February 4, 2010

Yesterday because Joan Eisenstodt was the Guest Speaker, I once again found myself at Meetings, Minnesota’s Hospitality Journal’s annual event, the State of the Industry. Thanks to AVEX, the presentation of survey results was improved immensely. But certainly, the most worthwhile elements were those that involved Joan.

I attended her breakout on Ethics and to my amazement, so much of the input from the audience was couched in a discussion that reflected the impact of the down economy on ethics – with many in the room seeming to feel it is ok for ethical principles to change in hard times.

I certainly understand lack of work and income creates desperation, but it does not give one permission to put one’s values in the closet until times improve. I so wanted to add my own two cents and direct people to John Maxwell’s “There’s No Such Thing as Business Ethics” or Minnesota’s own Bill George’s “Authentic Leadership” but knowing I am fairly passionate about ethics and its role in our industry, I held back as I tried to process what I would share so as not to look too judgmental. Fortunately for all of us, Joan was able to redirect the discussion back to the topic – Ethical Negotiations in a Changing Economy – and how an understanding of pressures on both sides can assist one in MAINTAINING ethical negotiations. And thanks to those in the audience that tracked with that, shared good input and action steps that contributed to the good discussion that ensued.

More to follow on the Closing Session “Where We Go From Here: Future Trends”. It was right on!

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