42 Ethics by Design
These are pretty complex examples, but so are the realities
of organizations. So trying to over-simplify effective planning
has led to poorly defined objectives and poor results and con-
sequences. The work comes on the front-end in these exam-
ples, rather than continually having to re-do poorly planned
Note in particular what the clearly-defined desired ends
entail. These are measurable—you will know whether the end
has been achieved. They are very clear on who will achieve the
objective, to what degree (criterion), by when, and as meas-
ured by what. In the next chapter, we’ll go into great detail on
articulating effective objectives with examples of objectives for
socially desirable ends for all types of organizations.
Values Statements vs. Value Added:
Key to Ethics by Design
For a long time, we have not included socially desirable ends in
our plans. McDonough explains, “ …it’s no longer acceptable
for us to say this isn’t part of our plan…because it’s part of our
de facto plan. It’s the thing that’s happening because we have
no other plan. Then we realize as a culture that we have
become strategically tragic.”
By not defining these ends, we
deliver a future and a world to our children that are unintention-
ally tragic, and potentially irreversible.
Thus, it is crucial to articulate clear ends so we can plan
and design towards these desirable ends. And those ends must
be both useful and ethical.
Ethics are often addressed (if addressed at all) in organiza-
tions through statements—such as values statements or codes
of ethics. However, the results of these exercises often reflect
the core beliefs and values of the individuals at an organization.
Part of the problem with using core beliefs and values of indi-
viduals is addressed later in this chapter. The real drawback to
addressing ethics only through values statements or codes of
ethics is that they are often just window dressing—something
someone may point to as evidence of ethics in an organization,
when really they’re just evidence that something got written

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