Hello, Mary welcome to Manchester, and thank you for joining us from Boston. So Mary Gentilly, we'd love to have your input to this sixth session of our MOOC, on managing responsibility, sustainability and ethics. And I'd just like to know a few ideas about how your work connects with our MOOC which we're looking at at three levels. In level of the individual in networks of individuals, the level of the organization and groups of organizations and the level of systemic or transformational change. So if we could open this wonderful opportunity to talk to you with the question, could you tell us a little bit more about your own career and how this led to your work on giving voice to values? >> Thank you, Sally. I'm delighted to share these ideas with you today and to be part of this MOOC. Yes, my career is basically been primarily within the field of business education and values driven leadership development. I started out ten years at Harvard Business School, where I help to design and deliver their first required curriculum around values and leadership. I left there in the mid-90s and started working on a consulting basis, with business schools and companies around the world on the same issues, on leadership, on values, and also on diversity and inclusion. And then a number of years ago, about probably at this point about ten years ago, I got some venture funding from the Aspen Institute and the Yale School of Management to develop what I call Giving Voice to Values, which is a values driven leadership development pedagogy and curriculum. And so since then, I've been spending pretty much all my time traveling around the world and around the US. Sharing, giving voice to values. It started out as a curriculum for business schools. And now it's being used in hundreds of business schools around the world. It's being used on all seven continents but we're also are working increasingly with more and more corporations. Both small and mid size companies that are also major multinationals. To use giving voice to values as an approach to their own efforts to empower and build the skills and the competence for values driven leadership development. >> So could you tell us a little bit more about giving voice to values. What does it look like in practice? And you say that there are a common set of values that all businesses would have to get it right. Can you explain what these are and how it all fits together? >> Sure, Sally. So I like to explain to people that giving voice to values or GVV as I refer to it developed, frankly it came out of my own crisis of faith. I began to feel that having worked in the field of values driven leadership and business ethics for such a long time, I began to feel that perhaps the work was a bit futile [LAUGH]. And I felt that the way we were approaching it was not the most effective. We tended to approach these issues as if they were entirely cognitive problems, entirely intellectual questions. As if what we needed to do is to teach people if they were in corporations or companies to teach them the relevant laws, the corporate policies, the code of conduct, the rules of the road, if you will. And if we were in a business school, what we needed to do is to teach them the models of ethical reasoning, which came from philosophy primarily. Utilitarianism, deontology, virtue based ethics. With the idea that once folks have these rules in their mind or these models of reasoning in their mind, they would be able to look at any situation. And reason through it in a consistent and a rigorous and an appropriate way. And then they would know what the right thing to do was. Now I don't mean to say that those are not important things to do. I think they very much are, but they're not sufficient. And what I began to see from the research was that if you really want to have an impact on people's behavior, there was a lot of research coming from psychology, coming from cognitive neurosciences, etc. That was suggesting that if you want to impact people's behavior, that rehearsal, practice, pre-scripting is an effective way to do that. The scholars whose work is often referred to as the field of positive deviance, have a nice way of phrasing it. They say that if you want to impact people's behavior that rather than asking them to think their way into a different way of acting that it's more effective to ask them to act their way into a different way of thinking. And so I started to realize that maybe the way we were approaching values and ethics, in business and in corporate training and in business education was actually giving people an opportunity to rehearse the rationalizations. In fact it was a schooling for sophistry, because you look at any scenario and you can figure out a way to massage it to justify just about anything. So that being said I thought well although I think it's important to teach people to think rigorously. And it certainly important for them to know what the rules are, maybe we need to flip the way we teach about this. And so I started to think that if we, instead of asking, what is the right thing to do in any particular situation? That’s a good question, it's an important question. But if we flip it and we ask once you know what's right, how would you get it done? Then we can actually be appealing to people's efforts to creatively problem solved and create action plan and anticipate the kind of objection they may encounter. We call those the reasons and rationalizations. And have a chance to literally pre-script, rehearse, peer coach, look at positive examples of people who have done this effectively, and how they've gotten it done. So that's basically the idea behind giving voice to values. I call it the giving voice to values thought experiment. So instead of asking people what would you do in this scenario, we asked people, what if you were the protagonist in this scenario? Who's already decided what he or she think is appropriate, is right, is ethical. What if you were that person? How could they get it done effectively? We do this because when I was interviewing people and meeting people and talking to people about the values conflicts they