DTTL Chief Executive Officer Barry Salzberg giving a speech at Notre Dame University during the launch of the Deloitte Center for Ethical Leadership. Photo credit: Matt Chashore, Notre Dame photographer.

Committed to leading by example

"Think what would happen to an economy if no one trusted anyone else. Commerce would come to a halt."

A principled culture begins at the top. During his 2012 speech at the Notre Dame Deloitte Center for Ethical Leadership, DTTL Chief Executive Officer Barry Salzberg addressed the importance of ethical leadership and integrity in business. "The diminished trust in business throughout the world is a very worrying development, since trust between consumers and business is one of the cornerstones of a healthy, vibrant economy," he said.

Salzberg was at Notre Dame for the dedication ceremony of the facility that will house the Center, which emphasizes individual character and values to advance ethical leadership in business. Deloitte U.S. joined with Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business to launch the Center, just one member firm example of external programs created to promote moral business behavior.

Internally, DTTL's Ethics team and the member firm ethics officers are responsible for designing and implementing programs to promote and sustain ethical conduct by Deloitte professionals. During FY2013, "We made it a priority to integrate ethics messages into new and existing processes throughout the organization, with a particular emphasis on leadership and learning," says Chuck Horstmann, Deloitte Global Chief Ethics Officer. "Engagements like the Notre Dame event not only are useful in spreading our core messages, but they also demonstrate Barry's passion for ethical behavior. He sets the tone from the top."

Building "ethical muscle"

At Deloitte, "we work hard to build ethical muscle in our people. That is the ability to recognize ethical issues when they arise, handle difficult situations with sensitivity and judgment, and raise our voices when things just don't feel right," Salzberg explained to the Notre Dame audience. "We build this muscle through dialogue and practice, using cases and simulations to work through dilemmas and learn the power of consultation with others."

For example, Deloitte has embedded ethical issues and dilemmas into the business simulation experienced by all incoming member firm partners at the Global New Partner Seminar, an annual three-day leadership conference for this group of new leaders. DTTL Ethics aims to work with learning teams throughout Deloitte to incorporate similar exercises into new-hire orientation, manager training, and other programs during FY2014.

Our "Ethics in Action" e-learning course focuses on ethical sensitivity, judgment, and decision-making skills. The course has been customized by 29 member firms and completed by more than 30,000 professionals since its launch in 2012.

Measuring impact

In FY2013, more than a third of our member firms were visited by the DTTL Ethics team and other ethics leaders from the member firm network, as part of the ethics practice review program, to measure compliance with global policy and support continuous improvement in ethics program management. This exceeded our goal of visiting 25 percent of all member firms.

In addition, the annual member firm ethics survey, which measures awareness and effectiveness of member firm ethics programs, reached out to nearly 150,000 Deloitte professionals in 37 member firms. Results showed higher awareness of our ethics program and a greater belief that we have a strong ethical culture.

The DTTL Ethics team worked with member firms in FY2013 to redesign and refresh the survey, which had featured the same format since 2009. The new survey, launched in June 2013, will create greater understanding of emerging ethical risks in our member firms and across the Deloitte network.

DTTL Ethics continues to seek opportunities to raise awareness of ethical conduct and business practices, as well as available resources. To that end, the team is working on risk-assessment tools and guidance to support the implementation of global and member firm anti-corruption programs.

More about ethics at Deloitte

Jennifer Quartana Guethoff, Deloitte Global Deputy Chief Ethics Officer, leads a World Economic Forum Partnering Against Corruption Initiative.

Deloitte member firms strive to uphold the trust placed in them by clients and the capital markets and to build a similar sense of trust among their professionals. One of the most important responsibilities of DTTL and member firm senior leaders is to emphasize our commitment to ethical behavior and reinforce the responsibility of everyone in the organization to act with integrity. Setting this tone at the top is essential to creating a culture of integrity throughout the Deloitte organization and has been demonstrated and reinforced by the messages delivered (both internally and externally) by Salzberg.

The DTTL Ethics team and the member firm ethics officers work closely with senior Deloitte leaders to carry out the organization's ethics programs. These programs are designed to help member firm people understand expectations for ethical behavior, develop skills for ethical decision-making, and gain the confidence to speak up about challenging ethical situations.

DTTL has a requirement, established in 2012, that all member firm people annually confirm their compliance with member firm anti-corruption policies.

DTTL's formal ethics program comprises the following elements:

  • The nine Ethical Principles and four Shared Values of the Deloitte member firms;
  • A global ethics policy that sets out the requirements for member firms' own ethics programs;
  • A global anti-corruption policy that addresses matters such as bribery, facilitation payments, political and charitable contributions, and gifts and entertainment;
  • Ethics training programs, including an introductory online course, classroom programs, facilitator-led interactive case discussions and online training course;
  • Support activities, including communications, workshops, and webinars to facilitate best practice sharing among member firms;
  • Provision of a survey and self-assessment questionnaire to allow member firms to measure their program's effectiveness; and
  • A practice review program to measure compliance with global ethics policies and encourage collaborative discussions and continuous improvement over time.

In addition, DTTL plays a role in various multilateral efforts to promote ethical conduct in the business world. The efforts in which DTTL participates include:

  • World Economic Forum's Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI). Deloitte Global Deputy Chief Ethics Officer led a PACI working group to develop good practice guidelines for companies to conduct third-party due diligence. DTTL Ethics has also been invited by PACI to participate in a senior-level working group to redefine the PACI Principles for fighting corruption.
  • UN Global Compact. Deloitte U.S. partners led the Compact's Sub-Working Group on Anti-Corruption Risk Assessment and played an instrumental role in creating a new risk assessment guideline.
  • Conference Board. Deloitte Global Deputy Chief Ethics Officer serves as a member of the Executive Committee for the Conference Board's Global Council on Business Conduct.
  • B20 Business Summit. Deloitte is a member of the B20 working group on anti-corruption and transparency. Chairman of the DTTL Board Steve Almond, with support from Deloitte CIS, participated in the 2013 Summit in Russia.

Ethical Principles of the member firms of DTTL

All of the Deloitte member firms have adopted the following Ethical Principles, which provide the foundation for their ethics programs:

  • Honesty and Integrity. We act with honesty and integrity.
  • Professional Behavior. We operate within the letter and the spirit of applicable laws.
  • Competence. We bring appropriate skills and capabilities to every client assignment.
  • Objectivity. We are objective in forming our professional opinions and the advice we give.
  • Confidentiality. We respect the confidentiality of information.
  • Fair Business Practices. We are committed to fair business practices.
  • Responsibility to Society. We recognize and respect the impact we have on the world around us.
  • Respect and Fair Treatment. We treat all our colleagues with respect, courtesy, and fairness.
  • Accountability and Decision-making. We lead by example, using our Shared Values as our foundation:
    • Integrity;
    • Outstanding value to markets and clients ;
    • Commitment to each other; and
    • Strength from cultural diversity.