.  I also felt guilty.  My parents bought me my first car while I was in high school; most students did not have cars.  I had envisioned receiving a brand new car.  Well, I did not.

I got an old 1973 Dodge Charger.  I was disappointed.  But, I ended up falling in love with that old car which I later called “The New Wave Cruisemobile.”  My car was far more dependable than most automobiles.  I remember never having said “Thank you” for my car – I had also taken my parents for granted.  Our society does not teach us that being appreciative is a virtue.  We will examines the importance of developing a spirit of gratitude as a competitive advantage toward employability. Continue reading

Working Professionals Need Goalsetting for Their Families Too

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In these difficult economic times, more and more working professionals are forced to spend time away from their families. Other professionals are advancing their personal agendas in hopes of getting to the top of their profession. This blog discussion examines how working professionals can implement goal setting for their own families despite their hectic schedules.

Like many professionals caught up in my work life and work family, individuals often do not take the time to use these proven principles in their own homes. Many couples are more selfish than their children are and don’t provide a healthy, nurturing environment for them.  This reality speaks to the personal ambition and priorities of the individual within a family structure.  Writer J.A. Littler speaks to the material motives and priorities of our society: “Everyone worships something.

While there may be no official religions or cults devoted to cars, money, fashion, or music, these pleasures of life and facets of society are all too often the overwhelming focus of people’s time, energy, and emotions.”  Our society tells them they can have it all—money, power, and fame without any sacrifices.

Sadly, many working professionals provide their children a great standard of life; however, these parents are often setting their children up for failure.  Many times the results of their labor are children who feel entitled and materialistic. The truth is something is being sacrificed in lieu of a successful career…your family. The following strategy is provided:

  1. Evaluate your family situation based on how family members’ priorities are spending most of their current time (i.e. work, community activities).
  2. Establish the desired vision for your family (the ideal family model).
  3. Develop priorities for the family in which all family members will comply.
  4. Create a family mission statement.
  5. Develop family goals each year from a holistic viewpoint (family, career, spiritual life, finances, etc.).
  6. Monitor results based on the desired family vision.

Families are the foundation for thriving civilizations, and strong communities are built by strong marriages. Consequently, working professionals need to challenge themselves to provide a more holistic approach for their lives. In this discussion, we evaluated how working professionals can implement goal setting for their own families.

Often, this reality is about balancing competing priorities. Les Brown, author of How to Become the Person You Always Wanted to Be-No Matter What the Obstacle, notes, “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.”  Hopefully, working professionals can make these life changes for their families before it is too late.

Please feel free to share your insight on this subject.

© 2015 by Daryl D. Green

A Pastoral Perspective on Ethics

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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.

Ethical Decision Making

man-fingers-crossed

Ethical decision-making is important for businesses. Trust and integrity must not be lost. There are three ethical concerns for the sales organization, which are (1) cheating, (2) misuse of company resources, and (3) inappropriate relationships with other employees.  

In fact, losing a customer or client’s trust is fatal stroke for businesses. Famous management expert Stephen Covey suggests that trust is the cornerstone for productivity in the market. Once customers lose faith and trust in an organization, that organization has lost ground in the market. 

Employees are motivated by different stimulus.  In fact, different employees have different motivations.  Motivation produces psychological forces that determine the direction of a person’s behavior in an organization.  In my technical field, there are few things that are impossible to accomplish; it’s a matter of time versus money. 

However, finding these solutions depend on a personal drive.  In many organizations,  supervisors search for the magical ingredient to improve employee performance so that the organization can be successful.  This initiative isn’t easy!   

For example, a salesperson might be motivated to earn high commissions at any cost. He knows his management is only concerned with the bottom-line. At the end of the year, his sales manager responses in anger to this salesperson, “You’ve committed the company to something to which we cannot commit.” Therefore, being promoting selfish behavior can cost a business in the long run.

 

Organizations must train and create a good ethical environment.  Gareth Jones and Jennifer George, authors of Contemporary Management, further argue effective managers fully utilize their human resources to gain a competitive advantage.  Developing the desired behavior in employees is invaluable. 

