BBB Foundation

BBB Foundation

Better Business Bureau Foundation

The mission of BBB Foundation is to support the future of the Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario business community, raising up an ethical marketplace for tomorrow, by creating both ethics education and opportunities for students and businesses.

Trade-mark of the International Association of Better Business Bureaus used under licence.

Recent articles of BBB Foundation

Avoiding missteps – a lesson on personal brand

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Avoiding missteps – a lesson on personal brand

BBB Foundation 3 minute read Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022

It’s no secret that one misstep can ripple out like waves in a pond. As children, we’re told over and over to be mindful of our actions, or we can quickly find ourselves in trouble. And while some heed the advice, many don’t completely understand it until it happens to them. One day, they’re on the honour roll, dreaming of their future career. The next, they have a criminal record that can be used to pull them down at every juncture of their life.

It happens quickly, and sometimes to the kids we would least expect. Take the recent house party in West St. Paul for an example. Youth caught up in wanting to blow off some steam and spend time with friends are now under investigation for their involvement in assault and property damage. So many believe it would never happen to them, their kids, or their loved ones, until it does.

That’s why education on ethics matters. It goes beyond the warnings from parents and teachers. It helps youth dive into the heart of ethical matters and recognize potential consequences before they happen.

Take, for example, a teen who has worked hard to maintain straight As while playing on her high school basketball team and volunteering for the social justice committee. She likely has good judgement and a strong work ethic that has been instilled in her by her parents. But like all teens, she feels the need to create some distance from her parents and their constant nattering about choices. Her friends invite her to a house party that starts off tame, and as they drink, they believe everything that’s happening is in good fun. Her judgement is affected, she’s caught up in the moment, and she sees a police cruiser pull up. Her best friend starts climbing the cruiser, and she might just throw caution to the wind and join in.

Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022

Dreamstime

An education in ethics allow people to be more mindful in most situations and more aware of their personal brands.

Self-reflection is the key to moving forward

BBB Foundation 3 minute read Preview

Self-reflection is the key to moving forward

BBB Foundation 3 minute read Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022

Pay attention to your thoughts. Are you thinking about what you’ll make for dinner tonight, how today’s work meeting went or someone who rubbed you the wrong way? So often we get lost in the world around us that we forget to take a step back. We look to blame our bosses for our unhappiness, our friends for frustrating us or our circumstances for holding us back. But we often forget to turn the mirror inward and look at ourselves.

Are we the people we want to be? How are we acting that aligns with the values we’d like to hold? Are we holding ourselves accountable?

This work is often uncomfortable, as it reveals we’re not always acting out the characteristics we’d like to hold. But it is a necessary discomfort as the truths it realizes are important for each one of us.

Sometimes we spend too much time looking inward to the point that our self-criticisms start to snowball out of control and out of reality. This is damaging in its own way, as those negative voices can start to take over. This is not the goal of self-reflection; its real purpose is to give those who haven’t checked in with themselves lately, or done an honest self-assessment, the chance to do so.

Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022

The BBB Education Foundation helps equip youth and adults alike to better contribute to an ethical society as they evaluate the world and their place in it.

Navigating the negative effects of technology

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Navigating the negative effects of technology

BBB Foundation 4 minute read Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022

We are a cause-and-effect society. When something goes awry, we immediately seek out the cause. We need to decipher what exactly led to the result, and what we can do to reduce the chances of it happening again.

This is one of the reasons stories of true crime grip the masses. When people make heinous decisions we cannot comprehend, we’re stumped. We have this need to understand motivating factors and environmental influences that led them to act with such malice.

While some researchers have been able to point to specific factors that can increase or decrease a person’s likeliness of walking down a certain path, the answers to these questions are often far-reaching and complex. We often don’t even realize the effects our environments and situations have on us, nor will we.

For example, reading about how a local politician laundered money may slightly decrease our trust in elected governments or leaders. Watching your older sibling consistently succeed in sports you’ve only dreamt of mastering may affect your self-esteem. Even spending those extra 15 minutes scrolling through social media could be impacting us more than we thought.

Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022

Substituting 15 minutes of real socialization for 15 minutes of screen time might help our relationships and overall happiness.

