On September 26 and every day, LRN recognizes the important role you as compliance officers play in helping your organizations carry out their efforts legally and ethically. In this high-profile—and high-pressure—position, you navigate through complex issues, high risk, and rapid change. You see to it that hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of employees conduct themselves in the best way possible—making the right decisions within a moral framework that represents your corporate values. Your ability to collaborate, implement, analyze, listen, respond, and act are crucial, not only to your E&C program, but to your corporate culture.
Today, on National Compliance Officer Day, we take a moment to recognize your dedication to doing the right thing and your meaningful role in shaping behavior at organizations around the world. Thank you for all that you do.
At LRN, we also pause today to assess the state of our industry—the exciting challenges and opportunities on the horizon as you lead your companies on their respective journeys.
What are the biggest compliance issues for the coming year?
“Radical transparency and the grassroots demand to end corruption has transformed the ethics & compliance landscape. In this age of social media and Wikileaks, stakeholders—shareholders, employees, managers, executives, and regulators—can see what an organization really stands for, going beyond what it says it stands for. As a result, it’s not enough to just follow the letter of the law or meet the bare minimum. E&C programs must focus on doing the right thing all the time, not just when questions are asked.” – Susan Divers
The biggest challenges facing ethics & compliance officers today are how to measure their organization’s ethical culture and what are the most effective steps they can take to improve and sustain a positive culture of ethics and compliance throughout the organization. The overall culture of an organization can work to either enable or hinder the effectiveness of an E&C program. It’s not enough to have rules, policies, processes, and controls. They are important, but culture and character will supersede rules every time. Sometimes, the rules themselves are the problem and need to be challenged by a culture where doing the right thing is the most important thing. – Jim Walton
What excites you most about being in a compliance role?
The thing that excites me most about being an ethics and compliance professional is that it is my job to help organizations, management, and employees do the right thing. My colleagues in the field are the smartest, most compassionate, generous, and principled people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. When I was finishing college with a degree in engineering, it was my great desire to do something that would make a positive contribution to making the world a better place. – Jim Walton
Ethics & Compliance combines both the positive and the negative work of being a lawyer. Helping colleagues do the right thing is positive and requires communication, project management, and people management. Preventing misconduct means rules, procedures, and consequences. Combining the two makes for a holistic and effective role. – Susan Divers