In many cases, employees exist in a transactional relationship (if you do this, you will get that).  For example, a sales representative for Mary Kay will get a pink Cadillac if she reaches the designated sales limit. In fact, business perks are pretty routine. 

Most people have an internal compass that allows them to distinguish right from wrong.  For example, an employee might be tempted to take a bribe from his company’s competitor.  Johnston and Marshall make a clear distinction between a gift and a bribe. A bribe is a financial present given to manipulate the purchase decision. 

In an effective ethical system, an employee would not compromise the trust with the company, including any internal customers (supervisor, manufacturing group, etc.). 

Finally, there will be numerous situations that test a person’s moral behavior in organizations.  Ethical decision making is a way of life. Businesses must create good ethical systems where employees are accountable for their conduct.  Trust must be at the center stage of the process. 

Discuss your professional experience with making ethical decisions in your industry. 

© 2014 by Daryl D. Green

Decision Making With Unintended Consequences

criticism1

As the clock strikes midnight, the world once again brings in another new year with anticipation.  For many people, the last several years have been filled with financial crisis and personal turmoil. 

With the realities of globalization, one country’s misfortune can have negative consequences for other countries across the world.  Therefore, a new year brings a lot of uncertainty for the future.

Furthermore, today’s businesses must be ever on guard for market turbulence and global threats.  Given this reality of personal consequences, individuals must be more mindful of effective decision making. In fact, bad decision making can hurt an organization as well as an individual. 

Denis Collins, author of Business Ethics, notes that the prevalence and costs of unethical decision making at work can be substantial for businesses. Therefore, good decision making can dilute a competitor’s advantage. In this discussion, we will examine how decision making can carry unintended consequences. 

Today’s leaders must consider the aftermath of their poor decision making. Sadly, many folks fail to understand the consequences of their decisions. For example, Vanessa Williams was one of these fallen Hollywood icons. In 1983, Williams became the first African-American woman to be crowned Miss America. 

However, her immediate success was short-lived due to a scandal. Consequently, Williams was forced to relinquish her title; she probably did not think her youthful deed would come back and wreck her dreams. Yet, the consequences not only damaged Williams but her family, friends, and millions of her fans. Nobel Prize author Albert Camus once noted, “Life is the sum of all your choices.” In spite of all wise counsel, some people seem to have a knack for making poor decisions. 

Sadly, many poor decisions have unforeseen impacts.  Nancy Cavender and Howard Kahane, authors of Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric, argue for better decision making under this financial crisis: “Now, more than ever, we need to think critically about the world we live in and the decisions we make.”  They point to the dire consequences of poor decision making.  In fact, these circumstances often can be traced back to a root cause. 

The Law of Unintended Consequences relates to any purposeful action that will generate unintended consequences. This law can be categorized into several areas: (a) a positive unexpected benefit called serendipity, (b) a negative effect which is contrary to the original intention, and (c) a potential source of problems which is commonly referred to as Murphy’s Law. 

Like Murphy’s Law, some decisions may appear to afflict some people as if their lives are cursed. Making the right decision is a difficult process. No one will applaud your many good decisions; however, you will probably catch heat over the bad ones. 

In fact, every person, regardless of their background or social standing, can benefit from good decision-making techniques. In this life, most people make decisions to the best of their abilities. When various things happen, especially bad ones, individuals must be ready to deal with them. Therefore, understanding unintended consequences can assist in helping us make better decisions for the future.   

 Discuss your understanding of the Law of Unintended Consequences as it relates to effective decision making.

 © 2014 by Daryl D. Green

Personal Stress – Awaiting Uncertainty in 2014

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Do you know what the future holds in 2014 for you?  Are you now dreading the holiday season with more demands on the job, an unconcerned boss about your personal welfare, and new threats of pending layoffs?  All of these things create stress and anxiety for working professionals as the holiday season approaches.  

Sadly, our standard of living is eroding.  Families cannot make ends meet despite working multiple jobs.  Companies are demanding more.  It is no surprise that folks are stressed out.  According to the third annual Work Stress Survey, conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Everest College, more than eight in 10 employed Americans are stressed out by at least one thing about their jobs. 

