Governing Board Executive CommitteeDavid Mayer, ChairDvorak Law Group Mark Pohl, Vice ChairOPPD Steve Koesters, TreasurerFusion Medical Staffing Founding PartnersBob Bates, Emeritus Jefferson Pilot Insurance David BrownGreater Omaha Chamber of Commerce James HegartyBetter Business Bureau Anthony Hendrickson, PhD.Creighton UniversityLuke ChristiansenBuildertrend Joel FalkUMB Bank Allen FredricksonSignature Performance Dale GubbelsFirstar Fiber Keith StationCity of Omaha Mayor's Office Joe Woster Blue Cross & BlueShield Nebraska Linda LovgrenEmspace + Lovegren Chad MaresGreater OmahaChamber of Commerce Madeline MoyerSecurity National Bank Christine NeuharthUnion Pacific Daniel PadillaLending Link Chad RichterJackson LewisMembers
Impact ReportMaking an Impact on Business Ethics Would You Rather? Butch EthingtonExecutive Director's Message: Michael Robinson, Business Ethics Alliance Founding Partners Heider College of Business, Greater OmahaChamber and Better Business Bureau Calendar of EventsOUR MISSION: To buildleadership, strengthenorganizations and elevateGreater Omaha throughpositive, practical businessethics education. Trustee Chair Message:Lance Fritz, Union Pacific Railroad(l to r) Anthony Hendrickson, Robert Bates, Jim Hegarty and David Brown.
Everything the Alliance does promotes an environment wherethe discussion and practice of ethics is encouraged andexpected in our local community. And it’s working, but onlybecause of your support and participation.We’re fortunate to have so many leaders willing to create andshare the wealth that comes from building profitable, ethicalbusinesses. Unanimous Trustee participation is prized byprospective donors, especially foundations, as an acid-test ofinvestor confidence and grant worthiness.Thank you in advance for supporting the Alliance and all it doesfor our community.Lance FritzPresident, Chairman, and CEOUnion Pacific RailroadWe strive for game-changing results that inspire ethicalbusiness practices in our community, nation, and world. We thrive on the desire to always learn and improve.We look out for all team members and the greater good ofthe organization.Our hard work is the standard, along with never quitting.We behave in ways that value everyone’s thoughts,beliefs, and feelings.Dear Friends:The Alliance has become a trusted source of substance andeducation for the Omaha business community. What is clear tothose who have attended Alliance functions is that employeesare proud of their company when their CEO stands up andstands out for ethics. Those employees know that anemphasis on ethics is the right thing to do and makes theircompany special.We had a great team as we built the Alliance, and that teamhas expanded over the years and includes many of you in thecommunity. Your hard work not only has had an impactthroughout our community, but has set a standard forbusiness ethics recognized throughout the country. It comes down to what you do, as reflected in theorganization’s core values:L A N C E F R I T ZPAGE 4
PAGE 4PAGE 5
Business Ethics Alliance Trusteesshall be Ambassadors, Advocatesand Supporters.TRUSTEE CREEDOAs Trustees, we are nominated for our demonstratedexcellence in business ethics leadership. A Trustee’sprimary responsibility is to serve as a beacon forgood business ethics and, through our commitment,we send the message that ethics matter.PAGE 6
RATHER?"Having agreat reputation is notenough, clearlyexplaining companyhistory and culture is agreat foundation." WOULD YOUPAGE 8
WHY TALK ABOUT BUSINESS ETHICS?Would You Rather?One cold Nebraska evening I was playing a game with two of my grandchildren, five- and eight-year-old boys. The game was called “Would You Rather?” An example of one of the questions eachof us had to answer was “Would you rather sleep with a skunk or a porcupine?” The boys loved itand it was a fun challenge. The questions made me think of the business ethics challenges peopleoften face in working in a large company, being in middle management, overseeing a department ina large or small company, or working to get the job done from day to day. Let’s play a quick game ofWould You Rather, together.Would you rather create a business conduct policy and publish it to everyone, or assumethat everyone knows what to do every day?Many small companies don’t have a business conduct policy, and if they do it is hardly everdiscussed. If you have one in your company that’s good. If it is published and talked about eachyear that’s even better. Don’t assume everybody knows and understands policies thoroughly.Would you rather be the leader in business ethics at your company, or delegate