These last weeks have seen the toppling of powerful men for sexual harassment. Sexual harassment, physical or verbal, is abhorrent and unacceptable in any environment. Consequences for the guilty should be severe.
While it’s a current media focus, such behavior has always been unacceptable. The frenzy is a reminder that the standards that define interpersonal conduct are critical to corporate culture.
Every enterprise must define its standards, then communicate them clearly and frequently. Most importantly, managers must uphold and exemplify those standards in their own conduct. In my view, the first standard should be to “treat every individual with respect.”