April 20, 2021

How do we choose to do the right thing?

The Power of Ethics. How to Make Good Choices in a Complicated World

The message

Ethical decision-making tethers us to our humanity. I see ethical decision-making as perhaps the greatest human connector. It binds us in a common optimistic project of benefiting and protecting society and humanity. Of crafting great stories for ourselves and others. Of continuing to probe what it means to be human in a technology-infused world.

But ethics on the edge require using our power and voices, seizing responsibility, taking action, and committing to truth. We all can actively choose ethics, rather than passively let ethics happen (or not). We all can prioritize humans over machines. We all can make decisions reflecting to future generations what we will tolerate for ourselves and demand of our legacy—rather than submitting to whatever trajectory that morally questionable leaders, innovators, and rogue actors define. We all can seek solutions and not just point out where others have fallen short.

The summary,

Four easily recallable steps, and the questions derived from these four words, will keep us focused: principles, information, stakeholders, and consequences.

Question #1: What are my guiding principles?

Who are you, as an individual or an organization? What do you stand for?

Question #2: Do I have the information I need to make this decision?

And what important information lies in the gap between the information you should know and the information you can know?

Question #3: Who or what stakeholders matter to my decision?

Who or what could influence, or be affected by, your decision?

Question #4: What are the potential consequences of my decision in the short, medium, and long term?

Have you considered the immediate and future impact of your decision at the time of the decision?

The book

and a video,