Above and Beyond Ethics Retreat For Ethics Administrative and Support Staff
"Leading From Where You Are"
Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The NIH Ethics Office (NEO) sponsored the first Above and Beyond Ethics Retreat for Ethics Administrative and Support Staff with the theme "Leading from Where You Are," planned by a committee of ethics assistants/administrative support staff and NEO staff. The purpose of the retreat was to provide concentrated training for their role in the ethics function. The goal is to enhance skills and increase their perspective regarding the importance their role plays in the ethics office.

Keynote Speaker Blanche Williams, CEO of Greatness by Design, reinforced the theme with the quote "Nothing conclusively proves a man's ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself " by Thomas J. Watson. Williams described what it means to lead from where you are, enlisting the active participation of attendees. Each of the "12 Team Guideposts" were introduced by one of the attendees and group discussion expanded the concept. The 12 Team Guideposts are: Understand Our Mission, Commit to Excellence; Accept Accountability; Lead From Where I Am; Apply Critical Thinking; Support Positive Morale; Uphold Mutual Respect; Promote Professionalism; Participate in Workplace Pride; Sustain Productive Attitude; Work as a Team; and Exceed Expectations.

The workshop entitled Sink or Sail? Building Teamwork for Team Success, featured an exciting and competitive adventure learning exercise to use the guideposts discussed earlier. Participants split into teams and worked through the scenario of having collectively purchased a luxury sailboat, named the Lady Christa, to undertake a 10-day around the world sailing competition with a cash prize of $500,000. Participation was designed to strengthen team skills of communication, preparation, problem solving, decision making, and cooperation. Teams were provided a logbook, sailing competition rules, details of a luxury sailboat, crew member roles and responsibilities, world and trade winds map, the list of 12 guideposts, pre-launch instructions, and sealed envelopes containing ten challenges to overcome during the sailing adventure. Upon completion of the sailing competition, teams discussed their biggest challenge, what they learned about one another, and what they learned about themselves.

The workshop entitled Are You Indispensable? Do You Want To Be? implemented guideposts into the NIH work place. Participants were assisted to identify areas where they could apply the concepts and be proactive in their own ethics office. If participants want to be viewed as indispensable, they need a basic understanding of ethics rules and why information is important, and the ability to identify issues and propose solutions. Scenarios provided an opportunity to understand the interplay between basic ethics knowledge and office functions, such as why specific information on an employee form is relevant and important. Participants reviewed the scenarios and options for action. Participants were able to identify and discuss ways in which they could be proactive, such as steps to quickly identify and fix inaccurate data. In addition, discussion included ways to improve one's marketability, such as good time management skills, excellent writing skills using correct grammar and proper vocabulary, and strategies for dealing with demanding or difficult employees.

At the end of the day, the "Above and Beyond Award" was presented by the NIH Deputy Ethics Counselor and the Director of the NIH Ethics Office. Six individuals were chosen by the committee. The award nomination and selection criteria were: 1) demonstrated commitment to service "above and beyond" expectations, and 2) demonstrated contribution to functioning of the office "above and beyond" expectations.

Keynote Activities

Participant

Deborah & Blanche: Accept Accountability

Participant

Russell: Uphold Mutual Respect

participant

Kierra: Lead My Own Efforts

participant

Kim: Understand Our Mission


participant

Genia: Commit to Excellence

participant

Maria listening

participants

Kierra, Cathy, and Suzanne

 

 


participants

Felecia, Genia, and Blanche

 

participants

Kim, Felecia, Christie, and Genia


participants

Committee: Carla, Fran, Blanche, Kim, Felecia, and Traci

participants

Russell, Alise, Hue, Loretta, and Keerin

Workshop: Sink or Sail

participants

Russell, Nicole, Kierra, Cathy, and Carla

participants

Elizabeth, Maria, and Loretta

   

participants

Christie, Felecia, Deborah, and Keerin

wrokshop participants

Kim, Traci, and Suzanne

   

workshop document

Final workshop document

Team Guideposts:

  1. Understand Our Mission
  2. Commit to Excellence
  3. Accept Accountability
  4. Lead From Where I Am
  5. Apply Critical Thinking
  6. Support Positive Morale
  7. Uphold Mutual Respect
  8. Promote Professionalism
  9. Participate in Workplace Pride
  10. Sustain Productive Attitude
  11. Work as a Team
  12. Exceed Expectations

 

Above and Beyond Award

Award presenters

Dr. Tabak, NIH Deputy Ethics Counselor, and Holli Beckerman Jaffe, Director, NIH Ethics Office, award presenters

award plaque

The plaque


award recipient

Bruce (accepting for Stephen) and Dr. Tabak

award recipient

Dr. Grady, Deborah, and Dr. Tabak

   

award recipient

Matthew, Art, Kim, and Dr. Tabak

award recipient

Felecia, Genia, Holli, and Dr. Tabak

   

award recipient

Dr. Kitt, MonaLisa, Carla, and Dr. Tabak

award recipient

Dr. Green, Karen, Suzanne, and Dr. Tabak

Return to Ethics Home page Posted 9/9/11