513: Business Ethics as a Competitive Advantage (with J.S. Nelson)

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Welcome to Strategy Skills episode 256, an episode with an expert in business law and business ethics, J.S. Nelson. Get J.S’s book here: https://amzn.to/3C8am91

Managing business ethics has always been a challenge for many organizations. As unethical business conduct rises, the struggle of implementing ethics and compliance programs in organizations also increases. Business ethics can make or break your business or career. But it can be used as a competitive advantage if managed correctly and can build the most valuable asset: your reputation.

The key is to articulate your organization's values – defining who you are, what you stand for, and extending it toward every inch of your organization. It’s very important for management to cultivate a culture of openness, where people feel safe to speak up and where ethical misconduct is not tolerated. As J.S. mentioned in this episode, “the way to get the behavior that you want is to intervene early and often.”

In this episode, J.S speaks about the value of business ethics, the major schools of philosophical ethical thought, and how understanding it can help people become better at being ethical. She discusses the ways an organization can cultivate ethical behavior and how to get away from situations involving ethical traps in the modern business world.

Nelson is an expert in business law and business ethics. She is a visiting professor at Harvard Business School. Nelson was the first tenure-track appointment in a U.S. law school, specifically to teach business ethics and to develop law-school curricula around the subject.

Nelson has spent nearly fifteen years teaching at top universities across the country, including Villanova Law School, the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Haas Business School of the University of California at Berkeley, Drucker School at Claremont Graduate University, and the Mihaylo School at Cal State Fullerton.

Prior to her work in academia, Professor Nelson served as staff counsel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, and she clerked for the Honorable David M. Ebel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and the Honorable William H. Yohn Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. She also worked as a deputy district attorney and as a business litigator in Denver, Colorado. Nelson graduated from Harvard Law School, where she was the Supreme Court Co-Chair of the Harvard Law Review. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with honors and distinction in the major from Yale.

Get J.S’s book here:

Business Ethics: What Everyone Needs to Know, J.S. Nelson & Lynn A. Stout: https://amzn.to/3C8am91

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