Truth or Consequences (Aug 04)

In the annals of unlikely (for me) travels, a month or so ago I went to the Parliament of World Religions in Barcelona. I was co-presenting a workshop on Future Search (a way to help large systems find a common way forward) with two of my best friends. That's how I ended up in my spare time in a workshop, conducted entirely in a language I do not understand, about the overriding importance of the golden rule in everything we do. You remember, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." The presenter went exhaustively through a listing of how this dictum shows up in almost every known religion. (I know this because his slides were also in English.) His message was that an ethic so widely promoted must have significant but, as yet, unrealized power we could harness in our own work.

I actually agree with the thought that, despite the importance of the details of any particular situation, sometimes it is the simplest of stuff that makes the difference.

So I bring you the enclosed article on the importance of truth-telling, entitled, "Truth or Consequences: The Organizational Importance of Honesty," by Erline Belton from the summer issue. The article is drawn from the author's practical experience working with many organizations on this topic.

And lest you think that you don't need to think about the effects of dishonesty in your organization, I would remind you of the study a few years ago that showed that 93% of all people surveys admitted to lying "regularly" at work.

Lying hides problems and creates distrust. It is also infectious and the large majority of us do it.

So I pass along this very useful and practical article to you. It's a quick but profound read that will make you say "Hmmmm!"