Saturday, March 07, 2020

Considerations for Ethical Decision Making

JJ Snow, U. S. Air Force CTO, passed this along: considerations for ethical decision making for the U.S. Special Operations Forces from the Joint Special Operations University. I think it is a lot more broadly applicable than just to the SOF community: business, politics, governance, academia, science, etc. I'd argue that these are important guidelines for anyone who manages people in today's organizational environments. Substitute manager for SOF operator and management for SOF and see what you think. I found it made for thought provoking reading. (Cut and pasted from LinkedIn.)

She writes:
What should guide us in tough times? Critical thinking, ethics, compassion and morality.  
Joint Special Operations University proposed six SOF ethical decision-making truths: 
1. Individual moral character is neither inherent nor fixed. Ethical decision-making requires continuing education for even the most experienced SOF operators.   
2. SOF operators will be morally challenged when they are least prepared to deal with it. Ethical problem-solving skills must be developed and strengthened.  
3. SOF ethical decision-making must be developed with honest and frank consideration for the harsh realities of SOF environments and operational requirements. SOF units must see the world for the way it is, not for how they might want it to be.  
4. Binary ethical codes do not provide sufficient guidance in SOF environments. In fact, strict adherence to binary ethical codes can be harmful in some SOF environments.  
5. SOF leaders should not be na├»ve or insensitive to human behavior and must recognize that people are not as ethical as they think they are. SOF operators need training to close the gap between the expectation and reality of what they must do.  
6. SOF culture must become an environment where conversations about ethical decisions, good and bad, are a natural occurrence.


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