Tagged: corporate culture

Corporate Culture: Health and Safety (Part II of II)

Companies face a daunting challenge to reassure and regain trust and integrity with employees.  CEOs should view the current situation as an opportunity to improve a company’s culture by building on the company’s trust and integrity values. Aside from basic economic questions, companies have to ensure that employee health and safety are assured.  In this pandemic era and with the spread of disinformation by politicians,...

Corporate Culture: Leadership (Part I of II)

Companies are under enormous stress given the pandemic and the social unrest.  Employees are looking to companies to provide some sense of stability and ultimately leadership.  Corporate leaders are being tested and it is clear that in this defining moment, some will rise and some will fail.  It is pretty obvious whether a CEO can meet this challenge. Perfunctory and happy-talk emails or positive messaging...

What Happens When Managers Misbehave?

Company managers are the lynchpin of a corporate compliance program.  Without belaboring the Tinkers to Evers to Chance baseball analogy, a corporate culture of compliance requires an important information and accountability flow (or cascade) from leadership to senior managers to on-the-ground managers.  It is at this level that the compliance message requires effective communications and conduct by managers directly to employees.  This is where the...

Five Signs Your Company Lacks Integrity

It is always easy to second-guess or look back with 20-20 hindsight on a compliance breakdown and point out all the problems that were ignored or created by corporate actors.  There are common factual scenarios that recur in DOJ and regulatory enforcement actions, some of which fall into certain categories.  While defense counsel (being effective advocates) often argue that bad actors are often “rogue” employees,...

Touting Corporate Culture to Excuse a Commitment to Compliance

There is no question that corporate leaders, senior executives, legal and compliance staff, and internal auditors recognize the value of an ethical corporate culture.  It is the latest “fad” in corporate governance, and it is a welcome development.  I have written extensively on this important trend and the value of a company’s culture of ethics and compliance. CEOs and corporate executives, however, have embraced this...

Corporate Doublespeak: A Bribe is a Bribe

Language communicates more than just words – indeed, the use of language reflects much more than simple communication.  Often, a person’s language reveals an attitude, a feeling, a perspective, and much more about a person.  To me, I am often struck how language is used by corporations to mask a clear and distinct idea.  Corporate speak is a language unto itself, and can reflect a...

The Culture Bandwagon — SEC Chairman Joins the Club

Maybe I am missing something, but everyone is jumping on the culture bandwagon.  Regulators like to speak about it; prosecutors like to emphasize it – everyone likes to talk about it as a way to encourage corporate leaders to commit to promoting an ethical culture. Let’s face it – talking about culture is an easy way to demonstrate your commitment to ethics and to compliance...

When Your CEO Just Does Not Get It

There are a lot of talented CEOs.  Some remarkable leaders, innovators and eloquent spokespeople for their companies.  In several recent experiences, I have been befuddled by some CEOs. When a CEO addresses a global ethics and compliance staff or has the opportunity to address a large staff or division meeting, the CEO should take the opportunity to reinforce the company’s culture and compliance program message. ...

Episode 40 — How to Conduct a Corporate Culture Assessment

Research has consistently demonstrated that an ethical corporate culture results in increased profits and sustainable growth.  Companies with a positive culture have lower rates of employee misconduct, increased employee productivity, and lower employee turnover.  All of these factors lead to higher growth rates, improved employee morale, and a reduced risk of misconduct and government investigation. This basic premise holds true: when ethical values are embedded in a company’s...

Connecting with Your Employees – What is Your Company’s Purpose?

Companies are getting on the bandwagon – corporate culture matters.  Business ethics is important.  My worry is whether this new acknowledgement is viewed as a short-cut for compliance investment. CEOs and the board are troubled by (and even resisting) the resources needed to implement an effective compliance program.  Unfortunately, this attitude reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the importance of an ethical culture and robust compliance...