Tagged: ethical culture

Corporate Culture and “Benign” Indifference

All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure. Mark Twain People are good at convincing themselves that everything is okay, despite troubling indications.  Sometimes it is easier to ignore warning signs than to face the harsh reality.  It is really a part of the human condition – we fail to intervene or take action unless required to do...

Report from SEC Conference: Compliance, Cooperation and Culture

Jessica Sanderson, Senior Counsel at The Volkov Law Group, recently attended the Rocky Mountain Securities Conference in Denver, Colorado.  Jessica’s posting summarizes the major compliance themes from the conference.  Jessica can be reached at jsanderson@volkovlaw.com. On Friday May 3, 2019, I attended the Rocky Mountain Securities Conference in Denver and heard from a number of regulators and industry experts, including SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce. SEC...

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,...

Episode 78 — Ethical Cultures and Proactive Measures to Mitigate Organizational #MeToo Risks

The corporate world has been rocked by major governance failures surrounding #MeToo incidents and complaints.  Recently, Google suffered global walkouts by employees who were upset by Google’s payment of lucrative severance packages to senior executives forced to resign because of sexual misconduct issues, and a culture of sexual misconduct that included 48 sexual misconduct incidents resulting in the departure/termination of employees.   Companies have to address...

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...

Your CEO Agrees the Company’s Culture is Important – Now What?

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain  “To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.” – Mark Twain  Mark Twain would have been a great Chief Compliance Officer – he had an extraordinary ability to capture human behavior and motivation.  He would have known how to use the right phrase at the right time. I can just imagine CCO Mark Twain meeting...

The Tangible Benefits of a Positive Ethical Culture

We all enjoy citing Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s famous description relating to obscene materials, “I know it when I see it.” To apply this maxim in the corporate compliance field does not take much imagination.  Let’s start with the most important corporate control for any organization – its culture? How do we define a positive culture of ethics and compliance?  We can throw out...

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. ...

Leadership Support Provides Compliance Credibility

We often hear the compliance refrain on the importance of tone-at-the-top – meaning when the board, the CEO and senior executives demonstrate by communications and by conduct their commitment to a culture of ethics and compliance. This single idea carries with it enormous importance to the success or failure of a compliance program.  A positive tone-at-the-top permeates every aspect of a compliance program and specifically...