encountered in business. And they would share stories about times when they had effectively acted on their values, and also times when they had not. And so I'd always ask of why didn't you when you didn't? And they were almost always say, because I didn't take I had a choice. And so what we figured out here is what we're trying to do Is to give people a sense that they literally have choices. And to give them a chance to feel more morally competent. And to rehearse these behaviors. People still have to make their own choices. But what we want to do is put something on the other side of the scale. Now you ask the question but what about differences in values and are there some core values that are pretty much widely shared? So I was concerned about that in the beginning as well. We have seven pillars or principals that giving voice to values is based on and the first one is values. And what I've What I've learned is that if you ask people about values, in business or any other area of life, usually some people will say, it really depends on your upbringing, your religion, your culture, the part of the world you're in, the industry you're in. It's all relative. There are other folks, who on the other side of the spectrum, will say no, no, no, there are a core set of values and they're universal for everyone. I know what they are, and it really doesn't matter what you think. [LAUGH] So either one of those positions, complete relativism, or complete absolutism, end the conversation. But what we did is we took a look at what researchers have observed and have studied over the years. What we found is that pretty much commonly, we found that there were in fact a set of values, a set of universal values, that are pretty widely shared across culture, across religion, across time. The philosophers call them hypernorms. The good news is that there is the potential for common conversation. But the other side of the coin is, it's a really, really, really short list. What we always say to people is when you're encountering a values conflict, the first thing you want to do is ask yourself, does this rise to the level of one of these shared values, one of these common values, one of these hypernorms? Or is it just a matter of my personal preference or comfort level? Now if it rises to that level of the hypernorms, of the widely shared values, then what becomes important is when I talk to you about it, if I'm trying to find common ground, I need to appeal to the value that we're likely to share. Rather than framing it entirely in terms, in language, in norms that are relevant to me, or to my culture, or my industry, or my religion, or my politics. So that's kind of how we do this. Now, there's a core list of norms. It's basically the things you would guess. It's things like integrity and respect, and compassion, and justice. You'll notice that a number of those really are the core values beneath any commitment to diversity and inclusion, in respect, compassion, justice. What we find is we need to think about how to frame the conversation in the way that's likely to connect. A lot of what Giving Voice to Values is about, it's not about figuring out what's right. It's not even about doing values clarification. It's actually saying, here we have this issue where we disagree, I'm confident that this is the right way to go. How can I express it in a way that it's going to appeal to a value that you're likely to share? How can I express it in a way that addresses your concerns? The Giving Voice to Values experience is a particular process that we work people through. A protocol of questions and of tools that we share with them to help them craft scripts and action plans that are likely to be effective. >> Thank you. Do you think you could talk a little bit about that with relation to our three levels? What does it look like for individuals, maybe in your class or around the table with you? What's it mean for the organization level? And what does it mean, if anything, at the systemic level? Does that make any sense? >> Yeah, it makes perfect sense, and in fact, we do think about it that way. When you look at Giving Voice to Values, the obvious first thing people acknowledge, or people see, is that it's about individual values. I don't call it giving voice to ethics, because if you think about ethics or codes of conduct, people tend to think of those as external systems of rules and policies. They're kind of all about thou shall not. [LAUGH] We call it Giving Voice to Values because we're trying to appeal to the aspirational, we're trying to appeal to the values that people actually hold and care about already. So, already you're connecting with the individual at that level. Then the actual experience that you engage in, whether it's in a classroom setting or whether it's in a corporate training setting is one of individuals practicing with each other, practicing scripts and action plans and peer coaching to make them more effective, to make them better. Clearly, it operates at the individual level. The whole idea behind Giving Voice to Values is what can an individual do in these circumstances. That said, the organization that you're operating within, can either support or inhibit that individual action. When we work with organizations, we also think about what are the cultural phenomena that actually support this kind of behavior? I recently did a training session with a major multinational corporation where we brought together leaders and middle managers into the room at the same time, and they worked separately to address some challenges. The leadership team asked, what can a middle manager do to raise these issues with me in a way that makes it easier for me to respond effectively? And the middle managers asked, how can I raise this effectively, and also what am I looking for from my leadership team to make me feel supported and heard? They talked about those conversations separately, but then we came together and debriefed together and it was really positive experience. I found it quick compelling because without my actually having asked for it, there was a kind of an implicit effort to negotiate, to say, look