Insight

The College Admissions Scandal and Trust

The College Admissions Scandal and Trust
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Our Fragile Identities

The recent college admissions scandal is an example of how individual and organizational identities can be compromised for a price. While the wealthy parents and greedy coaches and administrators compromised their personal identities, the damage done to the institutions they represent – the universities, the national testing companies, and their employers – may be even more impactful

Trust (honesty, integrity, responsibility) is at the foundation of each of our individual and organizational identities. With trust intact, we can stand up to the test of time. Without it our foundation is fragile, weak and may crumble in time.  Trust is a part of us that we are always earning and building through our daily actions. Over time our actions reveal who we are and what we stand for.

Today’s social media scrutiny demands organizations and institutions screen for character if they cherish their organization’s identity. Social media can be wrong and if over time you have built trust in your organization and in who you are as a person the damage will be temporary as people reflect and say “that didn’t seem to be like them anyway”.

However, when the department of justice says you and your organization are part of the largest college admissions scandal in their history, trust and your identity take a hit that can take generations to rectify!

Can character deficiencies be identified to avoid damage like this?
GIGO has it about right, garbage in, garbage out. So how do we protect our core identities? We like to say:
“Not every plant is meant to thrive in every garden. To thrive, there needs to be an environment with the right temperature, sunlight, rainfall, soil with the right moisture and nutrients. People are the same, they need to find the organization that will enable them to thrive, and in turn the organization will then thrive.”

As we help organizations clarify their core identity of what they look like when at their best, the guiding principle of Trust (honesty, integrity, responsibility) surfaces. (Well, it did not surface with one organization, and they are no longer in business, and that tells another story!)

As they begin to more deeply understand what Trust looks like and how to screen for it in the interview process, they collaboratively find creative tools. The result of this new screening process for new hires consistently provides feedback that the best hires they have made have been the more recent hires that have gone through this new screening process.

The responsibility for your culture is the responsibility of leadership to ensure individuals hired and retained honor who the organization is when at its best.