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Preventing Spontaneous Combustion in Your Company

Published on

November 3, 2016

Sheri Blaho

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I attended the Tulsa Chapter of CPA Fall Education Class for Ethics. Kevin Kennemer was the guest speaker and presented this presentation: How to Avoid
Spontaneous Combustion – A Discussion on Ethics.

There is an urban myth about people being able to spontaneously combust. This combustion comess from an internal source. Companies can be subject to
this if they do not have a strong moral or ethical compass, the internal source of their meltdown. These fires attract a lot of attention; people
crane their necks to see what is happening. If your company catches fire due to ethical lapse, it will draw the same kind of attention with the
name of your company going up in flames.

Trends – 20% of people who bring up an ethical issue or misconduct are retaliated against. Numbers from 2013 compared to 2016 are trending up, actually
more than double.

Employment Practices – Treating employees properly is part of the contract everyone anticipated when they hire with an employer. Because HR is not
involved in the operations of the business, they focus only on process side of HR (how to hire, how to fire, etc). They need to be involved with
the strategy for the company to succeed.

Human Experiments - If you are in a company that does not make good ethical decisions. The pressure to conform can make employees compromise good beliefs.
This can be used “for good” if you have a firm with strong ethics.
from the old Candid Camera TV show. It sums it all up!

Corporate Culture - The force that nudges you into compliance on “how we do things around here”. The tone is set at the top. If the CEO does drive
an ethical culture, that is exactly what will result.

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