if you will raise it with me this way, I will commit to trying to hear it and respond effectively. So people ended up having that kind of a conversation, so clearly for the organization, there needs to be an ability to craft and support a culture that enables us. But also if you are a leader in that organization, just as a lower level manager may be rehearsing how to voice these things effectively, as a leadership, we need to rehearse how to hear it effectively. And then there's the systemic level that you mentioned. A lot of the work I've done, I mentioned, we've used GVV on all seven continents. A lot of the work we have done have been in parts of the world where there's really systemic issues, perhaps around corruption, for example. Often, when we go into these places, people will say this is a systemic issue. What can I, one individual or even one company, do in that context? What I was explaining to people is that, of course, if it's a systemic issue, it needs to be addressed systemically. No one individual totally transforms that. On the other hand, systemic change doesn't happen, unless individuals start triggering it. We have a lot of cases in the Giving Voice to Values collection, where there are individuals who are working within contexts that do not support values driven behavior. But they're finding ways to build coalitions, to find allies, to reframe challenges in ways that will it easier for others to engage in them. We have an interesting video case that we collaborated with the Carnegie Council on about an entrepreneur in India An entrepreneur who purchased a company that was near bankruptcy, and pretty much steeped in some corrupt behaviors, and within a few years, he was able to successfully turn it around, both financially and in terms of clean operating systems. But he did it in a very GVV way. He didn't just come in and say, do the right thing. [LAUGH] He actually identified lots of small actions that would make it easier for individuals to not engage in some of these systemic challenges. For example, he recognized that often the bribes were being paid to public inspectors who were the employee's neighbors, they lived in the same village, so it was kind a difficult. He did a number of things. The first thing he did was he said look, we're going to stop paying bribes but I know you've already committed to your neighbors for this quarter, so go ahead and pay the bribes you've committed to, we're making it transparent. But starting next quarter, we're not going to do this anymore. Right away, he bought some good will with the employeeas because he acknowledged that he understood the situation they we're in. The second thing he did is he arranged that is a public inspector comes in to look at a boiler, for example, and to approve that it was compliant with safety regulations and that inspector could shut down the whole factory if he or she wanted to. This particular entrepreneur started arranging so that the inspector would not encounter anyone in the organization who was at any level to discuss bribes until they were basically through with their inspection and recorded all the data. So the inspector was being led around by someone very low level in the organization, it just made it a little more difficult. Not impossible, but a little more difficult. Then he started doing things like investing in the community, with things like after school programs, for example. The calculus that I as an employee use to weigh the relative benefits of the company's effectiveness versus the challenges of saying no around some of these bribery demands. The calculus started to shift and so I started feeling more Invested in keeping this operation going strongly. So just a lot of little things and most of them were not ethics trainings or codes of conducts. Most of them were really acknowledging the reality and we have many examples like that. We did a program a few years ago in India, where we worked with about a dozen Indian business school faculty who produced ten giving voice to value style cases that they wrote about Indian organizations. Many of them had to do with interesting and creative ways to address issues of corruption. Some of them unsuccessfully but some of them quite successfully and so, we try to be very honest about that. To say, look, this isn't easy and it's not always immediately possible but it's important, and you can get better at it. I don't know, that gives you a few examples. >> Yeah, that's terrific and what I like about that is we've already started to spread away from just a global North context. Do you have other examples? Because we hope the audience for this MOOC will be highly international, from the southern hemisphere as well. Do you have other examples you can tell is about the diversity or the need for contact specificity, in southeast Asia, in Africa, or South America, or indeed, in North America, and Europe? So that we can get a sense of the globalness and also the variety and specificity of the things you're telling us about. >> Yes, we've done a lot of work with giving Voice to Values around the world, sometimes with corporations and sometimes with business schools, and sometimes with both. I did a program, actually, a few years ago in China, in Shanghai, I was invited to a program that was bringing together faculty from business schools throughout all of China. It was because the central government had decided that they wanted to make ethics and values a core part of the MBA curriculum in China. So these faculty were sharing best practices, and learning from each other about how to do this. I was invited to come and speak about giving Voice to Values, and I was told there might be 30 or 35 faculty there from around China. When I got there, there were a 100 faculty from all over China and they spent a whole day together talking in Chinese about what they were doing. I had earphones to understand and I was the last speaker of the day. I was a little nervous about it and I wasn't sure how it would be received. I had been told by individuals in the US and in Western Europe, that giving Voice to Values would likely be effective in those areas, but