Management expert says organizations benefit when they operate ethically

July 1, 2012


PHILADELPHIA — "We are deep in a new era, an era of behavior," said keynote speaker Dov Seidman, who challenged the 2012 Catholic Health Assembly audience to be "leaders of significance" by leading from Catholic health care's foundation of values.

The old Management 101 model — which he summed up by displaying the "It's not personal, it's just business" line from The Godfather — views systems as being "from a separate sphere, disconnected from humanity," Seidman said.

Yet in the 21st century, "Facebook is proof that everything is personal É We rise and fall together. The Facebook generation says so every day," he said. "Never before has the individual had so much power to affect so many people so many ways, and all around the world."

Companies are beginning to figure this out, said Seidman, founder, chairman and chief executive of LRN Corporation, an international company that educates and guides organizations as they create an ethical culture of principled performance. He also is the author of How: Why HOW We Do Anything Means Everything.

Seidman maintained that because the modern world is so connected, the world will not only be a better place but businesses and individuals will gain if they translate their practices into "modern moral behavior, corporate behavior.

"The question is, how do you do it at scale and how do you embed it (into an organization)?" he said.

The behaviors that business leaders want from employees today are behaviors that can't be commanded or coerced, he said — they have to be inspired. Inspirational leadership creates trust, and it reflects the management megatrend Seidman identified as power shifting from command and control — having power over people — to connection and collaboration — having power to do things through people.

Inspiration comes from within — values, belief, connection around what matters and what is right, he said. Inspirational leaders understand they are coming from a spiritual, religious, moral and practical place.

Catholic health care has the advantage of possessing a foundation of sustainable values: human dignity, care for the poor, the common good, responsible stewardship and the rights of conscience, Seidman pointed out.

If organizations get their "hows" right, he said, "we will generate so much health and hope in the world."


Copyright © 2012 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3477.

Copyright © 2012 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States

For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3490.