The Power of One in Edinburgh

By Ann Buttery, ICAS Ethics Board Secretary

4 November 2016

Ann Buttery, Secretary to the ICAS Ethics Board, reports from the ICAS The Power of One event in Edinburgh, as part of the campaign to help re-establish ethics at the core of business practices and to rebuild public trust in business.

Following a successful evening in London earlier this week, a second UK ‘The Power of One’ event was held last night at CA House.

The event was chaired by Peter Holmes (Partner, Deloitte and member of the ICAS Ethics Board) and featured James Barbour (ICAS Director, Technical Policy), Giles Cuthbert (Managing Director, Chartered Banker Institute) and David Miller (Princeton University).  

James Barbour highlighted the vital role that ethics plays in the profession and provided the audience with the background to, and progress of, ‘The Power of One’ and related initiatives. James also made an amusing reference to an ethical dilemma which he had encountered as a trainee CA which related to a stock count at a salmon farm.

Giles Cuthbert looked deeper into the concept of ‘Moral Courage’ and advised that too many people know the right thing to do but fail to act accordingly due to a lack of moral courage. He also emphasised the importance of professional competence and knowing when to seek counsel from other professionals in relation to a dilemma.

David Miller gave some interesting observations on his students and insights into how one might best deal with an ethical dilemma. This included that one should properly consider the situation and make a measured judgement. David presented his ethical tool: “the right, the good and the fitting”, which can be used to approach an ethical dilemma.

As with the previous evening in London, there was plenty of engagement with the audience and very challenging questions were asked of the speakers. Such was the level of the discussion that the two-hour event passed in a flash!


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