In recent years, Social and Environmental sustainability has been at the forefront of conversation for governments and multinationals, particularly in Australia where extreme weather conditions, such as the bushfires and floods experienced earlier this year, have brought about deeper conversation on what businesses could be doing better.
You’re a first-year analyst at an investment bank and happy to be working long hours to produce high quality work after having landed your dream job upon graduating from uni. You have the opportunity to work with one of the organisation’s most reputable senior bankers on a deal, and you're pleased when they compliment you on the presentation of your reports as well as your attention to detail.
A manager oversees a team of front facing customer service staff. She has been working hard to improve the level of respect shown by staff to customers. One team member continues to be consistently rude to customers, which he justifies on the basis that he sees more customers in a day than any other team member. Frustrated by the impact this is having on the morale of her team and their culture, and the ineffectiveness of her attempts to change the behaviour of this team member through on...
The workplaces we return to will not be the ones we left. There will be strict policies on desk use, the maximum number of people in meeting rooms and common areas, and limited outings for coffee and lunch breaks. But I’m optimistic there are some things that will be strengthened within organisations – and this includes the focus on cultural diversity when it comes to organisational communication. There are some learnings too from the communications we've seen between the government and multi-cultural communities during the current health crisis.
Although efficiency is a value in so many organisations and an important part of delivery to customers, often we don’t see potential risks or mistakes until something goes wrong.
You've been part of a team working on a large and complex project. You have heard that a fairly major error has shown up as part of the financials for the project.
The world is facing what could be the biggest recession since the Great Depression. That tiny Covid-19 virus kicked off a trail of personal and economic disaster, expected to snowball into an avalanche of business bankruptcy.
You’ve just started a new role at a large financial institution with a solid portfolio of business clients. You’ve been told that as bankers to large professional service firms, your organisation gives discounts to the partners of those firms for their personal lending facilities in recognition of the wider group relationship.
There are some early claims that Generation Z women are smarter with money than their mothers and grandmothers have been. They will need to be.
An initial meeting to assess the needs and values of a potential new customer turns in to a self-reflection exercise that sees you questioning your own values and where your duty lies.
When it comes to data collection, businesses emphasise speed, efficiency and simplicity. Automation of processes can enable the transformation of outdated, manual processes and make it easier and quicker to complete work every day. It can remove duplication of work and increase productivity to help us better do our jobs. It can help us to stay on track and notify us of something we may have forgotten. It can help us to grow and accelerate as a business.
There are, however, concerns over...
You are a Human Resources Business Partner to an IT team of 45 people in a large financial institution. The team is leading a high profile systems transformation that will take the business through a significant change in the way it deals with customers.
At a time when so many small to medium businesses are being pushed to the limit, is it possible to balance compassion with realism?
As the world economy will soon have to start rebuilding from ground zero, it’s a really good time to reflect and ask… what do we want this new edifice of life to look like? I hope that by sharing my story, I might help shape your answer to this very question.
Emerging from the turbulence of COVID-19, we have the opportunity to escape the hold of our past and use moral imagination to explore a better future.
Just as the post-Hayne dust was settling, and before the financial services industry had time to catch its collective breath, a serious new challenge has emerged shining an even more dramatic spotlight on its role in a distrusting community – the wildfire spread of, and the global economic/societal response to, the Coronavirus.
Since the Covid-19 crisis hit, Australia’s financial institutions have had to divert a lot of resources and focus their efforts on addressing the challenges they face. They’ve also had to adapt quickly to accommodate their customer’s changing financial needs. But has their response to the pandemic been enough to rouse respect from the community they serve and rekindle a trust that has been lost?
Compliance can’t be in every situation all of the time. Every decision can’t be monitored, nor should we want it to be. The purpose of The Banking and Finance Oath (The BFO) is to encourage self-reflection and values-driven decision making.
There will still be situations where behaviour is not in line with the values of an organisation and it’s important to question when you see this. You just have to look at #ToiletPaperGate to see behaviour can be driven by self-interest, when the circumstances permit, whether we realise it or not.
The broader example of hoarding is an example of fear driving unthinking practice. The BFO encourages individuals to ‘call out wrongdoing and support others who do the same’. However, situations will still arise, where organisations will rely on a whistle-blower speaking up. Bad behaviour still happens during a crisis.
We spoke to a whistle-blower from the financial services industry who explains why speaking up is as important as ever in these challenging times.
A senior executive alarms his CEO when he starts making out-of-character decisions that reflect his personal fears. Teams are frozen into indecision as the ground continually shifts beneath them. Your days are punctuated with emotional meltdowns from people you have always relied upon in a crisis.
As exhausting as this sounds, it is currently all too familiar. These are some of the signs that the prolonged impact of Covid-19 is causing moral fatigue in the people around you.
As people around the world grapple with this extremely challenging time, never has it been more important for individuals to pull together as citizens to make the greatest impact in the face of this unfolding COVID-19 crisis.
Social distancing by working from home means a disparate workforce and a completely new way of working for many of us. Technology is enabling the ‘show to go...
Life insurance offers financial security to loved ones left behind following the loss of a family member. It can be a difficult subject to broach at the best of times, but in times of crisis it can be even harder, albeit reassuring to know you have it.
But what if you don’t?
Working in customer service for a large life insurance organisation you receive a call from a prospective client wanting to purchase life insurance. They are not considered high risk in the...
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) defines conduct risk as “the risk of inappropriate, unethical or unlawful behaviour on the part of an organisation’s management or employees”.
At its heart, the definition recognises conduct risk is a product of ethical blindness: a failure to see important aspects of the ethical landscape of banking.
"You would hope the interests of consumers, the integrity of financial markets and the...
A system red flag has popped up to alert you of a transaction by a customer that looks out of the ordinary of her usual transactions, particularly given the country the money will be received. What you uncover leaves you questioning what the right thing to do is in this situation.
You work in financial advice and have good a relationship with a number of your clients. You are Executor of the Will for one of your long-standing clients who passed away recently.
You are the line manager for a team of people in your company in the finance sector. One of your key staff members is excellent at her job and is known for her ability to generate a high amount of income for the company - none of your other staff members come close to her in terms of this...
The ethics of managing people... What would you do?
Photo by Joshua Ness on Unsplash
You are the head of your department in a large organisation and have a good relationship with the majority of your staff.
Recently you noticed that one of your senior female employees - a married woman - has been making advances towards a junior male employee.
There is no indication of harassment, but a lot of coffee breaks together and subsequently the productivity of both parties...
It’s the festive season and you’re attending the usual amount of social events at this time of year – catching up with colleagues and industry peers at each one.
As the manager of a small close-knit team in a large financial services institution, one of your team members has made you aware the new employee in your team has a sexually explicit Instagram account, and others in the broader business division are gossiping about this individual.
You work in wealth management, advising on, monitoring and updating the investments and superannuation of clients, some of whom carry joint investments and receive services together as a couple - like Leo and Isabelle*.
To date, Leo and Isabelle have always come to the office seeking advice and making decisions together. But this week you received a call... just from Leo.
You are a fixed income portfolio manager who works as part of a close, high performing team that invests the assets of large institutional clients.
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