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Ethical Leadership for the Future

People focus more on corporate actions after the ethics scandals at the end of 20th and at the beginning of 21st century. 2008 financial crises eroded the trust to the business and the state. Public attention has increased with the organizations and CEOs’ territory that caused an increase in the visibility. Leaders need to have strong sense of ethics, responsibility and accountability under current circumstances to lead organizations successfully.

Ethics is representation of the principles and values that govern the organization. Organizational culture reflects organization’s values. These values impact the relation-ships within the organization, productivity, reputation, employee morale and retention, legalities, relations with suppliers and customers and the society in which they operate. Organization’s values also shape the cur-rent and future business models and the strategy of the organization.

World faces important economic, social and environmen-tal challenges. These challenges could be dealt with joint action of business, civil society and governments. Ethical and responsible business conduct requires companies to take part in developing solutions to these challeng-es. These challenges also create an important business opportunity where ethical business conduct and leader-ship would be key to obtain such benefits.

Ethical leaders need to prioritize following issues to create value for all in the future:
• Improving Sustainability Governance in organizations,
• Alignment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to the business strategy,
• Definition of the values and ethics for technological innovation,
• Improving transparency through Integrated Reporting.

Improving Sustainability Governance in orga-nizations: Sustainability governance needs to start from board level. Boards need to be part of determining; policies, values for responsible business conduct, mate-rial issues, future business strategy and oversight of the activities of the organization. A board provides guidance and oversight to the management about the long-term operational risks and opportunities which is an import-ant element of corporate governance. Not only financial results, but also environmental and social issues are fundamentally core to good governance. Quality of sus-tainability governance approach determines the quality of decisions made by the organization.

Sustainability is becoming more and more important for the investors. Investors consider sustainability as a long-term value creation and a risk management tool. Investors assign more value to strong ethical and moral leadership in their investments since it is critical variable in protecting their investments.

Ethics is representation of the principles and values that govern the organization. Organizational culture reflects organization’s values. These values impact the relationships within the organization, productivity, reputation, employee morale and retention, legalities, relations with suppliers and customers and the society in which they operate.

Organization’s values also shape the current and future business models and the strategy of the organization.
Alignment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to the business strategy: Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) define global priorities and aspirations for 2030. They represent an important opportunity to eliminate challenges that the world faces and put the world on a sustainable path. SDGs form the global agenda for the development of our societies. This is an opportuni-ty to demonstrate how their business helps to advance sustainable development, both by minimizing negative impacts and maximizing positive impacts on people and the planet. Such an opportunity can create an environ-ment where business strategies and goals would be aligned to create solution for the benefit of all. This is an important opportunity to show ethical and responsi-ble business conduct and improve the reputation of the company.

Definition of the values and ethics for tech-nological innovation: Technologies are part of the solution to many complex global challenges. They help to take society forward in an inclusive, sustainable and positive way, if the right approach to their development is taken. However current researches show that techno-logical and economic progress can no longer be assumed to be aligned with social progress. The human story for the future will depend on how well societies succeed in collectively defining their priorities, engaging essential questions about values and ethics, and aligning techno-logical development accordingly. Emerging technologies must meet human needs in new and profound ways and need to create new industries and new more creative jobs. Ethical leaders must focus on to create commercial groundwork to allow this socially positive innovation to take place and support better education for more capable work force. Ethical leaders will play an important role in defining values and determining a balance between orga-nizational benefits and societies’ well-fare.

Improving transparency through Integrated Reporting: Integrated Reporting is a tool to commu-nicate material information about an organization’s strategy, governance, performance, prospects and future perspective in a way that reflects the commer-cial, social and environmental context in which the organization operates. It focuses on value creation story over the short, medium and long term which is important for all stakeholders. Integrated Reporting encompasses Integrated Thinking. Integrated thinking is the active consideration of the relationships between its various operating and functional units, stakeholders, values, resources that the organization uses or affects. Integrated thinking leads to integrated decision-making and is a way of breaking down internal silos and reducing duplication. Integrated Reporting improves the quality of information available to all stakeholders. When ethical leaders successfully implement this agenda the world will be a better place to live and their organi-zation will contribute to improving quality of life in their environment.

Dr. Argüden
yarguden@arge.com


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