Monday, February 19, 2007

Marshaling Integrity - James Lukaszewski

These excerpts are taken from our interview of James Lukaszewski, an experienced outside crisis response advisor.

There is an inherent resistance to admit being wrong, an inherent resistance to cave in to the do-gooders. There’s a wonderful article in Harvard Business Review, and it raises the question about where business schools went wrong. What the authors talk about in that article is that business schools have begun to focus heavily on being scientific—everything has to be measurable or countable; if it isn’t, it doesn’t matter. When you work and live that way, then in essence you factor out the human part of the business; what you factor out, in their area, is the professional part of being a businessperson—judgment, morals, and better behavior.

One thing I’ve learned is, after they pass the age of 13 it’s really hard to change people’s thinking and behavior! I keep my expectation levels realistic. If I can make modest, incremental changes in people’s behavior—especially at the level I work—there will be monumental impact on the organizations these people run. I look at this as an opportunity to be helpful, as an opportunity to do something worthwhile that benefits a lot of people, yet requires very little energy on the part of these very senior people. It does involve significant commitment and discipline, an enormous change in attitude, and an enormous change in thinking. Even if the issues don’t involve something as dramatic as Sarbanes-Oxley, every issue I’m involved in has its ethical parameters.

James Lukaszewski's interview is included in Working for Integrity: Finding the Perfect Job in the Rapidly Growing Compliance and Ethics Field.

(All interviewees spoke to us about their own personal experiences and opinions; interviewees were not acting as a spokesperson or otherwise representing their current or former employers.)