It may be effective but is it ethical? The ethics of transformational change

Join the first in a series of professional open events from the IDEA Centre designed for embedding ethical thinking into leadership.

The Inter-Disciplinary Ethics Applied (IDEA) Centre at the University of Leeds presents the first in a series of open events aimed at giving attendees the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to navigate the challenges of conducting responsible and ethical business in today’s increasingly complex and uncertain world, post global pandemic.

We bring a unique blend of academic research and insight, business acumen and practical commercial knowledge and experience.  Robust insight and rigour on ethical leadership from the academic world is grounded and brought to life through the experiences of leaders who are grappling with real ethical challenges in their working lives.

The time for ethical leadership has never been greater.  The prominence of corporate integrity and standards of conduct and behaviour in business has never been so high.  Businesses are under pressure from all sides, eg:

  • Increased corporate governance and reporting requirements
  • Levels of regulatory scrutiny and disciplinary/enforcement action
  • High expectations from a wide range of stakeholders (including civil society) regarding the role and purpose of business as a force for good
  • The ongoing low levels of trust as reported in Edelman’s Annual Barometer and other research

All of these amount to a constant pressure on businesses to demonstrate that they are ‘doing the right thing’.

Purpose of the event

The half-day event is aimed at current and future leaders and those with an interest in the ethics of leadership and how to change corporate culture ethically and responsibly.

The purpose of the event is to provide a deep dive into the ethics of transformational change which leaders will need to understand if they are to lead change effectively and sustainably. All sessions will be practically grounded in the real-life experience of business leaders, which will be interrogated and elucidated by academic ethicists. Participants will thus be challenged to deeply and rigorously examine their own beliefs about transformational change in the light of insights from the academic and business worlds. They will go away with the confidence to make better decisions, more fully understanding the reasons which bear on their choices, and knowing how others are approaching similar choices, embracing the opportunities for building and renewing a sustainable, purpose-led organisational culture.

Who is it for?

It is aimed at current and future leaders who are:

  • passionate about achieving change with integrity, inspiring colleagues in pursuit of shared goals, and creating an aligned, purpose-led and resilient culture;
  • aware that there are ethical challenges involved in the change process, and keen to improve their understanding of the choices they face and the consequences of their actions and decisions;
  • willing to challenge their own assumptions and explore new ways of working;
  • keen to share their experiences and explore a blend of academic and practitioner approaches to leading ethical transformational change to enable renewal and regrowth post crisis.

Style of the event

The event, which will be delivered online, is designed to be highly interactive, including plenty of opportunities for interaction with speakers and other participants. Working with a dynamic cohort of peers, participants will actively contribute through small group discussions, polls, Q&As, etc.

High profile speakers with extensive experience of delivering transformational change will tell their stories, allowing participants to see ‘from the inside’ how they have faced and met ethical challenges now and what this means looking forward. Expert academic ethicists will dig below the surface of these stories, drawing out the wider ethical implications which participants can then apply in their own work. Participants will leave better equipped to tackle the challenges and opportunities of the future: for example ESG, responsible business, sustainability and responsible use of technology.


Price: £50.00 for the half-day session (£40.00 early bird; £20.00 IDEA postgraduates).

Registration and tickets are available via the University of Leeds Store.