Tagged: ethical culture

Who is Responsible for a Company’s Mood in the Middle? – the Wells Fargo Fiasco

Lauren Connell, Managing Associate at The Volkov Law Group, joins us again for a posting on the Wells Fargo scandal.  Lauren can be reached at lconnell@volkovlaw.com. Wells Fargo’s cultural tone is not easily segregated between “top,” “middle” and “bottom.”  Despite the recent cross-selling scandal, in which the CFPB led an enforcement action whose fines total a whopping $185 million, Wells Fargo’s CEO John Stumpf reluctantly...

Defining the Compliance Mission – More Than Just Preventing Violations

I am not one to beg but I have decided I have nothing to lose here – please, when it comes to compliance, everyone has to adopt a new mantra. The purpose of compliance is not to prevent legal and code of conduct violations. Such a purpose is way too limited in scope and almost guarantees failure, because at one time or another, company employees...

Defining “Effective” Ethics and Compliance Programs

The compliance profession faces many challenges. Some are more important than others. When it comes to evaluating performance, or measuring compliance programs, the profession has a steep uphill climb. Unfortunately, measuring compliance programs and defining what an “effective” program is an issue that requires extensive research and analysis. Justice Potter Stewart’s famous words defining “obscenity” – “I know it when I see it,” just will...

Trust and Integrity: The Value of a Company’s Reputation

Warren Buffet, the Oracle of Omaha, understands the importance of corporate culture and adhering to a code of ethics. He has been quoted: Lose money and I will forgive you. Lose even a shred of reputation and I will be ruthless. …… Wealth can always be recreated, but reputation takes a lifetime to build and often only a moment to destroy. Buffet’s implicit message is unmistakable – culture, reputation and...

Webinar: CCOs and the Board of Directors: Establishing an Effective Relationship

Webinar: CCOs and the Board of Directors: Establishing an Effective Relationship May 24, 2016 12 PM EST Register Here Chief Compliance Officers have to establish a positive and productive working relationship with the corporate board of directors. An effective reporting relationship is essential to ensuring an effective ethics and compliance program.  CCOs have to attend to this relationship, learn how to use it effectively, and...

Getting Back to Basics: CCOs and Independence

Chief compliance officers continue to enjoy these heady days – salaries are up and new opportunities are popping up in the corporate world. CCOs have to keep their eye on the ball. It is well and good to get a good salary, a nice office, and a title, but there is an important requirement that cannot be overlooked – independence. The trend over the last...

Fixing a Sour Corporate Culture: Valeant Pharmaceuticals Faces an Uphill Challenge

Like the Greek mythology character Sisyphus, Valeant Pharmaceutical is attempting to atone for its sins and turn its corporate culture around. I am not usually a cynic but when I see these transparent attempts to reverse a company’s culture, I have a degree of suspicion. In recent weeks, Valeant took the following steps: Hired a new CEO Joseph Papa Removed five directors from its board...

Focusing on Internal Investigations

A speak up culture is an important component of a company’s commitment to organizational justice. All of the pieces of an internal justice system have to fit together and are interdependent. When one part does not work, the whole system does not work. A robust internal investigation system is a critical component of organizational justice. Companies often pull together the basic components of an internal...

How to Keep Your Whistleblower(s) “Happy” (or Satisfied)

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony – Mahatma Gandhi Happiness is an elusive concept – for some. For others who may be more enlightened or lived for years, happiness is a feeling that can be attained by commitment, determination and awareness.  My keys to happiness are love, gratitude and empathy. Some people are “content” being...

Defining Business Ethics

One of the more frustrating topics for discussion is defining business ethics. It is frustrating to see how complex and unhelpful the discussion turns when defining business ethics. I have two tests for how to deal with this issue. Do you use simple terms that can be easily communicated internally in a company? Do the terms embrace the kind of values important to the company?...