Additionally, the study showed poor pay and increased workloads were top sources of concern for many employees (1,019 surveyed by phone).  The results produced a significant increase (73% to 83%) from last year’s survey, which found that more employees were stressed at work.

Another holiday season has come and gone.  After the presents have been given out and the year comes to a close, many people will reminisce about the past year.  Unfortunately, some people’s lives will be filled with many defeats, broken relationships, and unfulfilled dreams.  

These many setbacks may be relatively minor in nature.  Pastor Richard S. Brown of Knoxville notes, “For many people, the holidays season bring great pressure and stress…We stress that we can’t get everyone something for Christmas?” or they may be much more serious.

 

Depression can happen to anyone.  Christian Maslach and Michael Leiter, authors of The Truth about Burn-out, explain how stress can burn out people and impact their mental state.  In fact, many professionals are succeeding in the corporate environment while failing miserably at their own personal relationships.  If you are human, you will experience some disappointments.  It does not take a genius to understand how someone can get depressed.  Some call it a “Pity Party.”

With the ongoing global crisis and individual financial struggles, more and more Americans need to find better coping tools for survival.  2014 and beyond are full of a lot of uncertainty.  You can spend the holidays in despair or you can take control of some things to have a more successful life.  This does not happen by chance.  

For millions of individuals, a pity party is a regular affair.  However, individuals must be persistent during the current economic crisis and a good outlook goes a long way.  Your attitude will greatly impact how you retool your life so that you can be successful in the future. 

Please discuss how you plan to deal with those uncertainties in 2014. 

© 2013 by Daryl D. Green

Living A Leader’s Life

 

swing-dancersDuring our last Caribbean cruise together, my wife Estraletta and I made it a nightly routine to eat a formal dinner together with new friends, enjoy a nightly session of Latin dancing in a new cultural setting, and end the night in a variety of dancing venues, from contemporary to the classic waltz.

I must admit what captured my attention on the dance floor was watching senior citizens who were African-Americans dance the swing with so much precision and accuracy.   I was amazed to see an elderly man who was riding in a mobile cart, stumble on to the dance floor with some assistance, grab a senior citizen woman and swing her around the dance floor til there was no end.

With his knack of swing dancing, he found himself the bell of the ball. Women were lined up to dance with him until he was exhausted.  When we returned home, we attended another social event where seniors were swinging on the dance floor.

The swing dance was not a dance choice for my generation of break dancers.  In fact, my older sister was a Baby Boomer and her generation appeared to reject swing dancing of that generation.  Therefore, I found myself intrigued and ignorant about the contributions of African-Americans  on swing dancing in American history.

In September, I will be sponsoring a swing dance through the Academy Ballroom in Knoxville in order to celebrate the art of swing and honor the contributions of African Americans in this art form. The event,” Dr. Green Presents ‘Swing at the Savoy’: a dance class series reflecting the music and dance of Harlem in the 1920s.”

 

 

The class will start on September 6th, at 6pm.  Dancing can be life changing. Paul Bottomer, author of Let’s Dance, explains the power of dancing:  “Whatever your musical taste or individual preferences, the huge variety of dance ensure that there is something to suit you. You do not need to be a good dancer to enjoy the dancing, the music, the mood, the atmosphere and, of course, the social life.”[1]

Of course, many folks will not embrace anything different.  This reaction is fine.  However, some individuals make it a habit to criticize others in the process.  Criticism can be noted as ‘the expression of disapproval of someone or something based on perceived faults or mistakes.’

Critics come in all shape and sizes.  If you are a weak individual, you will find yourself needing to maneuver through the opinions of critics.  Different people have distinctive “locus of control” which refers to how people perceive life events.

Individuals with an external locus of control feel that things are outside of their control and can be easily manipulated by outside events. Individuals with an internal locus of control feel in control of their own fate.

Dr. Richard Draft, author of Management, notes, “People with an internal locus of control are easier to motivate because they believe the rewards are the result of their behavior.”[2]

He further explains that people with an external locus of control are harder to motivate, less involved in their jobs, and more likely to blame others.  Living life based on the opinions of others can lead individuals toward a mediocre existence. Can you afford to live a mediocre life?

