Define by gegouzhen12


                   by Joseph L. Badaracco

Reviewed by : Rafaela Artner, Jiawen Mai, Yan Shen, Ken Wong,
                           Kai Yan
•   Defining moments
•   An individual’s defining moments
•   A manager’s defining moments
•   An organization’s defining moments
•   Conclusion
Which choice will you make?
Put yourself in the following situation:
 You are standing in front of a burning building.

 You can run to one part of the building and save a

  single child, or you can run to another part and
  save three children.
 There is no way to save everyone. You must choose

  between saving three children and saving one.
 The child standing alone is your daughter.

       Defining moments : when managers must choose between right and right P.39
Main Point of the Book
   Rather than choosing between right and wrong,
    ethical or unethical, this book focuses on business
    people’s choice between right and right.

   “This book offers practical advice for reflecting on
    right-versus-right conflicts and finding ways to
    resolve them. In exploring three such conflicts in
    depth, it provides a framework for thinking through
    these difficult decisions.”
Defining Moments
 This book argues that right-versus-right choices
  are best understood as defining moments.
 3 characteristics of defining moments:


               Shaping     Testing
Defining Moments

                      Mission statements and ethical
                      guidelines of companies
• Usually, grand
principles are NOT    Legal responsibilities
helpful in defining
moments.              Fundamental principles of
                      traditional moral rules
An Individual’s Defining Moment

   Steve Lewis, an African American, works as a junior
    analyst in a prestigious New York investment bank.
   He is a diligent employee and loves his job.
   Offered to go to a presentation primarily
    represented by Caucasian males.
      The Dilemma

• Whether or not to participate in a presentation to help with a perspective client in St.
  Louis without doing any thing for the project previously.

                                Attend                 Not Attend

                             Opportunities          “Serve as an African-
                                                   American potted plant”

                          For the sake of others          “Phony”

                               Capitalism             “Discrimination”
Guidance for Dilemma

   “How do my feelings and instincts define the
   “How deep are the moral roots of the conflicting
    values that are setting the right-versus-right
   “This is my way, what is your way?”
   “What will work in the world as it is?”
Individual’s Decision
     • Reluctant to be used as a token black, or his personal
       philosophy of “action over words,” Lewis wanted to earn
       his position.

     • “On balance, Lewis was pleased and relieved about what
       he had done. He believed he had defined the dilemma
       soundly, at least in terms of his experiences and values.”

     • What do we learn from this individual case?
A Manager’s Defining Moment

   Peter Adario - head of the marketing department
    of Sayer Micro World
   He was married and had three children.
   A successful salesman, and a branch manager who
    supervised 50 people.
The Dilemma
   Conflict between Lisa Walters and Kathryn McNeil.
   Lisa Walters, a senior manager, a single woman in her late twenties.
   McNeil worked for Walter
   Kathryn McNeil is a single mother with a six-year-old son.
   Walters wants to fire McNeil for falling behind schedule in her work
    and Adario had to decide whether to do so.
   McNeil was working 60 hours a week, she was not meeting
    expectations and Adario was inclined to find a replacement for
    McNeil and then let her go.
   Serving the interests of Sayer’s shareholders and customers
   Peter Adario believed in creating a “family-friendly” workplace. He
    viewed situation as an opportunity to do something.
Manager’s Decision

    • Peter Adario plans to save McNeil’s job.

    • Arranged to meet with Walters and McNeil to tell them
      to settle an agreement before the end of the meeting.

    • If failed—Adario would step in with suggestions.
Results and Influence
   Walters discuses the situation with several other
    managers who had offered to help fire McNeil.
   McNeil was fire.
   Families are an impediment to the efficient
    operation of the company.
   Ignoring the chain of command.
Reasons for Mistakes

                 • The role of good intentions
                   and lofty ethical sentiments
 Overestimated     in defining moments.

                 • The role of management
                   skills and effort, as well as
Underestimated     shrewdness and street
Guidance for Dilemma
   What other strong, persuasive, competing
    interpretations of the situation or problems that I hope
    to use as a defining moment for my organization? What
    kind of interpretation is most likely to win a contest of
    interpretation inside an organization and influence the
    thinking and behavior of other people?
   What is the cash value of this situation?
   “Have I orchestrated a process that can make the
    values I care about become the truth for my
   “Am I playing to win?”
What is learned?
   He found he had much more ambivalence about his
   He felt he had rid himself of a naive view of what it
    takes to redefine the values of an organization.
Organization’s Defining Moment

   Edouard Sakiz, CEO of Roussel-Uclaf, the
    pharmaceutical company that developed the
    abortion pill, RU 486.

   Sakiz would make the final decisions on introducing
    the drug.
The Dilemma

           Distribute                Not distribute

       Long-term relationship      Objection from the largest
          with the French             shareholder of the
       government laboratory               company

        Support from China              Objection from
                                      antiabortion groups

      Great contribution to safe
              abortions                 Low profitability
Organization’s Decision
    • Sakiz announced publicly that "the company was suspending
      distribuion of the drug because of pressure from antiabortion

    • The decision sparked astonishment and anger from the supporters
      of the drug.

    • The French minister of health threatened that if the company did
      not resume distribution, the government would transfer the patent
      to a company that would.

    • Roussel-Uclaf announced afterward that it would distribute RU 486
      after all.
Guidance for Dilemma
   “Have I done all I can to secure my position and the
    strength and stability of my organizations?”

   “Have I thought creatively and imaginatively about
    my organization’s role in society and its relationship
    to its stakeholders?”

   “Should I play the lion or fox?”
Guidance for Dilemma
   Sakiz played the role as a “fox” in this case.

         What Sakiz did                            What Sakiz did not

        Say that "pressure from anti-abortion
           groups" was responsible for his             say the drug is
                      decision.                           immoral

          Test the commitment of his potential
         supporters, and then let the strongest       say the company
         of them, the French government, take         will abandon the
           responsibility for the final decision            drug.
Guidance for Dilemma
   The government was now ultimately responsible
    for putting RU 486 on the market.

   The company is relieved of the moral burden
    weighing on its shoulders.
  Guidance for Dilemma

Managers need
to find the              Virtu
between Virtu
and Virtue,
manoeuvre and
aspirations.    Virtue

How shall we prepare ourselves for right-versus-right conflicts?

   Intellectual: It synthesizes important ideas from various
    authors, philosophers and leaders.

   Thoughtful: It fills a gap in traditional academic setting and

   Practical: It guides us through different choices between
    right and right.

   Far-reaching: It leads us to a level of thought, analysis and
    decision making ability that will influence the way we make
    important decisions and choices in the future.

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