Training for Mixed Messages

Many times, training or learning events are seen by executives or management as a cure for something that cannot be “fixed” by mere training or learning events.

For example, ethics, diversity and compliance training in response to specific and repeated incidents cannot and will not be effective if a support structure is not in place to ensure that after the training is over, the employees have incentive to be in compliance, act ethically or value diversity.

Remember, Enron had a strong ethics policy but…it didn’t even slow down top management in their race for money and power.

Employees know when executives or management dictates training in one area because they “have to” or it seems like the right thing…while, in fact, they are doing the exact opposite. I think Eliot Spitzer is an example of that. He preached about crime and then committed it as if he were immune. This seems to happen a lot to people in power whether it is in government, academics or private corporations.

So next time you are asked by an unethical executive to create ethics training, consider pushing back. Or when a compliance officer is just trying to check off a box on a list of compliance activities…resist. Or speak up when diversity training is done to simply “look good” to customers.

To underscore my point, view this hilarious video from the Daily Show as an example of how executives or pundents can say one thing when it is in their favor and another when its not. (this does have some offensive comments, therefore, it is not NAFW..Not Appropriate For Work but it is funny.)


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Posted in: Out and About

Leave a Comment (2) ↓


  1. Jason Ramos September 10, 2008

    I know where you are going with this. I understand what you mean also. It is good to stand up for what you believe in as long as it is within the confines of reason.

    Lisa might be on the side of caution not to but heads but to kill them with kindness so to speak, or did I miss the boat on that?

    I recently wrote an article about this soon be published on my Associated Content account. Ill have to forward you a link when it is uploaded.

    I go at length about this issue but target solely politicians due to the nature of the upcoming election and the lack of what people see is going on.

    PS- Love the Daily show and Colbert Report they are so smart yet informative and hilarious.

  2. Lisa Neal Gualtieri September 10, 2008

    I disagree with your statement “So next time you are asked by an unethical executive to create ethics training, consider pushing back.” Instead develop a course that is compelling – and make sure that the questionable executive participates in your formative evaluation.

Karl Kapp
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