One of the most interesting and engaging courses in the MBA program has been Business Ethics.
It has brought to my consciousness a clearer understanding of the right way to conduct business with the customer.
It has thought me the difference between the warfare paradigm and service paradigm.
The cases dealt with have shown how not applying the right principles in business dealings can have catastrophic effects on individuals and organizations.
More importantly, it has made it clear how my actions in the work place can affect me and the organization as a whole.
Cases that have struck me particularly are the Rogue trader case(Kweku Adoboli) and the Worldcom case(Bernie Ebbers) where the warfare paradigm led severe consequences for both parties.
A key takeaway for me with regards to sharp practices is that it is clear that one day the chicken will come home to roost.
I have therefore decided to ensure that I conduct myslef ethically in the work place going forward.
Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong behavior." The field of ethics, along with aesthetics, concerns matters of value, and thus comprises the branch of philosophy called axiology.
The field of ethics (or moral philosophy) involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong behavior. Philosophers today usually divide ethical theories into three general subject areas: metaethics, normative ethics, and applied ethics.
Metaethics investigates where our ethical principles come from, and what they mean. Are they merely social inventions? Do they involve more than expressions of our individual emotions? Metaethical answers to these questions focus on the issues of universal truths, the will of God, the role of reason in ethical judgments, and the meaning of ethical terms themselves.
Normative ethics takes on a more practical task, which is to arrive at moral standards that regulate right and wrong conduct. This may involve articulating the good habits that we should acquire, the duties that we should follow, or the consequences of our behavior on others.
Finally, applied ethics involves examining specific controversial issues, such as abortion, infanticide, animal rights, environmental concerns, homosexuality, capital punishments or nuclear war
By using the conceptual tools of metaethics and normative ethics, discussions in applied ethics try to resolve these controversial issues. The lines of distinction between metaethics, normative ethics, and applied ethics are often blurry. For example, the issue of abortion is an applied ethical topic since it involves a specific type of controversial behavior. But it also depends on more general normative principles, such as the right of self-rule and the right to life, which are litmus tests for determining the morality of that procedure. The issue also rests on metaethical issues such as, “where do rights come from?” and “what kind of beings have rights?”
Product- what you a selling
Place- where you are selling it
Price- How much you and selling it
People. To whom are you selling.
When I think about the moral purpose of business, I could easily cite a perfect example of a business that has benefited from the strong moral purpose of her chief executives.
Everyone agrees that the performance of a company’s leadership has a decisive influence on her long-term profitability.
My Chief executive, Mr. P.L Carrodano's ideology is that most successful organizations, over time, are those in which people act consistently and decisively, innovating, and building high-quality relationships with customers. The task of leadership is to stimulate these kinds of actions, reliably and continually. He believes that the executives who can do this are not magicians, rather they have learned how to deploy a conceptual tool that allows them to inspire and lead an organization toward enduring competitive advantage.
That conceptual tool is called "the moral purpose of business".
In the year 2006, when Five Star Logistics Limited won the concession bid to run a ship's port and terminal at the TinCan Island Port in Lagos, the port business clime at that time could use a huge change. The port customers, the government workers, and the constituents were on different sides of a productive bargain. The business culture was rude, hard, and one-sided.
But fourteen years later, the Five Star Logistics was going to change all of that. Mr. Carrodano understood that making money as a terminal operator was secondary to his business' moral purpose which is: "giving customers a good deal". So he made his employees feel that their work was worthwhile, by tapping into their natural good feelings toward fellow human beings. This in turn led the employees to treat customers in a friendly and helpful way, which (combined with our fierce pursuit of efficient port services), established the kind of customer loyalty that has been our central competitive advantage among other terminals in the whole of Lagos port.
With over 500 staff serving customers at various levels in the terminal, Mr. Carrodano could call each staff by name and take each customer's message personally. He could do this because he shared these feelings himself and communicated them at every turn. Indeed, his altruistic appreciation of his fellow human beings shines through his account of his own motivations.
So in conclusion, behind every successful company, one can find leaders with a similarly well-formed moral purpose, and in the case of Five Star Logistics terminal, a well-chosen moral purpose has proved effective for profitability in our business in that it resonates with the sensibility of customers, employees, and other constituents.
- Paul Adeleke
In every society as in Nigeria, we rely on different sets of moral foundations to understand differing opinions across party, class, and belief sects. This explains how and why moral judgments vary across the political spectrum.
One renowned professor of psychology looks at exploring the contemplation of moral values in understanding the moral root of differing parties.
Considering values such as care/harm, fairness/cheating, loyalty/betrayal, authority/subversion, humans have the ability to form a continuously shifting coalition of values, and exploring the combination of these values can help us understand a subtle point of social convergence.
