Kenan Asks: How Does Your Organization “Measure Up?”

I’m currently spending the fall as a Visiting Fellow at Duke University’s wonderful Kenan Institute for Ethics.

One of the many interesting projects here at Kenan is an online evaluation tool called Measure Up, “an online assessment tool to help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your organization’s ethical culture.”

This free assessment (which takes about 10 minutes to complete) provides “a snapshot of what your organization does well and identify some roadblocks that may be hindering performance.” Basically, the tool asks you to reflect on patterns of behaviour within your organization, and then provides feedback on the overall character of the organization, along 5 key dimensions: accountability, transparency, candour, commitment, and courage.

The Measure Up instrument is, of course, just a very brief, thought provoking start at assessing an organization’s ethical culture (the Kenan folks are interested to work with organizations to provide fuller assessments). But it’s worth noting the value inherent in simply working one’s way through the questions the instrument asks. The process is probably just as valuable as the outcome. It’s worth something simply to sit down and think through questions like, “Do leaders at my organization genuinely encourage input?” and “Does my organization genuinely take the concerns of outside stakeholders into account when making decisions?”

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