How a business applies EoC principles in its operations

Rebecca Kursh
How a business applies EoC principles in its operations
published in Living City Special Edition Economy of Communion (July 2009)

My daughter had taken a course at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas in business management and was introduced to the Economy of Communion in Freedom. Then in the summer of 2008 we attended a seminar in Montreal, where her professor was speaking. It was an intriguing concept, and I knew I would enjoy a weekend in Canada with my college daughter, so I made a point of tagging along.

I was very much taken by the message of the conference and the opportunity to ensure that ethics, human values and corporate social responsibility are present in the workplace. I am the president and CEO of Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium, a non-profit organization that is developing standards for global clinical research linked with the field of healthcare (cdisc.org), and there seemed to be an immediate affinity between the EoC principles of operation and our organization.

When I returned to my office, laden down with the materials on the theme of the conference — working in communion: theory and practice, according to seven major aspects — I proposed the concept to my Executive Operations Leadership team. Much to my amazement, they wholeheartedly embraced it, and we spent the better part of a day figuring out how these pertain to our organization.

After having recruited the help of a human resources director of a nearby global company (one of our member organizations) to explore how EoC principles might be implemented in all CDISC operations, we used her suggestions at our annual Operations Retreat this past December. Even though we are not a large group, our work is widely distributed, and we work as a virtual company with no central office. Our Operations Retreat serves as an opportunity for us all to be together under one roof for a few days during the year.

There was such enthusiasm as we broke up into small groups to come up with our own versions of how these values could and should relate to CDISC! Many shared how much they appreciated having time to do this work about company values.

Following the retreat, we created an integrated set of CDISC values based on the EoC’s common principles for managing businesses, with input from the operations group and from our leadership team.

The CDISC found its core value: foster an understanding that the CDISC community is an altruistic organization, contributing to the advancement of global healthcare.

In accordance with the EoC principles, the CDISC Values were included under the section titles:

- Leadership
- Relationships
- Ethics
- Harmony with environment
- Quality of life and productivity
- Continuing development
- Communications



Within each section we outlined such values as how we formulate strategies to: make the best use of individual talents; foster and strengthen sincere and respectful relationships; behave ethically, morally and legally in all endeavors; foster teamwork and remain mindful of the global environment; foster community and have a positive impact on the quality of life of society; recognize that the individual is at the center of our work; embrace a spirit of mutual support and solidarity.

In January 2009 I presented an overview of the fruits of our labor to the Board of Directors, with the proposal to post them on our website. I hadn’t anticipated how positive their reaction would be! They suggested that we find an acronym that would help everyone to remember our newly articulated set of core values. With this new thrust, we have offered a day off to the person who comes up with the best acronym. So far we have received three that are quite good — and have awarded all three originators a day off. We simply encouraged the operations staff to use the acronym that works best for them to remember the values.

One of our group suggested that we see how our company is living up to these values, and our communications director has now drafted an anonymous survey to get a baseline which we will use to see if we have improved by the end of the year. The CDISC values will also be used in performance reviews at the end of the year. We have all agreed that we want to live these values, not just post them on our website!

 

 

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