it tosomeone else?Large companies usually have a designated compliance or ethics officer. Smaller companiesusually don’t. If you don’t have an ethics officer at your company – it’s YOU. Some companies alsohave ethics committees to wrestle with the issues. If your company doesn’t have an ethicscommittee then each group does their own laundry - sometimes that can be a problem.Would you rather spend 30 minutes a year talking about business conduct, or see one ofyour co-workers get fired for cause?Most leaders in organizations take for granted that employees know what to do. Many believe it iscommon sense that people know how to behave, do their job with care, and do it safely. If thatwere always true however, why do we hear so often about business scandals and individualviolations? A little bit of training can prevent a lot of personal and business pain.Would you rather have a lawsuit for discrimination citing inappropriate jokes or harassmentin the workplace, or have a professional training session about anti-racism, bias, and sexualharassment for 15 minutes a year?This is the choice most all organizations face. Many organizations choose to avoid doing anytraining until after the lawsuit.PAGE 9
WHY TALK ABOUT BUSINESS ETHICS?Would you rather your company’s business conduct expectations be clear and specific, or vagueand general?Talking about business ethics can be uncomfortable at first. So why talk about business ethics?Because the more you explain, the better you understand. Consider this, what you spend timetalking about, you spend time thinking about. Why wouldn’t we want that to be business ethics? Would you rather think you know what is happening on the shop floor, or conduct a professionalsurvey to gauge employee attitudes and issues every two years?Most companies don’t take the pulse of the shop floor regularly, if at all. What’s the upside of doinga professional survey with today’s survey technology? You might be surprised at the positive andconcerning information you uncover. It could be a profitable business tool. Monitoring and auditingthe business ethics issues going on in your workplace is a good strategy.Would you rather have clear discipline guidelines and corrective actions, or roll with the punchescase by case?When things go off the rails the best course of action is to meet the issue head-on with clearguidelines and fixes that stand the test of time. Having clear disciplinary guidelines is a first step inhelping everyone understand the expectations for business conduct in your company. Having agreat reputation is not enough, clearly explaining company history and culture is a great foundation.If you have read this far, you get the picture. Developing a culture of business ethics and valuesstarts at the front door and extends throughout every piece of the organization. There areresources that are helpful in meeting the challenge of talking to employees about business ethicsand conduct expectations. The Business Ethics Alliance can provide guidance and materials to getyou started and keep you going. Omaha has a great number of companies that chose to improvetheir business ethics culture.You could do the same, or would you rather not?PAGE 10
Ethics and leadership are part of the same thoughtprocess, and instilling and maintaining a culturewhere ethics is front of mind all of the time can onlybe done through consistent emphasis and example bythe CEO because no one can achieve an ethical culturewithout leadership setting the example. "As a leader, you have to not only do theright thing but be perceived to be doingthe right thing." The decisions we make and the actions we take will bedeterminative for the future of the Greater Omahabusiness community. In regard to ethics programming, we are excited tokick off the Nonprofit Ethics Exchange in April. Thisnew partnership with the Weitz Family Foundation willposition the Alliance to not only build capacity butprovide no-cost training and leadership developmentto nonprofit organizations, their staff, and governingboards through ethics training. Sincerely, Executive Director/CEO Dear Friends of the Alliance: During the past year, the Alliance renewed ourstrategy. In doing so, we reviewed our very ownbusiness plan. The most significant change was ourfocus on creating an Ethical Omaha. What is clear isthat when it comes to ethics, leadership starts at thetop.More than ever businesses need help navigatingimportant, complex topics such as the city’s Diversity,Equity and Inclusion initiatives, or potentiallycontroversial current events with their workforce,their customers, and within their community.
