Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Tools for Integrity 1 (Oct-Nov 2018)

Learning from History
Moral courage for ethical practice
Image courtesy and copyright 2018 ENOD

Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity,
And I have trusted in the Lord 
[without wavering.
Examine me, O Lord, and try me; Test my mind and my heart.

For Your loving kindness is before my eyes, And I have walked in Your 
Psalm 26:1-3, NASB
Why this is important for you.

1. Integrity. This entry begins a new series focusing on personal, leadership, and organizational integrity.  Integrity is moral wholeness—living consistently in moral wholeness. Its opposite is corruption: the distortion, perversion, and deterioration of moral goodness, resulting in the exploitation of people. In particular the entry points out the need to learn from history in order to better understand and avoid the many pitfalls that undemine our integrity, harm others, and compromise the witness-work of the church-mission community (CMC). 

We feature two important resources to encourage your integrity--especially when you need moral courage to act ethically.

Resource One: Five Steps to Strengthen Ethics in Organizations and Individuals: Effective Strategies Informed by Research and History (2018) Kenneth Pope. “[This book presents] effective tools to strengthen organizational ethics. Focusing on key topics such as the planning fallacy, moral disengagement, moral courage, the illusion of ethical superiority, confirmation bias, groupthink, whistleblowers, mindfulness and mindlessness, making authentic apologies, and more, this book discusses specific positive actions that get results and avoid common pitfalls. Research findings and examples from organizations…inform the strategies this book presents and highlight lessons in organizational ethics.”

Finding Moral Courage and Putting It to Work is the title of chapter seven. Here is the author’s summary. “The most informed, effective steps to strengthen ethics in organizations and the people within can succeed only if we actually take the steps. Taking action requires us to leave our cocoon as passive bystanders (a.k.a. enablers) when we come across questionable or unethical behavior, especially when the safety and welfare of others is at stake. Although both research-based interventions and organizations themselves can try to help us do the right thing when confronting these challenges, we may have to push, persuade, or force ourselves to abandon the comforting insulation and safety of "it's not my problem," "someone else will take care of this," "it's probably not as bad as it looks," "I wouldn't even know where to begin," "I just don't have time for this," or "nothing I do will make a difference." This chapter discusses moral courage, its obvious and its more subtle risks, and its paradoxical effects on the organization. It also examines the special kind of moral courage required when we ourselves helped create the ethical problem, and the special challenges of making an authentic apology in contrast to the prevalent practice of issuing insincere, evasive, incomplete, or completely bogus apologies”.

Click HERE for a summary of all seven chapters.  Click HERE to order hard copy and ebook.

Resource Two: Professional Review (2008), Rand Guebert. "This review [investigates] several overlapping matters that have affected the mission, member care, and church community...[and] aspires to promote transparency, accountability, good practice, and healthy relationships." (p. 112). [It]has been organized to draw together the various events that have led to the dismissal of Drs. Kelly and Michele O’Donnell from YWAM [and other organizations/networks] and to the potential loss of millions of dollars by investors in Nordic Capital Investments (NCI) and Stichting Dutch Investments (SDI).  Many of these events are related and overlap, and this review attempts to place them in context." (p.1)

The professional Review is featured on the new weblog, Loving Truth and Peace. “We are sharing this review now with the support of many colleagues in hopes that the international Church-Mission Community (CMC) and general public will get a better understanding of the widespread and ongoing reality of corruption--outside as well as inside the CMC. We hope that this review will encourage the CMC and general public to hold their leaders accountable--and themselves--for the good governance, responsible management, and personal integrity needed to prevent corruption and bring corruption into the light. More specifically, we also hope there will be a far more accurate understanding of the NCI et al. fraud, including what has contributed to obscure it and cover it up, and the heavy price paid by many people confronting it, especially within the CMC (e.g., discrediting, dismissals, physical danger). There is much to learn from this protracted case of corruption and the largely unanswered calls for assistance via verifiable disclosures and independent reviews. In spite of the long-term and ongoing damage, the time is still opportune for people to reverse course and act with integrity.” (Excerpts from weblog, Purpose: Review and  Learn, Support Good Practice, Restore Relationships)

Click HERE to access the weblog and Professional Review.  For a quick overview see the Integrated Executive Summary.

3. The NCI Summary and Summons Continue. This entry also includes verbatim the major section in the last seven entries (Healing the Body: Living in Integrity--Loving Truth and Peace). They summarize many of the efforts by the PETRA People Network (PP Net) and summon the assistance of the people and the organizations affected by the Nordic Capital Investment KB fraud (NCI).

Those “affected” refers to the specific investors-victims, organizations-ministries, staff-leaders, and any others who received/lost money in this scheme or were somehow impacted. It also refers to the thousands of people who are or were part of these organizations-ministries (including Board members and supporters) and who have a moral responsibility to call leaders and others to account: to disclose, conduct independent reviews, and where there are “net positive” gains, to return money to victims.

It is important to realize that the Swedish court documents (released in 2010 and 2011) indicate that it was primarily Christians, Christian organizations, and Christian ministries that were affected by NCI. Some of the main ones were part of Youth With A Mission (YWAM), including Mercy Ministries, Le Rucher, and Mercy Ships. Youth For Christ Switzerland was used as an address for one of the main NCI promoters for NCI activities and Crossroads Church in Ferny-Voltaire, France had many members who heard about and invested in NCI.  

4. Resources and Review. The efforts by PP Net have also sought to inform and educate the international church-mission community (CMC) and general public. The 48 entries on this weblog since 2011, for example, have focused on: resources about corruption, good practice principles and standards, and integrity; court documents and updates on legal cases; the Shine the Light–Together petition and PETRA Statements from 2011 and 2012; the letters to organizational leaders asking for their assistance, transparency, and accountability (2014-current); and the overall developments and concerns over the past 10 years since NCI was first publically confronted.