“When I took the [Army] service exam, my psych profile fit a certain… “moral flexibility” would be the only way to describe it. I was loaned out to a CIA-sponsored program and we sort of found each other.”

Martin Q. Blank, Grosse Pointe Blank

I am a practical man. Sure I believe in certain concepts and trust certain systems but that’s all subject to change based on new information and different viewpoints.

I am not married to any particular ideology. I’m just not. Never have been.

In my experience companies must be adaptive and nimble to survive. People too. That said, a solid cultural foundation is just as important.

Some may say ethics is an example of a concept for which there should be no flexibility. Indeed, plenty of corporate cultures say employees should do the right thing.

But what exactly does that mean, do the right thing?

It’s not like King Solomon comes down and writes the right thing on the wall.

Granted, some ethical questions have unassailable answers. In the workplace we know that accounting and securities fraud are bad. So is sexual harassment. Violent crime is really bad. And so on.

But our views on divorce, workplace romance, illicit drug use and countless issues that were once morally frowned upon but are becoming more and more accepted have certainly changed with the prevailing cultural winds.

I’m not saying that’s good or bad — it’s simply an observation. Ethical issues will always be debated. Moral decisions will always be based on subjective data that’s influenced by all sorts of factors that can change in time.

Remember three things:

We often forget that what’s popular at the moment does not always turn out to be right in the long run.

Those who say they represent the ethical side of an issue are usually either virtue signaling or flat-out BSing.

Ethics are way more fluid than you to think. And that, in my view, is as it should be. We should always be open to different viewpoints and new information.