Monthly Archives: January 2015

Conflicting Social Responsibilities Makes For Tough Decision-Making

A new book, “The Moral Arc” by Michael Shermer, explores the evolution of moral thinking and behavior. At the time our country was founded, for example, something unthinkable today—human slavery—was accepted as normal and routine in many quarters. At an … Continue reading

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Big Banks Make A Responsible Decision, For A Change

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that a fraud prevention business, Early Warning Services, LLC, has stopped doing business with payday loan companies. Early Warning provides services that include bank account and balance verification. Its customers are lenders. It … Continue reading

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Deflate-gate: Will NFL Punt Or Pass On Responsible Decision Making?

Deflate-gate—the scandal surrounding the apparent deliberate deflation of footballs used by the New England Patriots in its victory over the Colts on the road to the Super Bowl—offers an opportunity to toss around some thoughts on responsible decision-making. At this … Continue reading

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CFOs and CPAs Beware: The SEC Is Looking Extra Closely At Your Decision Making

A story in today’s The Wall Street Journal (“SEC Gets Busy With Accounting Inquiries”) reports that the SEC has increased its scrutiny of publicly-traded companies’ accounting and disclosures. The SEC focus is shifting away from the high-profile big dollar scandals, … Continue reading

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Freedom Industries: Preliminary Autopsy Results On An Avoidable Corporate Disaster

Last month we learned of more damage from the chemical spill into Elk River in West Virginia in January, 2014: The indictment of four owner-executives of the company responsible for the spill, Freedom Industries. To recap the facts: Freedom Industries … Continue reading

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Wet Seal Second Chance: Perhaps Employee Engagement Should Be A Strategy

Wet Seal, the troubled fashion retailer catering to teenagers and young women, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. No surprise at that news. The company has been struggling for a while, and recently was ensnarled in controversy over its … Continue reading

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Intersection Of Responsibility And Profits On The Road To More Auto Sales

Recent news stories report both increased car sales and an increase in missed payments on subprime auto loans made last year. (For example, see “GM: U.S. Car Sales Could Grow 3% in 2015” and “Car Loans See Rise In Missed … Continue reading

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Outside Reviews Sought For Police-Involved Killings: The Case For Independence In Decision-Making

In the wake of recent unrest over perceived botched investigations of killings by police, officials in many states are looking to require the use of outside investigators in the future. That only makes sense, as independent decision-making is a critical … Continue reading

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Ethics, Integrity, And Character Are Not Enough: A Lesson From David Petraeus On Responsible Decision-Making

No one writes articles or dispenses tweets disputing the importance of ethics, integrity, and character to leadership and responsible decision-making. And with good reason. Yet, often we are not sufficiently mindful of the limits of these important attributes. Former General … Continue reading

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Corporate Death With Dignity? Not At Wet Seal

Is there such a thing as death with dignity for a company? If so, we are not seeing it at Wet Seal. The retailer of young women’s and teenage apparel this week announced it was closing two-thirds of its 511 … Continue reading

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