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Zappos Goes Flat to Avoid Being Caught Flat-Footed, and So Are Others

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Topics: The Freedom Report, Self Governance

Ethics & Compliance Program Management: Creating a Self-Governing Organization

Self-governing organizations and the business benefits they reap don’t spontaneously come into being. Creating and maintaining them requires a strategy. So as a company leader, where should you start? Here’s what we at LRN recommend:

  • Challenge your assumptions about governance, culture and leadership. Remember that these are drivers of business performance and that their impact is measurable. Pursue culture as a strategy by measuring it, and then take advantage of its strengths and address opportunities for growth.
  • Extend trust throughout your organization and commit to leadership that inspires. Doing this ignites potential because power is not held and wielded from the top down. Rather, it is shared and used to achieve the mission and purpose of the organization through behaviors guided by universally accepted core values and principles.
  • Embrace transparency. Understand that in today’s world, very little remains hidden so it is more important now than ever to have nothing to hide. Help your company protect and maintain its good reputation by taking action to ensure that values and behaviors are aligned with purpose and business strategy.
  • Stay committed, no matter what. The journey to self-governance is not easy. It requires letting go of control and proceeding into the unknown. This can be uncomfortable, especially in times of tumult and change. Keep going. Be deliberate and relentless in your focus on governance, culture and leadership; and continuously develop and implement strategies designed to shift behavior and thereby improve company performance.

At the end of the day, a company filled with inspired, empowered, self-governing employees who rally around shared principles and values to serve a higher purpose mission – and who have at their fingertips tools and other methods of support by way of their company’s ethics and compliance program and other business processes to help them behave legally, responsibly and ethically under any and all circumstances – will enjoy a position of markedly greater strength in the marketplace, and will be able to sustain and differentiate itself and to pursue significance far more easily, organically and effectively than its competition. Given that these results are real and have been proven, shouldn’t you embark on the journey?

To learn more, download the full whitepaper.

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Topics: ECA Risk Forecast Report 2013, Self Governance, Ethics & Compliance Programs

Self-Governance as a Social Practice – A Philosopher’s View

In his seminal work After Virtue (1981), philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre seeks to recover Aristotle’s notions of character and virtue. We form our character and write our own life story over time, MacIntyre argues, largely through participation in what he simply calls “social practices”—meaning any sufficiently complex human activity aimed at realizing something worthwhile or intrinsically good and capable of inspiring the pursuit of excellence. On that definition, the practice of healing or playing chess or democratic self-governance counts, but tic-tac-toe doesn’t; whereas the former extend the human potential for excellence, the latter merely amuses.

As a moral philosopher, MacIntyre is keenly aware of sociological context and the massive impact of cultural conditioning on individuals. Communities form around social practices and are sustained by master-apprentice relationships and traditions. A young violinist or aspiring architect, for example, has a deep appreciation for and is inspired by a Beethoven, a Frank Lloyd Wright, and other true masters. (Sorry, but there are no Wii masters.)

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Topics: Self Governance

The Ant, the Bug & Self-Governance

Recently, I was sitting on the deck outside the back of my house enjoying the summer sunshine and reading the newspaper when something interesting caught my eye.

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Topics: Self Governance

Self Governance on a Commuter Train?

We’ve all been there.

Trapped on a commuter train, or in a restaurant, or at a park, or on a bus when suddenly someone right next to you begins a loud conversation on their mobile phone. I’m not sure exactly what it is about this particular type of noise that is so grating when there are innumerable other sources of disruption all around us, but as these conversations drone on and on, our blood pressure rises and we become increasingly agitated.

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Topics: Self Governance

The Self-Governance Premium (part 2)

The following is an interview excerpt from Strategy+Business Magazine’s interview of HOW author and LRN CEO Dov Seidman. Dov Seidman talks about the findings in LRN’s Global HOW Report which reveals new metrics for a new reality and helps companies rethink the sources of resiliency, innovation and growth in the 21st Century. You can read the full article here.

The Self-Governance Premium

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Topics: HOW, Self Governance

Self-Governing Companies Outperforming in Loyalty and Innovation

In this day and age when organizations are so interconnected and interdependent, the real differences in the marketplace are not related to products or services, but "how" leaders and businesses do what they do. There are no secrets anymore, and behaviors are available for all to see. Organizations can no longer hide behind their proxies. This is the new era of behavior and it is not only possible but advantageous to "outbehave the competition."

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Topics: HOW, Self Governance