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Learn to apply your ethical values using the Giving Voice to Value (GVV) method. There are...

Learn to apply your ethical values using the Giving Voice to Value (GVV) method. There are multiple GVV documents in this Module. Review them all. You may do the exercises suggested in the documents but you do not have to post them in Canvas.

You will learn how to factor your personal values into your ethical decisions from the method, you will still use the IDEA case analysis method when analyzing the GVV case, The Client Who Fell Through The Cracks. It ends by suggesting the principal player has to come up with a strategy. As will all cases, you do not have to agree with the suggestion. You will want to find a single key problem to solve with a viable action plan. NO Need for a SWOT Analysis.

The format should be an in-depth section for each of the 4 anagram letters. - IDEA

GIVING VOICE TO VALUES: BRIEF INTRODUCTION

Most of us want to bring our “whole selves” to work. Yet, experience and research demonstrate that many of us will encounter values conflicts in our careers, when the way we want to live and the things we want to accomplish seem in conflict with the expectations of our clients, our peers, our bosses and/or our organizations. The Giving Voice to Values curriculum is designed to help individuals learn to recognize, clarify, speak and act on their values when those conflicts arise.

The focus here is POST-decision making. It is not about deciding what the right thing is. Rather it is about how a manager raises these issues in an effective manner; what he/she needs to do and say in order to be heard; and how to try to correct an existing course of action when necessary.

Distinctive features of the Giving Voice to Values Curriculum include:

  1. A focus on positive examples of times when folks have found ways to voice, and thereby implement, their values in the workplace;
  2. An emphasis on the importance of finding an alignment between one’s individual sense of purpose and that of the organization (which involves self-assessment and focus on individual strengths);
  3. The opportunity to construct and practice responses to the most frequently heard reasons and rationalizations for not acting on one’s values;
  4. The opportunity to build commitment by providing repeated opportunities for participants to practice delivering their responses and to learn to provide peer feedback and coaching to enhance effectiveness.

It’s also important to understand that since there are so many different ways to voice our values, we can look for the approach that not only seems most likely to be effective in our particular situation, but also the one that is most comfortable, given our own personal style of communication and personality. Finally, there are things we can do to make it more likely that we will actually voice our values and that we will do so effectively: namely, pre-scripting, practice and coaching.

The point here is that just because we are addressing a question of values and ethics does not mean that we need to preach. Often, the very fact that a situation has an ethical component to it leads us to feel that we must gear ourselves up to be saints or even martyrs; in reality, we often just need to be competent and skillful. We can approach the communication challenge with the same analytical and personal capabilities that we would use in any other situation, whether it is a convincing our professor to give us an extension on our final paper or negotiating a later curfew. And as with other communication challenges, we will want to consider the needs and desires and emotional investments of the individuals to whom we are speaking, as opposed to focusing exclusively on our own. Re-framing “voice” as “dialogue,” which includes a goodly dollop of “listening,” is another important piece of the recipe.

It’s also important to use the communication style with which we are most skilled and comfortable. For example, if our most effective style of communication is story-telling and the use of metaphor, we would likely want to play to our strengths, whether the topic is a moral conflict or not. Or, if we are uncomfortable with confrontation, we may choose to raise our objections through a line of careful questioning rather than assertion. Even if we are not convinced that our personal style will be most effective in a particular situation, we are most likely to speak if we start from the strengths we have, rather than attempting to be an entirely different type of person at a time of stress.

And of course, the power and influence of our context should not be underestimated. It’s very hard to stand up against the majority or against an authority in any situation, let alone an ethically charged one. Nevertheless, we all know of times when we have seen individuals resist these pressures; we probably can think of some times when we have done so ourselves. Research and experience suggest that an explicit attempt to test our ideas with a diverse set of colleagues, and also perhaps to seek support from such a group both inside and outside the organization, may help us resist some of the unconscious influence. It may even help us find new ways of expressing our values that would not have occurred to us if we didn’t seek out different perspectives.

In order to develop this ability we want to consider the challenging situation carefully and answer the following questions:

  • What are the main arguments you are trying to counter? What are the reasons and rationalizations you need to address?
  • What’s at stake for the key parties, including those who disagree with you? What’s at stake for you?
  • What levers can you use to influence those who disagree with you?
  • What is your most powerful and persuasive response to the reasons and rationalizations you need to address? To whom should the argument be made? When and in what context?

What can make this approach particularly useful for tackling values-based conflicts is that, after a while, we will begin to recognize familiar categories of argument or reasons that we typically hear from someone defending an ethically questionable behavior. And, similarly, there are some useful questions, persuasive arguments and ways of framing our own role/purpose, and that of our organization, which can help us respond persuasively to these frequent arguments.

Finally, the very act of recognizing and naming the argument can reduce its power because it is no longer unconscious or assumed; we have made it discussable and even put it into play with equally, or hopefully stronger, counter-arguments. Choice becomes possible, and that is what this note is all about.

Let’s take a moment to identify a few of the familiar categories of values conflict and categories of rationalization or argument, as well as some possible types of response – by way of illustration.