that it wouldn't work in Asia or in Africa or in South America. So I was unnerved about it a little bit. I gave my presentation and the whole time I was talking all of the 100 audience members had their earphones on for translation. I wasn't really sure if what I was saying was being translated into Chinese as I meant it and their faces were pretty impassive. hen we got to the question and answer session, there were no comments or questions and so I was thinking, this did not go well. When it was over, my handler, my host, who is a lovely woman, a lawyer, Chinese but had worked a lot in the west, came up to me and she said, first of all, I want to give you a little piece of chocolate to reward you [LAUGH] for having done your talk. And then she said, I want to ask you how do you think that went? Do you have any idea how that went? I said I have no idea but I'm concerned it may not have gone well. Then she said let me tell you a couple of things. She said the first thing is they all understand English. She said they wanted to have the earphones for the security of the Chinese but they heard what you were saying. So that was interesting. And then she said the second thing is they're really interested in giving Voice to Values but they didn't want to speak about it in the formal setting and in the group. The conference was going to end at noon the next day and they said that if they were willing to change their travel plans and extend their visit, would I be willing to stay for the afternoon, after the conference was over, and talk to them more informally about giving Voice to Values? So I said, sure, I thought maybe there'd be 10 or 15 people. When I got there there was at least 50 people who had stayed, who'd changed their plans and stayed. I thought we would talk for an hour or so but we were there for several hours and I finally cut it off because I was tired. They had lots of questions, they were very interested. They were particularly concerned about the issue you raised about, what about the systemic context. We talked a lot about that but what I realized is that, a lot of the differences when you go internationally is that you have to you have to think about how you're presenting it, how you're sharing it. It's not that the ideas don't translate, it's in fact that they didn't want to have that conversation in a formal setting. They wanted to feel free to have a more engaged and candid conversation off the record, and I've ran into that in other settings, as well. I've learned that there's basically five things I need to do when I travel. Recently I was in Nigeria, I I did a program with a corporation there, where there was huge interest in this. And it was coming largely from a sense of their own sense of dignity and self respect. They were concerned because they knew Nigeria's image in the rest of the world was often as this place that you couldn't operate there without engaging in corruption. And they recognize that there was a reality, but that also were interested in feeling like there might be a possibility for change. I ran into the same thing when I went to Russia. I remember speaking to a room of about 80 or 90 certified fraud examiners in Moscow. So these are people who, you know it's a tough job. And they were probably the most contentious audience I've ever had in terms of pushing back. But they were pushing back in a very constructive way. Basically, they wanted to make sure that this was possible, they wanted to make sure that they were not going to be makes fools of, or they didn't want want to be naive, they wanted it to work and, therefore, they were pushing to get all the answers. I find that quite compelling, but I've learned I have to do five things, the first thing I have to do is acknowledge context. I need to say, look, I know the reality of your context. So, if I've been in the place before I talk about my own experiences with whether it's bribes or whatever it is. So, or infrastructure challenges. So you need to acknowledge the reality of the context. That's a basic sort of premise. The second thing you have to do is start from a position of respect where I basically say, look, giving voice to values isn't necessarily about Mary from Boston coming in to tell you what your values should be. Giving voice to values is about acknowledging that I know you have values. And I know that it's often difficult to act on them for a variety of reasons. Some of them having to do with your unique context, some of them having to do with just universal organizational challenges etc. So you start from the position that this is trying to help you have the choice to act on the values you already have. Then the third thing is I explained s giving waste value start expedient where I tell them look, I'm not going to say what would you do and then say what if you wanted to do the right thing. How could you get it done? The reason we do that, is that it lowers the level of anxiety and stress. It allows people to be more creative, more open minded, more innovative. We know that from the research. If we say what we do do, people will either just tell me what they think I want to hear, or they'll try and rationalize that it is not really wrong because they don't think it's possible to act, and so they want to avoid cognitive dissonance. So, instead we say just what if. It frees them up to be more creative. And then, the forth thing I do is that I always try and have an example from that culture of someone who has done it effectively. So I mention the video about the Indian entrepreneur, I would show that in India, for example. And then the fifth thing relates to my China story, which, is I explained that the voice in giving voice to values is a metaphor. It doesn't necessarily mean going to your boss and stamping your foot and telling him or her they're wrong. In fact, that doesn't even work in the US or in Western Europe most of the time. You need to be a bit more strategic and tactical about you raise these issues. But that's especially important if you're in high context cultures. Where the authority differences are quite pronounced, and where there's a requirement, an