We need more unethical morals!

I explore ethics, morals and integrity in the context of decision-making. This piece explores the void between ethics and morals and why we need this place to exist because it allows us to explore the reason why unethical morals force us to new thinking.

The difference in definition between Ethics and Morals

Definition: Ethics are guiding principles of conduct of an individual or group.

Definition: Morals are principles on which one’s judgments of right and wrong are based.

Therefore an important difference between ethics and morals is that ethics are relatively uniform within a group, whereas morals are individual and heavily influenced by local culture and beliefs.

How to change someone's mind is a super article from Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries at Insead.  It is important because if we want more people in the moral group, we need those with different ethics to change. And if we want to update our morals, we need to be able to change our ethics.

In Manfred’s article, I believe that ethics and morals become mixed up between what a writer means and what the reader understands. It is very confusing when a narrative uses the ideals of ethics and morals but only applies one of the words.

What we are aware of is that there is a dynamic relationship between what an individual thinks and what a group thinks and how both an individual can affect group thinking and group thinking affects individuals. #Morals are based on our own #principles - which are influenced by our society's values. Those values create unique #ethics, which are "rules" a particular societal system gives to those in that place.

Because values are not principles, and rules are not values, it creates friction which we see as moral and ethical voids - spaces where you can have unethical morals. Rules, how we control ethical behaviour is always a laggard, which means those at the forefront of change see the void and gaps between the perceived new values and the old rules.

From a linear world viewpoint, we understand this dynamic relationship between ethics and morals as they both challenge and refine each other for the betterment (we aspire to) of both, but there is a time lag. 

However, simple language and diagrams create this rather naive viewpoint because what we witness is that our morals are challenged by society, yet we often need a movement before our collective ethics create better moral outcomes and new rules. 

Therefore we have a time-lagged gap or void which prevents the full alignment of morals and ethics.  I never realised how important this time lag is. Without a time lag, which creates separation, we would never improve but rather get trapped in negative and unproductive ways because we all accept this moral or ethical behaviour as the best we can do.  

 It is in this void we find all the complexity of modern society and politics. 

This gap represents the tensions that boards and leadership teams have to face as they find that they need to find a strategy and route between the new thinking and the old rules. 

COVID19, climate change, sustainability, and poverty are just some examples that have made us more aware of the gaps between different nations' rules, constraints and resources which provide their ethics and different mental model for a morally better society.  If it is or not is yet to be determined.

Therefore I believe we should be asking for more “unethical moral”, and more “immoral ethical” dilemmas; as this will focus our attention on the void between our existing rule set and the new rules we need if we are to make a world more inclusive, accepting and transparent and less biased, cruel and prejudiced. 

I repeat …. we need more unethical morals!