Ethical Leadership Assessment – EthQ™

Ethical Intelligence (EthQ™) is the ability to recognise and respond appropriately and effectively to ethically challenging situations. EthQ is relevant to individuals, teams and the organisation as a whole.

Most approaches to ethical leadership in organisations focus too narrowly:

  • Training and other learning solutions only address the participants’ ability to resolve well-signposted ethical problems through posing ethical dilemmas
  • Assessment of an individual’s fitness and propriety is based on a “brittle fracture” approach, namely the absence of negative or adverse historical events. This has several major defects, the most obvious being that past failures are often not known. Just as significantly, this approach is too black and white, with no ability to provide insight into risks and mitigating steps for “pass” candidates
  • The impact of role and environment on the individual and of team dynamics are generally ignored completely
  • Organisational level activities are limited to controls frameworks and punishment regimes, which well-documented research tells us are far less effective in enhancing behaviours than recognition and reward of positive actions

We recognise what matters in a commercial organisation is the ability to recognise (i.e. uncover and correctly identify) ethical matters, to make appropriate ethical decisions based on a robust set of facts, to communicate those decisions as ethical decisions and explain the underlying reasoning, and to persuade others and the organisation as a whole to accept and adopt those decisions.

In EthQ we have developed a unique and comprehensive approach to assessing ethical leadership capability, or ethical intelligence, EthQ.

EthQ is firmly based on well-proven scientifically evidenced tools, rather than well-intentioned but ultimately unscientific and unsupportable commercial questionnaires. Not only is our approach effective in reducing ethical risk in a business, it will also stand up to the scrutiny of a regulatory or court process, and can be supported by independent expert witness evidence.

How does OCREUS assess EthQ?

There are three aspects that govern how an individual will respond to ethical challenges:

  • Personality traits and derailers – the person’s preferences or character traits in a range of categories regarded by leading psychologists as the major aspects of character.  We measure traits and derailers using the most robust and well-respected psychometric tools available
  • Ethical decision making ability – the person’s level of sophistication in ethical reasoning, which we assess based on robust and proven ethical reasoning models backed by many thousands of assessments
  • Actual behaviours in the workplace – people often adapt their behaviour in the workplace away from their preferred behaviours in order to be successful; for example, unstructured (and often creative) thinkers learn to work in a more structured way as most big businesses demand structure and planning. We assess ethics-relevant behaviours, supplementing self assessment (with an obvious motivation for faking results toward desirable behaviours) with 360 feedback

Our results are consolidated for the individual to present them with a rounded perspective on their personality and ethical capabilities. We also consider the individual’s profile in the context of the organisational values and culture. The results are ideally fed back to senior staff through face-to-face meetings with professional occupational psychologists qualified in our tools and methodology. We consolidate results for teams and the organisation as a whole, identifying risks and potential mitigating steps and interventions to enhance ethical capability in the short, medium and long term.

Benefits of Ocreus EthQ Profiling

  • Comprehensive assessment based on scientific principles
  • Integration into general leadership and management development and coaching programmes using widely-recognised tools
  • Actionable recommendations instead of simplistic yes/no result
  • Increases individuals’ self-awareness which of itself will enhance their ethical capability and reduce risk
  • Addresses and enhances participants’ general leadership skills and so improves wider business performance
  • Benefits for the participant ensure high levels of support and buy-in, in contrast to traditional “compliance” programmes
  • Team and organisational results ensure overall organisational risks are assessed and addressed and effective mitigating interventions identified

In addition to the above benefits, for organisations subject to “fit and proper” regulatory regimes such the FCA/PRA Senior Persons Regime for banks, there are some very specific benefits:

  • Profiling is based on objective evidence gather through active assessment, and is not dependent on uncovering or discovering negative indicators or historical evidence of dubious relevance (e.g. completion of compliance training on time)
  • Can be used in a variety of ways: development (for candidates likely to face fit and proper certification in the future as part of succession planning), interviews (pre-interview assessment will provide interviewers with areas to follow up at interview), assessment centres for promotions or incumbents
  • Provides actionable steps for individuals and the organisation which can be monitored to demonstrate the organisation is adopting a thorough and sustained approach to ethical culture
  • Basis in (published and peer-reviewed) research ensures this approach will be robust and resilient in the face of regulatory, tribunal or court scrutiny and could be supported by independent expert witness evidence
  • Leading edge holistic approach addressing ethical culture directly and professionally, adopting occupational psychology practices