Tagged: CEO

When Tone at the Top Is Missing

We all tend to gloss over a critical requirement for an effective ethics and compliance program – tone-at-the-top. I hate to be dogmatic about the issue but, as Mel Brooks said in the Curb Your Enthusiasm (Season 4, Episode 1), “You either got it or you ain’t.” The same is true for the board, CEO and senior executive commitment to ethics and compliance. Every Chief...

Changes in the Balance of Power: The Board Versus CEO

There is no doubt that corporate boards operate under greater scrutiny. The trend is clearly to hold boards and individual members accountable. But this is not the result of government prosecution; rather, this trend reflects increased regulation and changes in investor and shareholder efforts to monitor corporate boards and CEOs. As corporate boards assume greater responsibility for supervision and monitoring of company activities, they have...

CCOs: Living in the Land of False Promises

We all have heard the scenario involving a compliance professional. A new CCO joins a company with promises from the board, the CEO and senior executives of cooperation, compensation and support for a robust independent compliance function. The new CCO arrives with an idealistic spirit only to discover that he or she has been misled. Sure, the CCO has a title, and a nice salary,...

Honest Assessment of the CCO-CEO Relationship

One very accurate indicator of a compliance program is the relationship between the CEO and the Chief Compliance Officer. If a CCO is repeatedly making excuses for a CEO who does not devote enough time to compliance, you can rest assured that the compliance program is nowhere near effective. Let’s start with the basics. Almost 60 percent of CCOs now report directly to the CEO....

Cyber Security Compliance: The Role of the CCO

For years, cyber security has been the province of IT specialist and technicians. Those days are long gone. If you ask a Board of Directors to identify a company’s most significant risk – cyber security is tops. That is no big surprise. When you consider the consequences of a cyber intrusion or a more likely breach, companies suffer serious reputational and financial harm. Directors, senior...

Defining Compliance 2.0: The CCO (Part 3 of 5)

These are heady days for Chief Compliance Officers. Over the last 20 years, the CCO has moved from the backwater of corporate offices to the front and center of the power structure. We now have debates over the independence of the CCO from the legal function, the reporting obligations and the relationship between the CCO and the board. There is no question that CCOs have...

Defining Compliance 2.0 — The CEO (Part 2 of 5)

Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest. – Mark Twain We all know the obvious – a CEO’s commitment to ethics and compliance is critical to the success of a compliance program. A CEo who stands up and speaks about the company’s culture of compliance is more than a breath of fresh air – it can be the lifeblood...

Defining Compliance 2.0: The Board (Part 1 of 5)

This week I am devoting five postings to defining the “new” model of ethics and compliance – Compliance 2.0. If you read through compliance writings, blogs, articles, white papers, and other sources, you will see the term “Compliance 2.0” bandied about.  It is a term that has yet to be defined but is taking on a life of its own – a reflection perhaps of...

Turning the CEO Around: How to Make Sure the CEO Embraces Ethics and Compliance

Your CEO is either on board for compliance, or he/she is not. There is no half-way mark here, no way to deceive or soft-shoe your way through the compliance requirement. Yet it is common to see a CEO who is not committed and a Chief Compliance Officer who is in denial and points to half-hearted steps to justify their own self-deception. CCOs need to take...

Defining a Corporate Culture of Ethics and Compliance

Some things are easy to define by negative inferences. Corporate ethics or business ethics are not the same as legal ethics. Business ethics are not the same as our philosophy ethics – Aristotle and all of the classic philosophers were not operating in a corporate context. Some things require a positive definition. To bring about real change in the area of business ethics, a clear...