If it hadn’t been Lockup season I would have titled this blog “Dob-in trust”.
There is a piece of legislation called the Protected Disclosures Act 2000, which legislates that government entities are to have policies and procedures to enable “whistleblowers”. Many, probably most, large private businesses and organisations have whistleblower programmes in place too. These systems ensure that organisations remain transparent, that probity issues known only to the least powerful, are brought forward and properly investigated ensuring the principles of natural justice are applied (opportunity to be heard, impartial decision-maker).
Carefully managed, a whistleblower system can be a culture enabler. Treated carelessly, where unfounded allegations are used to punish, they destroy culture and trust.
Without doubt, most of my leadership development work is, at its heart, about trust. Individuals, relationships, organisations and societies build trust by behaviours. By giving a bit here, a bit there, trust is built through past actions, just as I said at the end of Day 1. I blogged about Steven Covey’s trust bank back in 2009, when this blog was only a few months old. We lose trust at our peril.
If we’re going to have society-wide systems to “dob in” our neighbours for apparent misconduct, we should set the rules up clearly and with compassion. A solo cycle across town is a problem? Come on! Relax, for many people the prospect of not exercising is frightening and dangerous. If your neighbour appears to be in breach of what you interpret the rules as, perhaps a quiet word (over the fence of course) or a phone call.
In this environment, when the rules are being made up as we go along and enforced subjectively, let’s focus on all the things that matter. We’ve already ground the economy and our freedoms to a halt to rid us of the ‘rona. Don’t let this destroy our community trust. I know from decades of investigating wrong-doing that there’s always another side to the story, another perspective, often a misunderstanding.
Speaking of which, we now have 12 people in hospital with COVID-19. Tents are coming! I know I shouldn’t make light of that, but you know, if we can’t put some perspective on it we’ll all go stir-crazy. It’s only been 5 days!
Sadly though, an elderly woman with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and well known to her local DHB, died after contracting COVID-19. She probably won’t be the last. On the evidence available, older people are much more susceptible to the serious impacts of the virus, partly at least, from what I’ve read, because they are much more likely to have other health issues. That doesn’t mean that if you’re younger it’s necessarily a walk in the park. My parents who are in their late 80s, are safely staying put at home. Family are supporting with shopping, even though they’re spritely and in good health. Just to be sure.
I’d love to visit on Mum’s birthday in late April.