How do formerly ethical people-and organizations-descend into moral meltdowns? And how do we recognize the signs?
Marianne Jennings, professor of business ethics at Arizona State University, predicted the collapse at Enron and the fall of the dot-coms. Now she explains the origins of moral meltdowns-and how we can spot the next one before it happens.
SIGN #2: FEAR AND SILENCE
"People have an obligation to dissent in this company…. If you don't speak up, that's not good."
-Jeffrey Skilling, former CEO of Enron, who withheld business from companies whose analysts did not give Enron a "strong buy"
SIGN #4: WEAK BOARD
"So as a CEO, I want a strong, competent board."
-Dennis Kozlowski, former CEO of Tyco, circa 2001
SIGN #6: INNOVATION LIKE NO OTHER
"You know, if we hadn't had all those expenses, we would have had earnings."
-Attributed to a dot-com CEO, circa 1999