Paying It Forward with an Ethics Workshop

“Pay it Forward” is an expression describing the beneficiary of a good deed repaying it to others instead of back to the original benefactor. The concept is old, and was coined by Lily Hammond in her 1916 novel “In the Garden of Delight.” More recently, we know about “Pay it Forward” from the film of the same name staring Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt.

As Rotarians we know that “Pay it Forward” is the essence of what Paul Harris started in 1905 in Chicago. Today, we are part of that long and intricate beneficiary chain.

The Rotary Club is the epicenter from which all action emanates. Like a stone dropped in water its effects reach distant ports.

Late last year my club President, Laura Spear, asked me to work on an event focusing on “Ethics in Business.” We put together a committee including Nanci Bishop, Ron Bott, Karin Gaffney and Jim Stone. Co-opting with a chamber of commerce for some type of ethics event surfaced early. But how to add the Ethics, in Business, the Beef, if you will,  to the Event?: Speaker?…Networking?…Discussion?…something else?

So, I began to Google it…and quickly reached the Rotary Club of Fairfield Ohio, District 6670, and Jim Mullaney. Wow, about two years ago Jim and his club took on a project to spread Rotary Ethics in Business. They believe than an ethical business conducts its affairs in ways that compliment purely financial motivations. They created an Ethical Business Pocket Guide and recently completed a series of Ethical Business Workshops in their District to promote ethics in business. They believe this guide and workshop provides clarity and prudent direction toward ethical business practices. Their vision is business leaders, armed with these principles, reviewing the role of ethics in their companies and carefully considering decisions that could erode, or improve, ethical cultures.

With the Ethical Business Guide, Jim and his team created a Workshop enabling participants in a small round table venues to discuss their past business experiences with the 6 core principles in the Guide: Ethical Leadership; Concern for Customer; Integrity; Loyalty; and Respect – and then share the key experiences with the group.

What a good deed!  I called Jim and found the perfect missing piece in our goal to create an Ethics in Business networking event collaborating now with the Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce located in Devens MA.

Jim told me his dream to spread the Ethical Business Workshop beyond his home district. So here, my fellow Rotarians we experience the “Pay it Forward.” The greatest PR is achieved when our good deeds are paid forward. We know that the real Truth is not paying the Benefactor, but continuing to create new beneficiaries.

So besides the Pay it Forward PR, the greatest PR ever, what other PR elements are part of the Ethical Business Workshop partnership with the Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Richard Simon is President-Elect of the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley, Mass
Richard Simon is President-Elect of the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley, Mass

First, the Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce included the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley’s Ethical Business Workshop in their Newsletter promoting the March 4, 2014 meeting.

Second, the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley created a Flyer for the event for inviting other Rotary clubs.

Third, We posted the Event on our webpage

Fourth, We posed the Event on our Facebook page.

Fifth, we placed a notice of the Event on the District 7910 website.

Sixth, we presented each workshop participant with the Rotary, Cuff Link emblazoned, Ethical Business Guide as a take-away.

Seventh, we are here at the District 7910 PR Expo promoting the PR in it AND IT.

Eighth, and Most Important, the PR from the Rotary Club of Fairfield Ohio, in the form of their website and Ethical Business Guide, reached District 7910. We, my fellow Rotarians became the next big link in the chain of Pay It Forward PR, the greatest PR ever!!!

Nashoba Valley wants to create more links in this Pay it Forward scheme spreading Rotary Ethics in Business. If your club or a group of clubs wants us to facilitate an Ethical Business Workshop at your weekly meeting, please contact the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley. Thank you.