Time to be proactive

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Time to be proactive

BBB Foundation 3 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 20, 2022

We live in a reactive society. And that doesn’t just mean our social media vacation photos garnering instant responses from our peers. When something goes awry, we’re quick to demand a reaction. A family-owned diner is burned down, we want a culprit found and money raised for the family. When a community member is attacked walking home from work, we wish them a quick recovery and petition for brighter streetlights.

While all these reactions are positive and necessary, that’s often where we stop. We’ve helped create justice for the victim and made efforts to put in a stop-gap safety measure. That’s more help than many provide, so it’s easy to pat ourselves on the back (rightfully so) and call it a day.

But what if we went one step further? What if we sought the close the gap more permanently? What if we saw these issues as systemic and changeable?

When we hear that first word (“systemic”), we often feel helpless. Systemic issues, by nature, are tough to change. But the second word (“changeable”) gives us hope. We can change the system, step-by-step, to uplift those who are inflicting pain on others. We can give them the tools they need to face challenges in a better way and help them feel part of a community.

Wednesday, Jul. 20, 2022

Looking for answers in the wake of tragedy

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Looking for answers in the wake of tragedy

BBB Foundation 3 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 8, 2022

What was he thinking?

That’s the question left on so many devastated minds in the wake of a tragedy such as the school shooting in Uvalde, Tex.. We cannot comprehend why someone would take one innocent life, never mind many. For the survivors, the grief, trauma and sadness are compounded by the senselessness of it all.

Researchers have been trying to make some sense of mass killings for years, trying to decipher the root so they can contribute to a solution. They’ve identified patterns in school killers’ lives that may have sparked their violent actions. Those include a history of depression, absence of support at home and school, feelings of rejection and continual despair that turns into a desire for revenge. When such an individual has access to a gun, it becomes a dreadful storm.

Avoiding these storms take a community. That’s not to blame a community for an individual’s actions but it stands to reason (in line with researchers’ findings) that making ethical decisions in various facets of society can help us all live more peacefully together.

Wednesday, Jun. 8, 2022

School is a place where children of all backgrounds and abilities can come together and learn from each other.

So you’ve graduated… now what?

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So you’ve graduated… now what?

BBB Foundation 3 minute read Wednesday, May. 11, 2022

There are few moments in life that can replicate the feeling of having a degree or diploma placed in your hands after the years of work and sacrifice it took to obtain it.

It’s a time to be celebrated and cherished. You’ve earned that accomplishment and all the rewards that come with it. But there’s also a moment many experience shortly after the celebration – the “now what?” moment. How do you, one of thousands of graduates across the country, distinguish yourself enough from the others so that you can find work in your desired field?

Many students will have the same educations listed on their resumes and similar work experience. So, if you’re wondering how you can stand out, the answer is, quite simply, soft skills. This may seem odd to someone who has spent the last few years studying and perfecting hard skills. But it’s true. Research shows more employers are looking for candidates with strong character traits, as they believe those can be the biggest indicator of how much success a new employee will have at a company.

According to the University of Ottawa, the top soft skills employers are looking for include professionalism, communication, adaptability, time management, leadership and critical thinking.

Wednesday, May. 11, 2022

When faced with job applicants who have similar educational backgrounds, prospective employers often look to see what sort of soft skills candidates may have.

The unexpected criminal

BBB Foundation 2 minute read Preview

The unexpected criminal

BBB Foundation 2 minute read Wednesday, Apr. 13, 2022

When headlines are stuffed with scandals and corporate greed appears to take over, many envision the people involved in these schemes or crimes as deceitful, vile people. As reported by the Harvard Business Review, a former federal prosecutor was shocked to find ordinarily good people accused of committing corruption. They were good people who made bad choices.

Most people don’t make unethical decisions because that’s what they decided to do when they woke up that morning. Most haven’t planned such behaviour for years, either. Many people get caught up in corporate crimes due in part to the corporation they are a part of.

Some companies put an overwhelming amount of pressure on their employees to hit unattainable targets or goals that make them feel as though they must cut corners, otherwise they’ll face reprimand. Others treat their employees unfairly, to the point that resentment grows and the employee feels justified in retaliating by doing something unethical to “get back” at the employer. A common example of this is stealing or lying on expense claims.

