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If I Had a Brain Says the Scarecrow

The news wires of late have been filled with stories one after another of NFL players involved in some form of domestic violence. Listening to Roger Goddell’s statement last week added to the feeling that something in this picture was missing. Like many organizations the NFL preferred their bottom line to what was morally and ethically right. Consider the reports from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding the $17,000,000 they have collected in fines for a wide range of charges including retaliation and sexual harassment.

How many times have you watched the classic film the Wizard of OZ and heard the scarecrow sing this Harold Arlen (music) and E.Y. Harburg (lyrics) song? The news conference Mr. Goddell conducted and reading the EEOC RSS feeds since January 2014 seems to lead me to the thought, that today’s business leaders need to be singing this song to themselves because a CEO is not using their brain.

For way to long we have been brought up to believe that the shareholder’s interest are paramount to the health of the organization. Everything we do and everything we say is directly attributed to whether or not we are providing a return on their investment back to the shareholders. If someone notices that we are doing something that could put the organization in a bad light, management tells us to just let things lie as they are. A human capital asset believes that they have been wronged; they complain but end up being punished for trying to rock the boat. But times have changed and the view has widened to include shareholders and stakeholders.

It is time we wake up to the importance of human capital to the value of our organization. Organizations are supposed to be like their second family. We do not tell them in our communication pieces and the annual reports as how important they are to us and then turn our heads to wrongs being done to them in the name of shareholder return on investment. When we turn our heads away from the wrong treatment of individuals because it may look bad for our shareholders we tell the human capital that they are second-class citizens.

Our FTE’s wake up in the morning and have a fight with their significant other. Our FTE gets into a road rage situation on the commute to work. These and many more such situations are brought into the workplace. Now with a wide range of bring your guns to work the hard feelings can spill over into the office. It is high time that our CEO’s understand that the real center of consideration is not the shareholders but the stakeholders. It is high time that our CEO’s use their brains to understand the our organizational extended family includes the FTE’s and their significant others and any offspring. When our FTE’s get caught in situations like Ray Rice it reflects back on the organization as well as the parties involved. It puts into play how we define ethics and morality. It reflects on the organization as to whether we walk the walk and talk the talk.

One of the last remaining contracts we have with our human capital assets is to provide a safe workplace environment. We have a moral and ethic responsibility to ensure to the utmost of our abilities that the wrongful action of the FTE’s and their families does not spill into the environment we call home. The vast majority of CEO’s that I have encountered are well schooled; they have just forgot the school of common sense. They have forgotten about how important our FTE’s are to the organization. We need to demonstrate that violence against another person, unless it is in your own self defense, will not be part of the organizational belief system.

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