It Can Happen to You

     It can and does happen to organizations of every size, sector, and structure. Here are some examples you probably heard of:

  • Documentation that a highly regarded religious leader’s private life included sexting, sexual assault, and rape.
  • Tabloid debacle at much loved global churches.
  • One of the most powerful and profitable global companies settled a lawsuit alleging the leadership team mishandling employee complaints regarding sexual misconduct and discrimination.
  • The US Olympic Gymnastics Team horror was even worse than had been previously reported.

         Here are other incidents that you may not have head of:

  • Background checks going un-reviewed for hundreds of hires. (A new employee arrested for vehicular homicide with a company car would not have been hired had his background check been read.)
  • A building complex’s sprinkler system being disengaged because of one faulty sprinkler head.
  • A driver for top executives of a “Most admired” company picking up minors and purchasing liquor for them in company vehicles.
  • A fire investigator from a major consultancy falsifying reports.
  • Numerous cases of “cooking the books”.
  • Numerous cases of not following organization policies and procedures.
  • A prostitution ring run from a Fortune 500 manufacturer’s swing shift plant parking lot.
  • Restaurants’ minor employees sexually harassed.
  • A senior executive steering consulting and software contracts to friends’ firms.
  • Substandard products being used by a division manager of a major commercial contractor.
  • A top sales representative buying and stealing competitor documents.
  • A university professor “selling” grades.
  • The vice president of major company division surreptitiously blocking minority development and hiring.
  • Condominium tower construction manager suspected of substituting substandard products
  • Middle School teacher admits to sex with students.
  • Retirement community caregiver accused of abusing residents for three years.
  • Students say professor has been “selling” grades.
  • VP accused of blocking minority development and hiring.

     However, like countless other aberrant acts and organization debacles, these incidents all share four common characteristics:

  1. They were caused by an individual’s or individuals’ aberrant behavior.
  2. More than one other person knew of the behavior.
  3. The behavior undermined the organization’s performance, in some cases significantly.
  4. Virtually all the harm to the victims and the organizations would have been avoided if the behavior had been promptly addressed.

     These incidents are analogous to fires: We recognize the importance of preventing them, but we also must take steps to alert the appropriate professionals as soon as they are first observed, so that they can be stopped, and the damage minimized.  When we referenced this analogy, some of the people involved in these incidents said a fire would have caused less damage. 

     Demand that the organizations that are important to you have a system to prevent and detect incidents like these.

     Get TAlert. It is the solution most likely to prevent and the first to detect prohibited conduct and exceeds all federal requirements and the recommendations of the American Bar Association and virtually all organization experts.