Since my wife and I have started ballroom dancing, I have gained a great deal of confidence, creative brain power, and a healthier lifestyle (about 2-3 hours of dancing a week).  Perhaps, it’s interesting that guys who cannot dance are the ones who are most prone to ridicule and mock others who can.

Fortunately, good leaders understand how to inspire followers to exemplary performance even in the face of stiff criticism.  Therefore, doing things like swing dancing sets you apart as a leader guided by his or her own internal locus of control.

Discuss the concept of leading with an internal locus of control.

© 2013 by Daryl D. Green

 

Harlem Swing Class Final


[1]Let’s Dance  by Paul Bottomer

 

[2] Management by Richard Daft

 

 

Living Beyond Criticism

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I do know how to make my wife laugh…even at my expense. I have been fascinated with ballroom dancing since last year. It was something I reluctantly embraced after being taken kicking and screaming to the dance floor. Several weeks ago I thought it would be nice to practice my dance moves so that I would perform them better. My wife was out of town at the time. I got a notice about a dance with a live band on Saturday. I thought it would be cool.

However, I should have read the fine print. When I got to the event, it was packed full of energy and enthusiasm. What I failed to learn was that the dance was at a senior citizen center. That meant I would be dancing with my mother and grandmother at the event. Secretly, I pledged to myself that I would not ask anyone to dance and gracefully exit from this event. The average age of the attendees was over 80 years old. I was but a puppy at 40 + years old.

However, my exit strategy did not work. I invited myself to sit (of course, I did not know anyone and just dashed to the nearest unoccupied sit) with a well-to-do couple who was visiting in the area. They were well educated, financially secure, and very mobile; they had winter and summer homes. Having a questioning nature, I asked about how they perceived life and what the general attitude of these folks was in general since they were all part of the Greatest Generation. I was pretty shocked at the responses.

They noted that many of them did not care about any past accomplishments, titles, wealth, or status symbols. Most folks were mostly concerned with their health, quality of life, and having enough money to live. Kids and grandkids were rarely mentioned (many had been abandoned by them). With them approaching the end of their golden years, the focus was on current relationships and values. In fact, there was an evolution by many of them in their thinking: “There was no shame in their game.”

Many couples had forgone the taboos of living together (aka ‘shacking up) because these people did not want to lose their Social Security checks or other financial means. In a nutshell, they did not care about what others thought about them. It was something that I could relate to in ballroom dancing.

My male friends give me a hard time about ballroom dancing. However, at the same time, they cannot dance, garnish the attention of others by doing something others could not do, or inject into their character fresh confidence in learning how to do something new and different. Many people do not progress in life for fear of being criticized.

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 how to cope with negative criticism in a professional work environment.

 © 2013 by Daryl D. Green

 


[1]Management by Richard Daft

[2] Contemporary Management by Gareth Jones and Jennifer George

 

Ethical Decision-making in Business Operations

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Last week, we had a special guest come to our MBA class. Rev. Anthony Rodgers, author of How God Restored My Life, shared with us his personal story that showcased a lifestyle of prestige, power, and wealth.  However, this pathway was through illegal and criminal behavior that the average individual would find distasteful.

Rev. Rodger’s was transformed; his life has become a symbol of how individuals can be redeemed and changed.  His lifestyle of drugs and crime are demised.  In the same vein, some business managers act immorally, unethically, and participate in illegal activities that can get organizations into trouble.  Do you remember Enron?  BP Oil?  There is a laundry list of these organizations.

If organizations are serious about having profitable operations, they must have good ethical systems.  Operations management does not exist in a vacuum; other business areas must be considered. Marketing and strategy are underlining principles that must be addressed for organizations selling abroad.

Michael Johnston and Greg Marshall, authors of Relationship Selling, argue that customers who reside in other countries pose unique ethical concerns for salespeople and management, especially in (1) cultural differences and (2) differences in corporate selling policies.[1]

Regis McKenna, author of Relationship Marketing, further suggests that effective marketing is the integration of the customer into the design of the product; to design a systematic process for interaction will create substance in the relationship.[2] Creating a good ethical system is critical for success.

