There’s no Big Brother behind the googly eyes on the desk of Beverly Kracher, PhD. But there is a sense that she is being watched, and that’s intentional.
“The googly eyes are an idea we got from psychology research,” says Kracher, the Robert B. Daugherty Endowed Chair in Business Ethics and Society at Creighton University’s Heider College of Business. “They remind people that we are accountable for what we’re doing.”
Picture this: You’re an off-duty EMT who comes upon an emergency medical scene. You know you’re not supposed to intervene, but can you stay away? Just because your morals may say to dive in, are you ethically supposed to?
“We’re not here to tell you what the right choice is, but how do you think through things so you’re better equipped to make an ethical choice?” says Courtney Mustoe, creative manager for the Business Ethics Alliance.
In 2006, Kracher recognized the need for business ethics programs in the Omaha community. The Business Ethics Alliance, a nonprofit organization, was born from this need.
The Alliance visits a variety of companies to deliver different workshops, including one that focuses on ethical blind spots and provides each participant with “googly eyes.”
“We work through scenarios and ask people to identify which of the blind spots are relevant to the situation,” Mustoe says.
The 90-minute workshop helps businesspeople remember they can make money with honor, integrity and fairness, Kracher says. The Alliance’s goal is to build leaders, strengthen organizations and elevate Omaha through positive, practical business ethics.
“We are inspired when we hear about people who strive to be ethical in their business dealings,” Kracher says. “We depend on these positive examples to maintain our trust in business.”