Wednesday, February 25, 2009

‘The financial meltdown happened because people believed “As long as it is not illegal, it’s okay”’

“It’s interesting that the credit crunch occurred in the most regulated economy. Yes, we need regulation and early warning systems, but there is a fine line between regulation and responsibility. If you overregulate you kill responsibility because people tend to think, ‘What is not forbidden is allowed’,” he says.

“SA took a more personal ethical approach, with me taking responsibility for my actions,” Rossouw says. -

NVDL: More and more I am noticing a collective disability to:
- take responsibility, even for small mistakes
- to deal with reality [I don't want to deal with this now unless I have to and I don't feel that I have to, especially not because you insist I should]
- lack of discernment
- lack of priorities in terms of what is important, what is happening now that we should notice and act upon
- collective paralysis and attention deficit disorder
- functional paralysis
- collective moral corruption

“Ethics is deeply embedded in the true values of an organisation, not the nice ones we put up all over the place. But, sometimes, companies don’t think (their values) through and crystalise them,” says Roodt.

That is precisely where business schools can help.

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