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What Are You Measuring?

Posted by Bill Crose on September 13, 2019 at 11:33am 1 Comment

A lifetime ago, my training department colleagues and I were satisfied with training data. We cranked out the requested ILT programs plus the "flavor of the year" content, we kept a busy training schedule, and made sure the coffee was always the right temperature. When accused of not delivering effective training because the learners didn't perform as they were trained, we took refuge in our management support role and not ultimately responsible or accountable for LEARNING or productivity.…



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Segment 19 (2020) Ethics - Friday, November 13, 1:00 to 2:00 PM Eastern USA

Overview: How are we assuring the ethics of our work? Who determines whether our work is ethical? How do we increase the ethical alignment of our intentions, our implementation, and the impact we create to others? Is it ethical if the impact to others is not aligned with our intentions? How are education, learning and ethics - aligned - or misaligned? What challenges do these questions create for you or me?



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What is ethical learning?  Learning has the opportunity to influence, and deeply change behaviors, and in some cases, beliefs.  And all instruction has ethical context whether it is transparent or not - the context that the designer and the instructor bring to the learning.  So are there universal ethics? Do we bring our own ethical criteria to our learning and demand the learner align? Or do we use the ethics of the learner audience and build to their needs?  When we build mandatory training do we impose our ethics on others?  Do learning professionals, like journalists, have an ethical responsibility to be accountable for the outcomes of our learning?

An example case comes to mind.  A pharmaceutical corporation's scientists, in their exploration for cures for a range of diseases, discovered the cure for River Blindness.  Millions worldwide are infected and disabled by this disease, mostly impacting rural remote communities with little to no connection to global commerce. Many years ago, using this case as a leadership development exercise, my colleagues and I considered whether we, as corporate leaders, would recommend pursuing the cure. I voted to pursue the cure, but I was surprised to discover my colleagues did not agree.  It turns out it might be unethical to use shareholder funds to pursue a non-profitable endeavor.  But it also turned out that the company would lose their best scientists if they failed to pursue such a breakthrough.  The result was a partnership with non-profit organizations and a non-profit sister organization that could bring the solution to life.  But the ethical dilemma is real - just because we think it is right, there may be other ethics at play that we might not see.  

[Ref: Merck and River Blindness case] 

/// My ethical studies are first founded on my religious and family upbringing, then International Studies (Peace and Conflict Resolution) at American University and finally Ethics for Business at The Wharton School.  

Where do your ethics come from?  And what about your learner?


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