Helping leaders find the ‘moral courage’ to speak up
2 April 2019 at 4:47 pm
A partnership between two of Australia’s most prominent philanthropic families is looking to create a more ethical leadership culture across the business, public and not-for-profit sectors.
The Myer Foundation’s Cranlana Programme and the Vincent Fairfax Fellowship – an initiative of the Vincent Fairfax Ethics in Leadership Foundation – united on Tuesday to launch the Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership.
The centre is designed to prepare leaders across different sectors for the future, by helping them develop the “moral courage” needed to lead for the good of their businesses and society more broadly.
Kim Williams AM, chairman of The Cranlana Programme Foundation, said Australia’s current political and business environment offered no shortage of evidence pointing to the need for a deeper understanding of ethical leadership.
“The demand for Cranlana and Vincent Fairfax Fellowship programs is consistently high,” Williams said.
“Now with a combined team and a cohesive approach to national expansion, we see the alignment of these two organisations as a natural evolution, which promises a lasting impact on leadership development nationally.”
The centre aims to offer leadership engagement opportunities for a range of needs and learning styles, from a two-day industry specific symposia to a 12 month Vincent Fairfax Fellowship experience.
Vanessa Pigrum, CEO of the Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership, said the new facility will offer multiple programs for those wanting to improve their understanding of ethics and its application to decision-making.
“It’s also a strong example of how two great philanthropic families – the Myer and the Fairfax families – are partnering to create positive societal impact through collaborative philanthropy,” she said.
Pigrum told Pro Bono News that leaders in the NFP sector in particular needed the capacity to understand how their actions or inactions could impact on broader society.
She said this made it important for sector leaders to assess their own ethical leadership skills from time to time.
“If you’re in a leadership position and not really understanding how your decisions affect broader society then I would say you’re not really operating to your fullest capacity,” she said.
“So ethical leadership and understanding the ethical frameworks that underpin how we make decisions will really lead to better leadership and ultimately a more cohesive society.”
She said the centre would help NFP leaders to build their capacity in this area, helping them with decision-making skills and developing moral courage to speak up about something they felt was not right.
“It’s not just approaching things from a gut instinct level but about having critical reasoning and ethical philosophies behind your arguments to back up your decision.”
Public trust in the NFP sector has been a hot topic in recent times, and Pigrum said ethical leadership was one way to address this.
“Building trust in the sector is about the collective actions of thousands of individuals each working in a trustworthy manner and working from a place of personal integrity,” she said.
“It’s not only going to be solved by a top down approach… it’s going to come from everyone in the sector understanding their own sense of integrity and the ethical framework from which they make decisions.”