Some Reflections and a Not-Goodbye
Today, I have the strange and distinct pleasure of writing a column that is not Speaking Up, our Letter from the Editor. After more than four years with Ethisphere Magazine, I have passed the pen to the capable hands of Bill Coffin, who you’ve already met on p.7 of this issue, and whose name and writing should be familiar to many in our world. Instead, I’ll be getting my final Final Word to reflect on my four years of curating, polishing, and learning from the incredible array of experts in this dynamic space who call themselves friends and clients of Ethisphere.
When I first joined Ethisphere, I had no experience in the ethics and compliance space, and really almost no experience at all: the editor role was only my second job out of undergrad. Our CEO, Tim Erblich, hired me on the hope that a combination of sheer enthusiasm, vague knowledge of English, and curiosity about our work would be enough.
Diving head-first into a new function would be daunting under any circumstances, but I was fortunate to join this space around an inflection point, when our business culture began to seriously grapple with the importance of ethics in the organization. I began to learn from contributors about both the ins-and-outs of “anti-bribery controls” and the ever-expanding list of new topics entering E&C’s domain.
Your teams have shaken off any lingering cobwebs of your old reputation as “check-the-box rules people.” The last five years cemented ethics and compliance’s place as an integral ally for influencing organizational culture. Our readers had seats at the table for implementing the changes compelled by #MeToo, writing clear guidelines for responsibly using AI, devising ESG metrics, rethinking diversity and inclusion strategy post-George Floyd, and guiding your companies’ responses to other societal challenges— which meant that I had the pleasure of editing your thoughts on that stimulating work.
After watching and chronicling this shift, I decided that I wanted to play a more active role in the work Ethisphere does helping you. Starting in August, I transitioned from helming the magazine to a new role at Ethisphere, working between our Data & Services and Product teams to serve clients directly and help steer the creation of a new, first-of-its-kind platform for our clients: The Sphere.
For years, Ethisphere’s data on ethics and compliance program structure and best practices has informed our recommendations (and frequently graced these pages). Now, for the first time, we’re making it available to you, to research and learn from each other, as well as for benchmarking to guide your continuous improvement. As your roles have expanded, so too has the data set we can use to help inform your work: the 2022 Ethics Quotient contains questions on how companies staff and resource their ethics teams, but it also features an unprecedented number of questions about ESG, impacts, diversity, and how companies’ ethics functions are aiding in each of those areas.
I’ve cherished the opportunity to learn from our many contributors, interviewees, and readers. I look forward to continuing to benefit from your thoughts and experience going forward, both on these pages, within The Sphere, and beyond..
Cheers, stay safe, and be well.
Director, Data & Services and Product Manager, The Sphere Ethisphere