Other organizations model unethical behaviour, which then permeates through the personnel. If a boss makes comments such as “let’s leave those unflattering numbers out of the presentation,” for example, others in the meeting know that’s the kind of work the boss is looking for and expecting. They begin to think it’s encouraged to lie or fudge the truth to attain goals. This can contribute to misguided loyalty as well, wherein employees know what they’re doing is wrong but still feel they’re doing the right thing for the company.

Wednesday, Apr. 13, 2022

Workplace theft or unethical corporate behaviour can be aided by misguided corporate culture.

Practice makes perfect, even in ethics

BBB Foundation 3 minute read Preview

Practice makes perfect, even in ethics

BBB Foundation 3 minute read Wednesday, Mar. 16, 2022

It’s not until after high school that many of us are exposed to ethical dilemmas, such as the trolley problem or prisoner’s dilemma.

We may discuss these scenarios in a university philosophy class or around the dinner table with family or friends. They’re engaging topics because they cause us to turn the spotlight on ourselves and really examine where our values lie. They also help us think about how we can, and should, react in real-life situations that may be sticky or complicated.

But what if our youth got practise in this? What if they were encouraged to discuss moral dilemmas more appropriate to their particular age groups?

For example, what would they do if they heard classmate A stole money out of a locker but classmate B was about to get suspended for the crime? They never witnessed the event, so how should they proceed?

Wednesday, Mar. 16, 2022

Discussing ethical questions such as the trolley problem or the prisoner’s dilemma helps young people develop their core values

Creating shared communities

BBB Foundation 4 minute read Preview

Creating shared communities

BBB Foundation 4 minute read Monday, Dec. 20, 2021

There is a lot of hope to be had when we look into the eyes of our next generation. Young people are creating ingenious inventions to address some of our world’s most pressing problems, organizing large-scale initiatives to help society’s less fortunate, and starting entire movements to support each other.

But what about students who struggle simply to make it to school? Those who have fallen through the cracks of family and government agencies? Or those who find themselves unable to focus, distraught by the chaos unfolding as they left their homes that morning? Should we leave them to fend for themselves? Marked unlucky at birth with a life full of hardships ahead of them?

No.

As a community, we have a responsibility to help and guide all our children. It’s why we have laws such as mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse. It takes a village to raise a child, to protect them, and to give them the skills and advice they need to lead happy, successful lives.

Monday, Dec. 20, 2021

Dreamstime.com
The Better Business Bureau Foundation's LIFT program provides young people with the tools to make ethical decision and to realize they must work together to help lift each other up.

The repetition of decision-making skills

BBB Foundation 3 minute read Preview

The repetition of decision-making skills

BBB Foundation 3 minute read Tuesday, Sep. 28, 2021

Throw and catch. Throw and catch. Throw and catch. To be successful at something, repetition is key.

That’s something most researchers, even those who debunked Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000-hour expertise theory, agree on. Even if practice doesn’t make perfect, it makes you better than yesterday, and over time, pretty darn good.

But how often do we deliberately practise our soft skills, such as responsible communication and ethical decision-making? Do you spend hours repeating your ‘pleases’ and ‘thank-you’s’? Sit down and rewrite disrespectful phrases into respectful ones? Walk the streets, seeking injustices in which to intervene?

Practising soft skills can be difficult, because they’re often reactions - and the situations they react to are diverse and different every time.

Tuesday, Sep. 28, 2021

Dreamstime.com
Just like playing catch, decision-making skills can be practised until they become second nature.

Navigating boundaries in a blurry world

BBB Foundation 3 minute read Preview

Navigating boundaries in a blurry world

BBB Foundation 3 minute read Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021

Do you have a “work family”?

Someone you consider a mentor, like an older sibling? Someone you can joke around with? A close friend? Or perhaps there’s someone you often disagree but with whom you must learn to co-operate?

This is only natural when we spend about a third of our lives at work. But sometimes the lines between professional and personal can be blurred to a point that creates conflict in the very place we can’t escape.

Maybe you’re in the position to grant a promotion to someone, but your favoritism for a friend makes that difficult for everyone involved. Maybe you’ve become so relaxed around your colleagues that you say something inappropriate and offend someone without meaning to. Maybe a co-worker asks you to lie to your boss on their behalf and puts you in a compromising position.

Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021

Dreamstime.com
The BBB Foundation’s LIFT program can help you work your way through difficult workplace conflicts and situations.