In a typical example, Jonathan Haidt's psychology looks promising to be the moral root of American liberals & conservatives. How more do you agree with me.
One of the articles in our Ethics discussion forum-Paul Polman on “Courageous CEOs & How Purpose Is Growth Story of The Century” brought up the issue of “Exclusion and Poverty”.
Poverty emphasizes material as well as social deprivation, while social exclusion forefronts a person or a group's ability to participate in social, economic, political and cultural life and their relationships with others.
The most effective way to eliminate social exclusion is to reject and stop the use of the worldview underlying it.
The Black Lives Matter movement is an example of the masses attempting to do so. I look forward to the outcome of this movement as I believe a huge shift will result from this.
With working out of the office , the hours are structured and laid out and leaving the office usually means you are done for the day.
I found out that this is not the case with working from home as the assumption firstly, is that you are lazying about and there is therefore the need to keep one 'occupied'. This leads to a constant flurry of tasks which tend to drown the employee working from home.
Interestingly, in my case I observed that I am more productive in terms of my Turn Around Time and this clearly worsened my case as this led to more work from supervisor.
I am back in the office now on a 2 week rotation and quite frankly do not think there is much of a difference between being at home or being in the office.
One thing I am certain of though, is that working from home is not easier!
The Cover-19 Pandemic is a human experience of historic proportion. It ranks alongside great historical events like the World Wars, the fall of Berlin Wall or more recently, the 9-11.
Simply put, the world will never be the same again because the consequences of Covid-19 will continue to echo long after the disease is defeated.
One area that will undergo significant transformation is the idea of office work, at least as we know it today. Until recently, there's the overwhelming consensus that office work can only be effectively executed within the traditional office environment that is characterised by physical meetings, strict rules and other relevant office etiquettes.
Now, Covid-19 is changing all that.
As countries enter lockdown and as economies begin to shutdown, organisations and governments are turning to innovative solutions to keep their business and services running.
One important attribute of the traditional office environment is the ability to facilitate face-to-face interactions. With the new restrictions imposed by Covid-19, teleconferencing replace physical meetings. This brings the added realisation that traditional office environment is poorly optimised (in terms of cost, efficiency and satisfaction) and remote work (for certain job roles) could bring about similar level of productivity.
No doubt, there's already a growing shift towards remote work and online working even before the onset of Covid-19, but that shift was occurring at the periphery rather than the centre. With Covid-19, online working (and online living) has become mainstreamed into our everyday existence.
The benefits are endless: lower operational costs for both individuals and organisations, greater work-life balance, less waste and redundancies, optimise resources and possibly greater productivity.
But as our homes are turned into offices, there is the risk that the line between work and living could be blurred by the new digital reality. This will, in the medium and longterm, increase the risk of mental health issues, spousal abuse and the erosion of core emotional skills that are often developed through live physical interactions.
As we prepare for a post-Covid world, the opportunities are endless. But with every benefit or opportunity lies new challenges. Our success at Individual and organisational level will be measured by how we are able to confront those challenges and take advantage of emerging opportunities.
Oxford Learner's Dictionary defines Crucible (formal or literary) as a place or situation in which people or ideas are tested severely, often creating something new or exciting in the process. Crucible moments are moments of transformations.
Everything in life experiences a Crucible Moment. It could be a moment you experienced a potential plane crash, a time you lost your job, a time you lost an investment, a time you failed a course, a time that speaks to your consciousness that you did very wrong which you cannot undo it, the moment you lost it all, and so on. Crucible moments are not bad in its entirety; the most important thing is learning from them if it doesn't grave you.
It beacons to my consciousness the meaning of a famous quote that says, "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger." When you become more reliable/stronger from a crucible moment, it means the event has graced your decisions, views, and you have learned from it, and you deliver differently.
A crucible moment is inevitable, learning from it, and becoming a transformed person with a better outcome, is the most critical learning that becomes one's new character and the encapsulation of crucible leadership effectiveness.
Over the past weekend, I took time to review what I was taught in the past few weeks on Cost and Management Accounting. To ensure I do not miss out on anything, I started with the introductory notes. I will be outlining the key points I jotted down while reviewing the notes.
- The central theme: Cost and Management Accounting exists within a business, primarily to facilitate the development and implementation of business strategy.
- CMA rests on three key themes:
- Value Chain Analysis: This analyzes processes from suppliers to value creation(product) and then to end-user.
- Strategic Positioning Analysis: This helps a firm develop a new strategy or execute developed strategy to remain competitive
- Cost driver Analysis: This looks at a firm's revenue and cost structure. It helps a firm to manage cost drivers and achieve a sustainable competitive strategy.
- The Learning Outcome: By the end of the lectures on Cost and Management Accounting, I should be knowledgeable about how to use Cost and Management Accounting Information in Planning, Controlling and Decision Making.