Keynote Speaker: Sherron WatkinsENRON-WhistleblowerSAVE THE DATE: OCTOBER 13, 2022CHI Health Center For more information visit: www.ethicspace.org
Founding PARTNERSAfter the Enron Scandal that rocked Omaha in 2005 (Did You Know...Enron started inOmaha), Dr. Beverly Kracher, holder of the Robert B. Daugherty Endowed Chair inBusiness Ethics & Society in Creighton University’s Heider College of Business, joinedforces with Omaha business leaders to address the need and interest in localbusiness ethics education. In 2006, the Heider College of Business approved the formal creation of a businessethics group. In 2008, the Greater Omaha Alliance for Business Ethics was legallyestablished, as a stand-alone not-for-profit entity. The Alliance has three foundingpartners, the Heider College of Business, Greater Omaha Chamber, and theBBB of the Midlands. Additionally, the Alliance is made up of Trustees aroundOmaha who act as a guild of business leaders who are ambassadors, supporters,and advisors of the Alliance’s mission. Dr. Bev led the Alliance for over 12 years as Executive Director and CEO building afull range of community programs, ethics-based products services, as well as theAlliance’s premier conference: EthicSpace. In November of 2020, Michael Robinsonwas named Executive Director/CEO. Casey Putney, VP of Leadership Developmentensures the Alliance continues its legacy and reputation of providing relevant ethicseducation to the Omaha business community. Everything the Alliance does promotes an environment where the discussion andpractice of ethics is encouraged and expected in our local community. Becausebusiness leaders trust the Alliance, it is able to create the forums to haveconversations that no one else in the community can have. The Alliance's brand ofethics education is impartial, research-based, and respectful. Always. PAGE 16
What does the idea of Business Ethicsrepresent to you? Behaving with the same integrity in business that youexhibit and would expect from anyone in a personalrelationship. It means being candid and direct. Honestand forthright. Sometimes people think that errors ofcommission (telling a lie) are dishonest but notnecessarily errors of omission (not telling the entiretruth). I don’t think that is Business Ethics. Businessshould hold itself to a higher standard than what is simplylegal. It is about doing what is right. What kind of things do you think about whentrying to be an ethical leader? Leaders provide vision and direction to those they lead.Good leaders lead by example and model the behaviorthey expect in others. Dictating acceptable behaviors toothers, while failing to exhibit those same behaviors isnot leadership. We learn this from an early age. It shouldnever be “do as I say, not as I do.” Business is aboutrelationships and I think you need to exhibit the samebehavior in business relationships as you do and expectin personal relationships. Your personal and businessintegrity are one and the same. We all make mistakes. Sowhen you make one, own it. Offer an apology and makerestitution appropriately. You don’t have to be perfect,but you do have to hold yourself accountable. A N T H O N Y H E N D R I C K S O NPAGE 17
In your opinion, what does an ethicalworkplace look like in 2022? I don’t think that appearance of an ethical workplacechanges very much over time. Companies must stillinstill the values of doing the right thing every timewith each employee. C-suite still needs to modelethical behavior. And staff leads need to providetraining and tools for employees to see in practicalways what ethics mean in their space. Perhaps theonly real change as we look at today’s environment isthe form of transparency that is expected from today’sC-suite. Communication and conversations across theorganization need to see the commitment to an ethicalworkplace and accountability that goes along with thatcommitment. Why do you feel business ethics is soimportant? I know with my team, we wanted to give them a placeto start. For us, it was unequivocal that we will alwaysdo the right thing, no matter the consequences. Ifthere are questions from the team about actions wehave taken, we need to be able to have candiddiscussions about them. When we start from a positionof demonstrated action to do the right thing, theconversations we have are generally involved withgiving background information or experiences thatframed our decision making. An organization that canhave these kind of discussions will be stronger whencontroversy or difficult financial times occur.. D A V I D B R O W NPAGE 18
Are there signs or signals that you can see thathelp you recognize an ethical business? At BBB we believe that an ethical business will, at theleast, be committed to the following 8 principles of trust:Build Trust, Advertise Honestly, Tell the Truth, BeTransparent, Honor Promises, Be Responsive, SafeguardPrivacy and Embody Integrity.What are the biggest ethical challenges thatbusinesses face in Omaha? I think the pandemic has in some ways forced businessesto examine or at the least reflect on their internalculture. More than perhaps any time in history the needto assess and be responsive to the well-being of itsemployees is essential. The last few years have been agrind. Providing employees with the opportunity to freelydiscuss the impact the pandemic has had on thempersonally and professionally as well as offeringresources to help address adverse impacts feels like theright approach. Are we taking care of our people? Being transparent and responsive to the impact thecurrent supply chain issues may be having on customers.The way in which businesses train their employees tomanage unhappy customers is more important than ever.Responding quickly, honestly, and professionally isessential. As always, it’s critical not to place a focus on ethics onthe back burner. Business owners need to be intentionalabout preparing themselves and their employees toprepare for and manage ethical dilemmas with integrity.This can make or break a business's most valuableasset… its reputation! J I M H E G A R T YPAGE 19
April-MayApril 4 | Nonprofit Ethics Exchange Creighton UniversityHeider College of Business Room 30579:00a-10:30a April 13 | Spring Executive BreakfastKiewit University 7:30a-9:00aEthics Insights: Conversations Across Generations May 12 | Summer Mind Candy Dialogue11:30a-1:00pThe VenueEthics and Law: Conversations Across GenerationsPAGE 22Calendar of Events
Jack & StephanieKoraleskiJon & AdrianMinksThanks to our 2022 Mission Drivers Moglia Family Foundation