There are a myriad of compliance and ethics conferences
across the country each year. I regularly attend and speak at some of these.
There are also more regular webinar and local events which may focus on
specific topics or themes. However, there are relatively few educational
programs, put on by universities or business schools which focus on the 'how
to' of compliance leadership. This situation will soon change.
A recent article in the European Business Review,
with Ethics and Compliance", author Mark Meaney discussed the Occupy
Wall Street movement and similar protests in the context of the requirement for
"business schools to address the need for greater accountability and
transparency in business decision-making." He pointed towards Dean Rich Lyons
of the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, who
has argued for the "importance of creating a culture within the business school
that encourages students to go beyond themselves as future business leaders in
learning to accept responsibility for the impact on society of their actions."
In addition to its traditional business school curriculum the Haas School also
has "training and education for individuals who will have as their function to
change the ethical climate of corporations from the inside in their role as
Chief Ethics and Compliance Officers (CECOs)."
This outreach program is based upon research done at the
Haas School which concluded that compliance programs usually adopt one of two
approaches to corporate ethics and compliance training: a rules-based approach
or a values-based approach. The Haas School has taken the belief that neither
approach is entirely effective at corporate compliance and ethics. In a
rules-based approach, compliance programs use "deterrence as a means of
enforcing employee compliance with corporate policies, ethical standards, and
government rules and regulations." This emphasis on the rules and the
investigation and punishment of employees creates a 'culture of fear' that stifles
open communication. In a values-based approach, compliance programs will
"emphasize creating a corporate culture that encourages employees to speak up
about potential issues without the fear of retaliation. While a vast
improvement over the rules-based approach, the values-based approach to
corporate compliance and ethics still does not go far enough."
The Haas School's approach is that an ethics and
compliance program only becomes truly effective when an organization fully
integrates compliance into the company's overall strategic planning process.
Once senior executives make the connection between brand reputation and success
in an "idea economy" they will realize the return on investment (ROI) of an
ethics and compliance program. Companies can then learn how best to leverage
their ethics and compliance programs in strategic planning to maximize
innovation and performance with integrity in gaining a competitive edge.
The focus has led to the creation of an executive
learning program, entitled "Leading
with Ethics and Compliance", which is designed to provide compliance
practitioners with the necessary tools that will empower them to achieve
strategic relevance by partnering with key decision makers to cultivate
influence, earning a reputation as a creative thinker intent on progress and
not obstruction, and by measuring how ethics and compliance improves the
organization's ability to meet its corporate objectives.
This intensive three day intensive course will be taught
at the UC Berkeley, Center for Executive Education from February 13 to 15. I
had the opportunity to review the agenda and its faculty and speakers recently
and it appears to have an impressive array of notables in the compliance and
ethics field. The faculty includes the aforementioned Mark Meaney and others
from the Haas School, melded with speakers from a wide range of compliance
practices, both in-house and third party service providers.
The curriculum includes the following broad categories:
(1) Ethics and Compliance 3.0, which includes topics such as From Check Box to
Culture to Strategy; Ethics, Compliance, and Organizational Strategy; and
Leading Change, Leveraging Culture. (2) The E&C Officer as Strategic
Partner, including topics such as Power and Influence with Integrity;
Transformational Leadership and Building Your Base. (3) Tools of the Successful
E&C Officer; including such topics as Data Privacy and Security in
Information Management; Managing Hotlines and Conducting Internal
Investigations; Global Compliance Risk Mitigation; and Sector Regulatory
If you hold a leadership position in compliance, or
aspire to, this Haas School program would appear to be an excellent place for
you to hear about some of the most current best practices in compliance
leadership. For more information on the program, click here.
Visit the FCPA Compliance and Ethics Blog,
hosted by Thomas Fox, for more commentary on FCPA compliance, indemnities and
other forms of risk management for a worldwide energy practice, tax issues
faced by multi-national US companies, insurance coverage issues and protection
of trade secrets.
This publication contains general information
only and is based on the experiences and research of the author. The author is
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© Thomas R. Fox, 2012
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