In my opinion | Honesty and transparency

Published 30 Jan 2018 by Keith Calder MEIANZ CEnvP, NZ Chapter

What will this new year bring? Where will we be – as a person, as a nation – this time next year? Life is short, and things can change in the blink of an eye. This time last year who would have thought we would have a new government in New Zealand? Things change.

I’m not bragging, but my family bought me an iPhone for Christmas – a nice, big-screened iPhone 6SPlus. Beautiful. They are usually not given to such extravagance, but either in pity or frustration (maybe a bit of love too?) they decided it was time for me to move into the 2010s and get rid of my ‘kamakuza’ dumb smart-phone. Their efforts were a collaboration, a total surprise and greatly appreciated. It will take me a lifetime to learn how to drive my new phone.

However, there is a grey lining to this silver cloud and the reason I mention the iPhone model above. Speechless on Christmas Day, I now discover the model is one of those that Apple have been deliberately slowing down! Supposedly, to protect the batteries from the increasing power demands of modern technology – hardware and software – rather than any conspiratorial drive to push people to the later and even more expensive iPhone 8, 10 and X. So much for technological progress when dumb humans are still at the helm!

Anyway, this is a long way round to talking about the issue of honesty and transparency. One of my mentors used to say, “Nothing has more lives than a lie or mistake you refuse to correct!” There are many implications for this piece of wisdom, one is that it is difficult to recover credibility once caught in a lie, including deliberate opaqueness. Apple will know it’s credibility has taken a big hit with its latest lack of transparency gaff – regardless of any ‘legitimate’ explanation.

From as far back as I can remember, my mother taught me that “Honesty is the best policy”. And while I can’t claim to be a saint on the matter, nonetheless those words have been a guiding light to me personally, and professionally.

Membership of EIANZ and Certification as a CEnvP entails a commitment to high ethical standards and a level of professional accountability. I’m sure we and employers appreciate these safety nets

Mentoring – both as a mentor and ‘mentee’ – also requires a high professional ethic and accountability, and a guiding hand through the maze of complexity the world challenges us with.

I, for one. Am looking forward to another year with EIANZ and CEnvP and the sharing of experience and wisdom that we can collectively provide one another through membership.