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The era of integrity

Blair McPherson - former Director, Author and Blogger
The chief executive and senior managers team set the tone in any organisation. Which is why when the board are seeking to appoint a chief executive integrity will be high on the list of essential attributes. If HR were asked to draw up an integrity test for candidates they might include the following scenarios.
How far would you go to uncover an internal whistle blower who had caused the organisation significant public embarrassment  ? Fingered prints and lie detector? Secretly monitor senior managers emails? Employ an ex senior police officer to interview staff ?
Under what circumstances have you/would you consider telling the board members what they want to hear rather than the inconvenient truth?
How far would you go to influence an interview panel? Would you consider changing the person specification to deliberately exclude an internal candidate who you consider a disaster but some board members favour?
If you overheard a board member repeating some gossip about a colleague you knew to be untrue would you challenge them – even if this colleague was a thorn in your side?

A management consultant from an organisation bidding for some consultancy work invites you and your football obsessed son to join them in the companies executive box for the big Champions League game.

Do you accept? If you do how do you ensure you are not compromised?

Your former colleague and very good friend has set up in business and is looking for work. You have a lot of respect for their skills. Are you prepared to tell them the budget allocated for a project they intend to bid for knowing that cost will be a determining criteria when allocation the contract,  information which has not been given to other bidders ?

A board member at a small informal social event has apparently let slip that the organisation is about to announce some very controversial plans. The leader of the board has been contacted by a journalist from one of the national papers requesting an interview. The leader wants you or one of your senior managers to give the interview. The problem is that the leader has told you in confidence that they intend to push this plan through the next board meeting but doesn’t want negations undermined by an averse critical press report at this delicate stage. They suggests you get the relevant Director to agree to an interview and they should say they are not aware of any discussions and no decisions have been made. What do you do?

 If you and your staff were being subject to unreasonable demands, unfair criticism , belittling and verbal abuse by board members would you consider resigning quietly and moving to a similar post somewhere else or would you leave, go public and claim constructive dismissal knowing that you might win but your career would suffer.
 You are a newly appointed chief executive with a brief to “transform “ the organisation. One of your directors is proving very resistant, arguing strongly against the changes you want to make or rather the way you want to do things. Your management styles are just totally different. They are not going to be won round. To make matters more complicated they were the unsuccessful internal candidate for your post and are well thought of by many of the long-standing board members. How far would you go to get rid of them?
Some might argue that the response to these scenarios may differ according to the type of organisation , the commercial and business sector being less squeamish about integrity than the politically sensitive public sector but in my experience where the line is draw and the willingness to cross it comes down to the integrate of the individual

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