During this month's CPD, the Ethics topic covered "Building an ethical corporate culture". Wow - so relevant to the goings-on at CPA. Let me cite some extracts (sourced from Kaplan OnTrack learning for Financial Planners, today):
- - There has been a tendency for Australian financial services firms to take a reactive approach to negative impacts on company culture, rather than proactively establish a culture of compliance and integrity
- - Strong cultures have two common elements: there is a high level of agreement about what is valued, and a high level of intensity with regard to those values. Of course, not all cultures encourage good or ethical behaviours. When it comes to developing world-class ethics and compliance programs, the starting point is a positive culture of integrity
- - corporate culture of integrity is typically characterised by ... clear set of organisational values that emphasise a commitment to operating in a compliant and ethical manner, .....It really depends on the [attitudes of the] board and senior management. They set the tone and it depends on their own personal ethical stance. That ethical stance has to be … modelled by them to the rest of the organisation, be it big or small
- - Australian psychologist and social researcher, Hugh Mackay, who theorised that customers and clients judge an organisation on two factors to determine whether they are ethical or not...“Those two things are how they treat their customers, which of course is staff behaviour, and executive behaviour, but equally important is how they treat each other — so how the team treats each other. All those factors need to be aligned and in place to have a culture of integrity and ethical culture”...
- -even though the law may set minimum ethical standards, companies should not fall into the trap of thinking that meeting those minimum standards is sufficient. [my note: CPA Australia is a company]
- - we often think it’s a few bad apples when things go wrong in relation to ethics, but we should really be looking at how to fix the barrel those apples are in
Now, I'd bet (my maximum bet is 20c) that the new Chairman of the Board, Mr Wilson, would say that all these things are being applied within CPA Australia. I truly look forward to reading this year's communiques from Head Office to feel the integrity emanating and the ethics oozing therefrom. And, I truly look forward to comments from other members of CPA on these points.
Before the negative critiques start to flow - yes, I'm being "educated" as a financial planner which some might view as being "indoctrinated". And, in reading today's CPD materials there were times when I read "educate the clients" as meaning "provide the clients with propaganda"...maybe I'm too old for my own good.