Giving Voice to Values (Paperback)
How to Speak Your Mind When You Know What's Right
Yale University Press, 9780300181562, 320pp.
Publication Date: February 28, 2012
An innovative approach to standing up for your values in the workplace—inspired by a popular program from the Aspen Institute
How can you effectively stand up for your values when pressured by your boss, customers, or shareholders to do the opposite? Drawing on actual business experiences as well as on social science research, Babson College business educator and consultant Mary Gentile challenges the assumptions about business ethics at companies and business schools. She gives business leaders, managers, and students the tools not just to recognize what is right, but also to ensure that the right things happen. The book is inspired by a program Gentile launched at the Aspen Institute with Yale School of Management, and now housed at Babson College, with pilot programs in over one hundred schools and organizations, including INSEAD and MIT Sloan School of Management.
She explains why past attempts at preparing business leaders to act ethically too often failed, arguing that the issue isn’t distinguishing what is right or wrong, but knowing how to act on your values despite opposing pressure. Through research-based advice, practical exercises, and scripts for handling a wide range of ethical dilemmas, Gentile empowers business leaders with the skills to voice and act on their values, and align their professional path with their principles. Giving Voice to Values is an engaging, innovative, and useful guide that is essential reading for anyone in business.
About the Author
Mary C. Gentile, PhD, is Creator/Director of Giving Voice to Values, Professor of Practice at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, Senior Advisor at the Aspen Institute Business & Society Program, and consultant on management education and leadership development.
Praise For Giving Voice to Values: How to Speak Your Mind When You Know What's Right…
"Gentile presents a strong—and sorely needed—case for improving corporate culture."—Publishers Weekly
"Gentile offers a fresh approach to ethics education in business school: a practical primer on building skills and confidence to act consistently with personal values."—T.R. Gillespie, Choice
"The unique and critically important contribution of Giving Voice to Values is that it moves us past the debate about whether we can define a common set of values, to focus instead on a shared conversation about just how to enact the values that we already know, in our deepest selves, are absolutely essential. The book is both an inspiration and a blueprint, and lays out the kind of discussion I believe is required for business education and business practice—in India and around the world."—Nandan Nilekani, Chairman, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI); former Co-Chairman and CEO and Co-Founder, Infosys; author of Imagining India
"In business and in life, we often know what is the right thing to do, but we have trouble implementing it. This book, developed in conjunction with the Aspen Institute's Business and Society Program, shows how we can all give voice to values and make the right things happen. It is a wonderful guide to help us enter an era of responsibility and of leadership based on values."—Walter Isaacson, CEO of the Aspen Institute
"Mary Gentile’s Giving Voice to Values is a clarion call to the new generation of leaders to put their values in practice in the workplace. Its timely and thoughtful message is precisely what the corporate world needs now."—Bill George, Professor of Management Practice, Harvard Business School and former CEO, Medtronic
"Mary Gentile documents a fascinating tool to help us to be as ethical as we strive to be. She highlights that rehearsing for ethically challenging situations may allow us to develop a response more in line with our ethical preferences than the knee jerk responses that have led so many to make the wrong choice in important situations. The ideas in the book are clever, original, thoughtful and important."—Max H. Bazerman, Straus Professor – HBS
"Giving Voice To Values heralds a revolution in ethics education. Gentile isn't interested in abstract (and often fruitless) debates about ethical principles—rather, she wants to help you practice what to do when you know something is unethical. It's like a self-defense class for your soul."—Dan and Chip Heath, authors of Switch and Made to Stick