The Cover-Up

“It’s not the mistake the organization makes that brings it down. It’s the second mistake, the cover-up, and everything that follows that brings ethical collapse. The key is to create a culture that catches the first mistake. As long as human beings run organizations, there will be mistakes and ethical lapses. The key is to have a culture that brings that lapse to the attention of the right people with the right attitude to take the necessary steps ... to halt the follow-up mistakes.” - Jennings

How do workers justify covering up?

The literature is full of examples, from Watergate to Enron to Tyco to tribal councils and corporations all over the country. Corporate attorneys know that a CEO has embezzled money and given it to his mistress. In a way the behavior of these individuals with MBA and J.D. degrees from Ivy League universities supports those older Native Americans who are skeptical of the value of education. It is not that they question whether it is a good thing to learn how to read a balance sheet or program a computer, but they believe there is something missing in our educational system.

Remember Big Soldier's comments about how white men have turned animals and machines to their use, how they were surrounded by slaves who depended on them? Have we become slaves to the lack of law and order, the lack of ethical behavior, the lack of good leaders, on the reservations and elsewhere?

NEXT: How do cover-ups happen?