We can also identify patterns of reasoning and levers that can be useful to understand in our efforts to voice our values. For example:

  • Thinking in the long run as well as the short run.
  • Considering the situation in terms of the group and the firm’s wider purpose, rather than in terms of the immediate transaction alone. For example, what behavior enables them to serve their customers best; to manage themselves most efficiently; to manage themselves in the most honest manner; to align incentives of the firm, the sales team and the customers, etc.?
  • Considering the assumed definition of “competitive advantage.” This definition sometimes seems to follow the old joke about two lawyers pursued by a bear in the woods. One lawyer says to the other, “We’ll never be able to outrun that bear,” and the other replies, “I don’t have to outrun that bear; I just have to outrun you.” Implicit in this view of competitiveness is the assumption that the point of business is conquest, narrowly defined as outrunning the competitors (whether they are external or internal). This model often results in shortsighted, narrow conceptions of managerial purpose. It can be valuable to suggest an alternative model for competitiveness, based upon overall and long-term excellence, rather than merely “outrunning” the competition. This conception can also allow for consideration of how we achieve results, as well as whether we do so.
  • Positioning oneself as an agent of “continuous improvement” as opposed to the source of complaint. For example, how can we improve this system of incentives and goals to maximize performance while discouraging “gaming” the system?
  • Positioning oneself as a source of actionable alternatives rather than “thou shalt not’s:”
  • Pointing out addictive cycles that can cause greater and greater pressures and risks, leading to larger and larger values conflicts.
  • Considering who we need and can attract as an ally in our efforts.
  • Considering the costs to each affected party and looking for ways to recognize and mitigate these in order make our arguments more appealing.
  • Assuming our audience members are pragmatists (as opposed to idealists or opportunists) and looking for ways to make it feasible for them to do the “right thing.” This does not mean that they will never pay a price for their choices (sometimes such choices do mean sacrifice, at least in the short run), but it means that they will not feel as if they have been exploited for doing so. For example, if we want to ask our group to forego inappropriate revenue recognition it might help them to see that we are trying to address the problem at a systemic level, as well. After all, it is the organizational incentives that can encourage such choices.
  • Assuming that our audience members are pragmatists, we will need to counter the commonly held assumption of unethical behavior: pragmatists often expect the lowest common denominator of behavior from those around them. In order to motivate individuals to step beyond this lowest common denominator, it is useful to share examples of effective managers who have made choices based on their sense of responsibility.

The point in identifying and delineating these different categories of argument and rationalization, as well as the categories of values dilemmas, is to help us recognize them when we encounter them; to understand the ways of thinking that produce them; and to be practiced in responding to them.

The Client Who Fell Through the Cracks (A)1

Juan, the client portfolio manager and Susan’s boss, flashed a sardonic grin, shook his head and directed her out of his office with explicit instructions to revise the numbers. Susan was flabbergasted; all of the performance figures had come from the electronic systems scrupulously maintained by the company’s analysis team and were in line with the portfolio's underlying investments. However, she quickly realized that the issue lay not with the figures and charts but rather with the investment decisions that had yielded such poor results. And that was one tale that her portfolio manager at Company XYZ did not want told.

Specifically, Susan was urged to find a “better” blended benchmark to replace the original, and to do so in time for the client meeting that afternoon. The original benchmark was based on the appropriate market indices that best reflected the portfolio's asset mix, but which unfortunately outperformed the portfolio since inception. Consequently, Susan was not so subtly advised that accuracy was to be superseded by a desire to conceal this knowledge from the client.

The principal of this portfolio was one of the bank’s smallest clients in terms of net worth and had remained on their platform only as a personal favor to a senior banker. He had decided only two years ago to invest the bulk of his wealth with the bank. An eighty-five year old man who admitted that luck had been on his side, the client had acquired a small fortune by creating a franchise of clothing shops, specializing in low-priced fashion-forward clothing throughout Mexico. He was happily enjoying retirement and hoping to grow and eventually disperse his self-made wealth to his nine grandchildren.

It was not surprising that the portfolio's performance woes had gone unnoticed by both the portfolio manager and client. After all, the portfolio manager was new and there had been enormous turnover on Susan’s team in the past eighteen months and a subsequent focus on their largest accounts. Everyone had been operating in fire drill mode, trying to keep the existing base of clients and acquire new ones to replace the few clients that had left during the turmoil. A small portfolio not at risk for defection would have been at the bottom of the group’s priority list. For the client’s part, his lack of financial expertise was the reason he turned to this firm in the first place; he gathered his information almost exclusively from their scheduled meetings.

Susan was dismayed. Whether the client was worth billions or pennies, this fudging of data and exploitation of a client's ignorance in such matters did not sit well with her. Sent back to her desk and with the client meeting looming, Susan pondered how she could protect her firm’s (and the portfolio manager’s) reputation while still doing the right thing for the client. It made her sick to her stomach to think of deceiving an elderly man, one who would no doubt have put his full faith in XYZ based on their global brand. Still, as a new team member, she worried that she didn’t have the credibility or the relationships to raise the issue without personal cost, having only joined the team two months before.

Now she was faced with a difficult challenge and very little time to come up with a strategy

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The case study doesn't provide any questions to answer for. So, I request you to please provide questions to this case study. Since, I have already read it and can answer you clearly if you provide questions.

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