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Ethics & Compliance Program Management: Creating a Self-Governing Organization

Self-governing organizations and the business benefits they reap don’t spontaneously come into being. Creating and maintaining them requires a strategy. So as a company leader, where should you start? Here’s what we at LRN recommend:

  • Challenge your assumptions about governance, culture and leadership. Remember that these are drivers of business performance and that their impact is measurable. Pursue culture as a strategy by measuring it, and then take advantage of its strengths and address opportunities for growth.
  • Extend trust throughout your organization and commit to leadership that inspires. Doing this ignites potential because power is not held and wielded from the top down. Rather, it is shared and used to achieve the mission and purpose of the organization through behaviors guided by universally accepted core values and principles.
  • Embrace transparency. Understand that in today’s world, very little remains hidden so it is more important now than ever to have nothing to hide. Help your company protect and maintain its good reputation by taking action to ensure that values and behaviors are aligned with purpose and business strategy.
  • Stay committed, no matter what. The journey to self-governance is not easy. It requires letting go of control and proceeding into the unknown. This can be uncomfortable, especially in times of tumult and change. Keep going. Be deliberate and relentless in your focus on governance, culture and leadership; and continuously develop and implement strategies designed to shift behavior and thereby improve company performance.

At the end of the day, a company filled with inspired, empowered, self-governing employees who rally around shared principles and values to serve a higher purpose mission – and who have at their fingertips tools and other methods of support by way of their company’s ethics and compliance program and other business processes to help them behave legally, responsibly and ethically under any and all circumstances – will enjoy a position of markedly greater strength in the marketplace, and will be able to sustain and differentiate itself and to pursue significance far more easily, organically and effectively than its competition. Given that these results are real and have been proven, shouldn’t you embark on the journey?

To learn more, download the full whitepaper.

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Topics: ECA Risk Forecast Report 2013, Self Governance, Ethics & Compliance Programs

Ethics & Compliance Program Management: The Value of a Self-Governing Culture

As the world around us becomes more transparent and interconnected, leaders of organizations have begun to understand that how they do business is as important as the goods they manufacture and the services they provide. Technology now offers every customer, shareholder, employee, business partner, regulatory agency, and public interest group an intimate view into the methods companies use to conduct business.

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Topics: ECA Risk Forecast Report 2013, Ethics & Compliance, Ethics & Compliance Programs

Five Steps to Integrate an Acquired Company's Ethics & Compliance Program

The first part of this two-piece blog gave you five steps to get you started on how best to compile your initial thoughts on information you would seek through due diligence of a target company’s ethics & compliance (“E&C”) program.  This second part highlights five considerations for integrating the acquired company’s E&C program, including utilizing LRN’s proprietary diagnostic tool – the Governance, Culture and Leadership Assessment.

1. Exercise caution between the date you sign and the date you close
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Topics: Ethics & Compliance Programs

Five steps to Conducting Due Diligence of a Target Company's E&C Program

As the compliance officer of your organization, you may have found yourself in the following situation or could imagine a similar scenario happening to you.  Your strategy or mergers/acquisitions group calls you, confidentially informs you that your company is considering an acquisition, and asks you to compile your initial thoughts on the information you would seek in diligence of the target company’s ethics & compliance program.  Would you know how to answer?  If not, these five steps will get you started.


Frame your initial thoughts on the basics
  • Federal Sentencing Guidelines
  • Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Good Practice Guidance on Internal Controls, Ethics & Compliance
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Topics: Ethics & Compliance Programs

The Inherent Limits of Compliance

Any headline about the most recent banking crisis invariably has an associated reference to culture. Unfortunately, many of these references have been somewhat glib, betraying a lack of real understanding of why culture really matters in organizations and why, and how, it directly influences behaviors and decision-making. The Financial Times was smart enough to observe recently: “Increasingly, bad culture seems to be the obvious culprit at organizations and industries in crisis, and good culture the potential savior. If only it were that simple.”

Most companies—especially those in highly-regulated industries—start with a rules based approach to compliance which, inevitably, leads to a host of unwanted outcomes. Among others, the “rule book” becomes enormous, requires continuous updating, does not cover every scenario, and leaves employees unsure whether the issues important to them are covered.

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Topics: Ethics & Compliance Programs

Trust--and truth--at Ford

At LRN we delight in sharing stories that demonstrate the important impact culture has on the performance of an organisation. This one from Ford does just that. In the video excerpt (from the Automotive News World Congress), Mark Fields, President of The Americas, recalls being the first leader to present a red chart to the new CEO, Alan Mulally. It was a brave, and as it turned out, highly effective move.

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Topics: Ethics & Compliance Programs