Tagged: Ethics

Defining Compliance 2.0: Key Compliance Partners (Part 5 of 5)

I always use the “Streetcar Named Desire” line to describe the challenges a  Chief Compliance Officer faces – CCOs depend on the kindness of strangers.  It is a little bit of an exaggeration but bear with me. CCOs are not superheroes and cannot by themselves ensure an effective ethics and compliance program. An effective compliance program depends on a positive working relationship among the key...

Defining Compliance 2.0: Senior Leadership (Part 4 of 5)

Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.~ Vince Lombardi Like so many areas in life, a successful ethics and compliance program depends on teamwork. My last two postings, Parts 4 and 5, will highlight these essential partners – senior leadership and key compliance functions. In a company culture, teamwork...

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...

Compliance 2.0 and Trends: Culture and Technology

Compliance has to continuously improve – as companies innovate, so do critical foundation functions like compliance. The forces of change on corporate governance and compliance were unleashed years ago. There is no way to put the genie back in the bottle – the wave is continuing to grow and so long as corporate misconduct continues, corporate compliance will continue to reinvent itself in new ways....

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...

Culture Caution: Should You Accept a New Job as a CCO at a Company?

Before a Chief Compliance Officer accepts a new position with a company, a potential CCO should conduct his/her own “due diligence” of the prospective employer. A company without a corporate culture of ethics and compliance can pose serious challenges for CCOs seeking to implement an effective ethics and compliance program. In the absence of a real commitment from the board and the CEO, a CCO...

Asking the Right Questions: How to Measure Corporate Culture

As a federal prosecutor with lots of trial experience, I generally know what questions to ask a witness or a defendant.  In the compliance arena, there is much more leeway in how and what questions you ask. Many companies conduct employee surveys. These surveys are usually administered by human resources across the organization every year or two. I do not oppose these surveys but recommend...

Business Ethics as an Effective Control

Integrity has no need of rules. – Albert Camus Corporate decision-making ignores important principles and sometimes, common sense. With the increase in corporate compliance programs, corporate boards and senior executives need to take a moment to address one important issue – the importance of creating an ethical culture. For some reason, corporate boards and leaders like to focus on the tangible aspects of ethics and...

The SEC’s Year of FCPA Enforcement

Say what you will – the SEC is making its mark this year in FCPA enforcement. So far, the SEC has brought nine separate enforcement actions, the latest with Bristol-Myers Squibb. I am sure we will see more before the end of the year. The SEC’s success reflects the investment they made in a new enforcement structure, the creation of the FCPA Section, and the...

The 5 Key Ingredients to a Culture of Ethics

Every company wants to create a culture of ethics. If the senior leadership ignores or downplays a culture of ethics, they have narrowed business opportunities for the company, its shareholders, and other stakeholders. A culture of ethics does not guarantee financial success, but it does add to the bottom line financial performance of a company. There are a number of necessary ingredients that have to...