Coming Home with Integrity in the Workplace

The word integrity appears in most companies’ vision and mission statements. New employees are expected to measure up to the company’s integrity standard. Testimonial dinners often extol the recipient’s stellar integrity. And when a problem occurs, everybody claims the high moral ground of superior integrity. Yet, no one seems to know how to define or develop integrity.

Our professional and personal passion springs from a life-long study of the root meaning of integrity, which is wholeness. We have come to understand integrity not as a measure of good-and-bad or right-and-wrong, but an energetic thermostat that gives accurate, current feedback about the organization’s creative juice and problem-solving capacity. We have interviewed the top executives of many of the companies who advocate integrity and asked them, “What does integrity mean in the day to day life of your organization? How will people know if they are operating in integrity or not? If they are not operating in integrity, what impact does that lapse have on your communication, working alliances, or bottom line?” There appears to be a chasm between the intention and the practice of integrity.


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