Monday, August 31, 2015

Contracts Written in Disappearing Ink

Credit: Peter Kaminski
They say "A Picture Paints A Thousand Words." If that is the case, then it stands to reason that a thousand words must paint a picture. But what happens to the picture if you start to erase some of the words?

According to Mario Elia; a Doctor from London, Ontario; this is what the Province of Ontario is doing with it's contract with Physicians. They agreed to a certain rate of pay, but are now changing the game to suit their own purpose. Essentially, they have made election promises and expect the doctors to pay the bill.

Now I'm not going to get into the political side of this issue. We are currently under Liberal Party rule, but the same thing was done by the New Democrats under Bob Rae (referred to colloquially as Bob Rae Days), and the Progressive Conservatives under Mike Harris made dramatic cuts to health care as well. I personally have a very difficult time trusting any politician.

This story is, however, an excellent illustration of #EthicalDebt at play.When (if) our government goes back to the bargaining table, our physicians (if there are any left in Ontario) will have a hard time agreeing to any contract. They will be, justifiably so, suspicious that the contract may be written in disappearing ink. I chose the image that accompanies this post because the artist says:
« The [Buddha] board has a sandstone-like texture that turns ink-black when you paint on it with plain water. Over the course of 20-30 minutes, the water evaporates, and your drawing disappears. »
For how long is your signature a sign of your commitment?

Do your contracts (or the spirit within which they were signed) only last as long as circumstances are in your favour? ...or do you stand by your word?

If I asked your business associates or customers the same question, would their answers agree with yours?

So, you are different. That's great! What about the people you manage? Have you said one thing, but put your people in a position that they can never deliver? Have you already identified the "scape goat" for your failed promise?

Ethical Debt is a line item on your moral balance sheet. You can talk all you want about honesty and transparency, but when the people look at the picture that is you, does the image align with what the public relations department has painted, or were they painting on a Buddha Board?

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