expectation, of that kind of level of respect in discourse. So, once I do those five things, I find that people's stress level go down, their openness goes up, and even their appetite for finding ways to act consistently with their own body. >> That's really fascinating. So in fact, what I like about that is you talk through the process of what it looks like on the ground. So, it's easy to see how this is a gradual step by step, small steps process. So, just finally then before we close today, can you give us any examples of transformation, how it looks before and after if you like? So you have the Indian entrepreneur example. Can you give us any other examples of once these steps have taken place, what transformational change can be brought about? >> Yeah, yeah, so the question I think is, how do we know it works? [LAUGH] >> [INAUDIBLE] [LAUGH] >> And I usually tell people that I think about that at four levels. The first level is that giving voice to values was based on empirical research, that suggests that practice rehearsal is an effective way to impact behavior. That wasn't research on GVV, but it was the basis for the pedagogy, for the approach. The second level Is that we started to get anecdotal reports from people. People would tell me, faculty would email me and say a student graduated and then he or she called me back and within their first job, and the had a challenge and they wanted to try GVV and it worked. So we started gathering anectures. The third level is some folks started doing pre and post surveys so before and after you were exposed to giving voice to various methodology. And what we found there is that people would be able to report is that they felt a greater level of preparedness. That they felt that they had more potential approaches to use if they encountered a values conflict. But the fourth level, which is what I think you're asking about is really the holy grail of research on impact, which is you know somebody with experience of getting voice to values training or approach here and then two years later they had a values conflict and they behaved appropriately because of that. I personally am not sure it's possible to do that kind of research, because there's so much noise in the system. You can draw correlative links. But it's hard to draw a definitive causal link. That said, I just got an email yesterday or two days ago from one of the corporations that's been using GVV for a number of years now and they've started building, this is Lockheed Martin, the global defense contractor. They've started building some questions into their employee survey that relate to their Giving Voice to Values trainings. And what they told me they're beginning to see is that when people, they are government contractors so they're required to report certain kinds of issues. But when people raise issues with their values and their ethics and compliance team increasingly since they've been using the GVV methodology. People are not, first of all they're reporting them more often appropriately. They're real issues, they're issues that turn out to be valid issues as opposed to non. But they're also finding that when people report them, they’re not just saying, here's a problem I'm dumping it in your lap you take care of it. They’re saying here's a challenge I'm seeing in my organization, I would like to address it. Will you work with me to help me develop the appropriate script and action plan to make this more effective? And from the corporate perspective they see this. As really culture change, instead of this simply being a policing kind of process, this is really culture change. These are individuals who want to take responsibility for acting on and encouraging values driven behaviour within their units. So I think that's really compelling to see in a corporation of that size, to see that kind of shift. I've heard similar things on a more anecdotal level from corporations where they're seeing this kind of willingness to try and work together to voice these things effectively. I did a program with Prudential, I helped them develop a GDV style training program which they now are using. And they did something very creative, they were doing a training for middle management. But before they delivered it they asked the senior leaders to whom those managers reported, to give them examples of times when middle managers had appropriately and effectively raised values issues in a way that made it easier for them to respond well. And they disguised them to use in the training with the middle managers. But what I like about that is that it was both a way to make the work more convincing for the middle managers. This is a local example. But it also was a stealth training for the senior managers, because they had to reflect on, how do I hear this? Do I hear it well? Do I kill the messenger and send the message that I don't really want you to report, or do I act on this? And then do I close the loop? So we're beginning to see organizations making those links. So in terms of actual data I think the Lockheed example is the best. It's still relatively new in its use in organizations. But in terms of anecdotal impact I do hear from corporations and I actually witness. I was in Nigeria a few months ago and one of the managers I worked with who had been shepherding me around as I did reconnaissance in focus groups to understand the challenges. Before I left she said, can I have an hour of your time? And she said she had several challenges she'd been working with, and she had not known how to act on them. And having been here she wanted to, and would I help her script an action plan? And I did hear, that she in fact did, what we discussed later. So I am convinced that people do feel empowered and we’re beginning to get the data to support that. >> Mary, that’s absolutely fabulous, I really appreciate you joining us and giving us this really illuminating and rich overview of giving voice to values. And in particular, A, how you see it playing out in different parts of the world, and B, how it can actually have a transformative impact. So, thank you very much, indeed. >> Thank you very much for having me.