First, any meaningful, ethical program must start with senior management behavior. In fact, ethical behavior must start at the top. Salespeople are not the only members of the sales force who face ethical concerns. Management must address significant ethical issues with (a) salespeople, (b) company policies, and (c) international customers and policies.

I do think that organizational culture is the cornerstone for understanding the ethical environment. Trust is the foundation of any meaningful corporate structure.  Gareth Jones and Jennifer George, authors of Contemporary Management, maintain that when leaders are ineffective, chances are good that workers will not perform to their capabilities.

Johnston and Marshall further suggest senior management style (do their actions match their words), the established culture of the organization, and external forces can create a climate where unethical or even illegal behavior is tolerated.[3] Therefore, senior managers should lead the way by example.

Second, the organization must evaluate the current corporate culture. There are both written and unwritten rules and behaviors that come into play. For example, Enron senior management demonstrated a lack of moral and ethical judgment that played a critical role in its decision-making (i.e. breaking laws) policies.  Therefore, one must review the organizational culture of the organization before attempting to implement an ethics program.

Last, the organization must be committed to a win-win approach. Companies need to have a plan for implementing ethics. However, these plans need to involve the workers. Typically, executives come up with a mandate on corporate policies and HR is forced to implement them.  There is little worker involvement.

Yet, ethical conduct impacts everyone.  Employees at various levels face ethical issues all the time. Their input would be invaluable. This fact has a great bearing on ethical behavior among employees.

Discuss your professional experience on how ethical decision making can impact business operations.

 © 2013 by Daryl D. Green


[1] Relationship Selling by Michael Johnston and Greg Marshall

[2] Relationship Marketing by Regis McKenna

[3] Contemporary Management by Gareth Jones and Jennifer George

Locking on the Value Proposition for Customers

bazaar-selling

In my office, I hung a newspaper article prominently on my wall.  This 2010 article showcases the top 100 government officials in my area.  Surprisingly, the university basketball coach was the top official, at over $2 million.  Following suit was a short list of athletic coaches followed by highly noted professors and administrators.

This amazing list furthered stimulated my interest in determining the value of individual skill sets.  In some other areas of the country, region, or state, someone would probably determine that these same jobs did not warrant the same financial worth.  In fact, individuals within the same organization with the same title and similar professional backgrounds can be found making significant differences in salary.   Given these realities, it is easy to see that customer value propositions differ.

Today’s companies must become adapted at determining customer value. However, all customers are not the same.   In fact, globalization has created all types of problems for businesses.  One of the issues is how to stay ahead of the competition by exploring new markets while keeping the same customer base.  This action is not easy.

Many businesses build their profitability on this simple equation. Companies seek to reduce their inputs (outsourcing labor, better technologies) to obtain greater profitability. Yet, the process is often pretty self-serving with little regard to the customer and lesser value on employees.

Therefore, many people might insist that some business simply stumble on what customer value actually is and how it affects their business.  For this discussion, value is defined as the net bundle of benefits the customer derives from a product of service.

Mark Johnston and Greg Marshall, authors of Relationship Selling, state that the starting point for learning about relationship selling is to understand the customer. A value lesson is learning that the customer is the center point for creating value.

Paul Peter and James Donnelly, authors of Marketing Management, suggest that the starting point in the buying process is the consumer’s recognition of an unsatisfied need. Therefore, the focus must go back to the customer for any sustainable business success.  They must be deliberate with their connections with customers and value.

Being strategic conscious about these business relationships is not simple.  Ken Favaro, author of Put Value Creation First, further maintains that putting value creation consistently first requires leadership skills, discipline, and perseverance.

He further challenges organizations to demand higher standards from managers who would jeopardize these business relationships. When organizations place value creation as a high priority, organizations will beat their competition.

Given the complexity of customer value, how do businesses stay connected with customers and their ever changing wants and needs?

© 2013 by Daryl D. Green