Welcome

headshot of Mark PastinWelcome to Mark Pastin’s web site. You will find information about Mark and his publications, services and speaking engagements here. Mark started working on ethics and compliance problems in business, government and the professions in the early 1970s. His 1986 book, The Hard Problems of Management: Gaining the Ethics Edge, was the first to take a managerial approach to ethics in business. (See Publications for details.) In his new book, Mark shows readers how to use their own innate ethical sense to create organizational and social change. Make an Ethical Difference: Tools for Better Action was released late in 2013 and is available now at Amazon.com and Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Author Interview

The attached video explains the main themes of Mark Pastin’s new book Make an Ethical Difference. One novel theme of the book is that individuals have an innate ability to make ethical judgments. Pastin calls this ability the “ethics eye.” More on this topic in coming posts as the main themes of Make an Ethical Difference are previewed.

Healthcare Reform

I am often asked what ethical questions are posed by healthcare reform. Like healthcare reform itself, this is an very complex issue about which confusion abounds. For example, healthcare reform extends healthcare coverage to more individuals. But it does so in part by cutting Medicare. Is this right? Are we financing our social goals on the backs of seniors? Healthcare reform also tries to push the costs of Medicare down through a program called the Medicare Shared Savings Program. I can’t explain the whole thing here but the basic idea is that Medicare rewards you if you drive down the costs for a given patient population while maintaining or improving quality. This sounds like a wonderfully noble idea Read the rest of this entry »

Influence with Ethics

I recently had a chance to do a webinar for a company called Soundview. Soundview is famous for its its Executive Book Summaries.

The topic is how to influence people with ethics. The key theme is that most books and talks on influence teach you how to manipulate people. Manipulating people has a “rebound effect” when people realize that they have been manipulated. When you influence with ethics, there is no rebound effect. In fact, when you influence someone with ethics, you are building a foundation for your future efforts to influence them. So the webinar definitely talks about how to become an effective source of influence, but it emphasizes the advantages of taking an ethical approach to influence.

You can attend the webinar online at http://tinyurl.com/o7yy9fp.

Be a Source of Ethical Influence

Some who have commented on Make An Ethical Difference: Tools for Better Action have pointed out that the tools provided for making an ethical difference are also good tools of influence. This makes sense since accomplishing something in ethics often means influencing people. Most discussion of influence are thinly veiled manuals on how to manipulate others. The problem with this is that people recognize that they have been manipulated and limit your future influence. When you influence with ethics, there is no rebound effect. In fact, your ability to influence grows as you learn to influence with ethics. A recent piece in CEO Magazine discusses just this point: http://chiefexecutive.net/4-ways-ceos-successfully-influence-decisions

How to Handle Whistleblowers

In my years as an ethics consultant, the one question that never goes away is, “What do we do about whistleblowers?” Companies always fear the trouble that whistleblowers may cause, but they seldom take the right precautionary steps. The whistleblower you need to worry about is the one who takes a concern outside of the company whether through litigation or the use of media or both. In order, not to have to worry about these external whistleblowers, you have to learn to love your internal whistleblowers – something few companies do. I write about this in some detail in a recent piece for the Globe and Mail‘s Leadership Lab. You can read it at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/careers/leadership-lab/why-embracing-whistleblowers-could-save-your-reputation/article17858924/ and give me comments at councile@aol.com.

Center for Creative Leadership

I have always loved the Center for Creative Leadership which was kind enough to interview me. They do good work! The interviewer was very nice and very bright and managed to cover my mistakes. You can read it at the link below.

Mark

LE_Premium_Article_Mark_Pastin_March_2014

Talk About Ethics

When you write a book, your publisher wants you to get a lot of publicity which means, among other things, doing a lot of radio and television shows. This has nothing to do with your own credentials. PR people just arrange this. As you might imagine, with ethics as a topic, a lot of these interviews turn out to be humorous at best. But I was interviewed by Pat Raskin who runs a radio show and company called Positive Business, and she helped me cover the key points. You may want to listen.

Ethics Is Brain Food

Many of those who have read my book note that the advice given concerning ethical decision making is just plain good advice about making decisions. The truth is that what makes you a good ethical thinker does make you a better thinker – period. The reverse is not true. Being a good thinker does not make you more ethical. I did a full piece on this for the Toronto Globe and Mail in their career section. How can ethics make you a better thinker? Go to Globe and Mail.

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