Tagged: ethical culture

Six Specific Areas to Embed and Promote Business Ethics (Part III of IV)

The challenge for corporations is to build practical approaches to business ethics and its specific corporate values. Business ethics as a field is all well and good but we need to start sharing specific and practical strategies to infuse our day-to-day conduct and advance our corporate performance. In doing so, I am not so limited nor naïve to suggest that the only measure is corporate...

Ethics and Compliance Controls – Different Means to the Same Objective

People are getting confused. A company’s ethical culture is not a touchy-feely concept that makes everyone warm and cozy all over. At the same time, compliance controls are not hard and fast rules that are mechanically enforced with no regard to purpose or results. I always get frustrated when people like to classify concepts as either black and white. People are uncomfortable with grey concepts,...

Wake Up and Mind Your Culture — Practical Approaches to Managing a Company’s Culture

Ethical culture is the flavor of the year these days. We are seeing more postings and articles about the importance of ethical culture, and even pushing the idea of measuring and monitoring culture. It was only seven years ago, 2010 to be exact, when the US Sentencing Commission added ethics to the applicable guideline defining compliance program requirements. We have definitely come very far in...

CCO’s and Delusions About a Company’s Ethical Culture

It is easy to say something and convince yourself it is true. As George Costanza advised Jerry Seinfeld when Jerry had to take a polygraph examination when he failed to admit that he watched  “Melrose Place,” “Remember Jerry.  It’s  not a lie, if you believe it.” See Video Here. This statement from this Seinfeld episode (Season 6, Episode 16) reminds me of compliance professionals who...

Working in a “Happy Talk” Corporate Culture

Honesty is the best policy – when there is money in it. – Mark Twain Compliance professionals encounter a diverse range of corporate personalities in their work. To be sure, compliance officers have to rely on their abilities to analyze, lead, persuade, understand and motivate different functions in a company to contribute to the company’s ethics and compliance function. In doing so, compliance officers have...

CCOs and Resources: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is!

The compliance profession is enjoying its moment of triumph. Chief compliance officers are earning substantial salaries and rewarded with high-level positions in the C-Suite and significant influence. CCOs are the hot commodities in the in the corporate governance world. It is an intoxicating time for compliance professionals. In this environment, CCOs have to be wary. CEOs and other corporate leaders know how to talk the...

Promoting an Ethical Culture — Actions Not Just Words

With an increasing focus on the value of an ethical culture, I have been reading more about chief ethics officers, the separation of ethics and compliance, and the traveling ethics officer who meets with employees to discuss ethics. Forgive me for being a contrarian but everyone is missing the point about an ethical culture. A company does not instill and promote an ethical culture by...

Compliance is Not “Rocket Science”

In the compliance arena, like in many others in life, we value simplicity. I have repeatedly stressed the importance of compliance initiatives that are relatively simple. Too often, lawyers and compliance professionals confuse complexity with efficacy. We can all spin together complex compliance controls that address every possible permutation of events, contingencies and possibilities. That is not the challenge. Compliance is a delicate balance between...

Managing Your Ethical Culture: Measure, Intervene and Remediate

In the wake of ever-constant business scandals (e.g. ZTE, VW, Takata, Odebrecht), chief compliance officers have to refresh their approach and strategy. Everyone agrees, or at least I think they should agree, that a company’s most effective control is its culture. For CCOs, selling the board and senior executives on this point should not be very hard. The research and common sense often come together...

The Two Most important Words in a Compliance Dictionary: Trust and Integrity

Humans have an innate desire to complicate things. When it comes to ideas, professionals are no different – compliance consultants, lawyers, financial advisers and others enjoy solving complicated problems. Such an approach, however, does a disservice to clients and other professionals. Creating complications is not a sign of professional talent; rather, an effective consultant, attorney or financial adviser should be able to take complex issues,...