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Mendelsohn and Denniston: A Compliance Dialogue

Last week I attended the 2012 Global Ethics Summit hosted by Ethisphere. The first event was a conversation between Mark Mendelsohn and Brackett Denniston, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of General Electric (GE). They both had some interesting observations on the current state of Foreign...

Chesapeake Lighthouses and Lighting the Way for Compliance

In the winter 2013 issue of the Colonial Williamsburg magazine is an article by Michael Lombardi, entitled " Lighthouses Marked the Shoals of the Commerce Clause ". In this article, Lombardi wrote about four lighthouses authorized by Congress in the late 18 th and early 19 th century to...

March Madness and Discipline Under the FCPA

Tonight is the finals of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, known as March Madness. As I went to law school at the University of Michigan, I will be pulling for the Wolverines to win the big game. If you are not a Louisville or Big East fan I hope that you can pull for us or at least throw...

I Am Legend: Richard Matheson and Ethics in Your Compliance Program

Richard Matheson died on Sunday. I read his book “ I Am Legend ” when I was a very young teenager. It was my first real introduction into science fiction and I instantly became a fan of Matheson. It spoke to me about being an outsider and feeling completely out of place, as was the protagonist...

How to Build a Culture of Ethics and Compliance: The Greatest Article Ever – Part I

Donna Boehme and Jim McGrath continually rail against the notion that a ‘rogue employee’ causes the majority of bribery and corruption charges under such laws as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and UK Bribery Act. Companies continually claim that they do business ethically and in...

The Most Profitable Baseball Team of All-Time and Commitment to Ethics and Compliance

Sorry to interrupt my three-part series on the greatest ethics and compliance article ever written but I just could not help myself. On Monday, forbes.com, in an article entitled “ 2013 Houston Astros: Baseball’s Worst Team Is The Most Profitable In History ”, Dan Alexander reported...

Send in the Clowns – the NCAA and its Investigation of Johnny Football

How can you determine if an organization charged with compliance is corrupt or simply incompetent? It is hard today to answer that question when it comes to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and its enforcement division. For those of you do not know the story, the NCAA was investigating...

How to Build a Culture of Ethics and Compliance: the Greatest Article Ever – Part II

In this post I continue my exploration of the article in the summer 2013 issue of the MIT Sloan Management Review, entitled “ Designing Trustworthy Organizations ”, by the quartet of authors: Robert F. Hurley, Nicole Gillespie, Donald L. Ferrin and Graham Dietz. In case you missed Part I...

How to Build a Culture of Ethics and Compliance: the Greatest Article Ever – Part III

Today I conclude my exploration of the article in the summer 2013 issue of the MIT Sloan Management Review, entitled “ Designing Trustworthy Organizations ”, by the quartet of authors: Robert F. Hurley, Nicole Gillespie, Donald L. Ferrin and Graham Dietz. In case you missed the previous articles...

The Red Baron and Leading in Compliance

For anyone who grew up in the 60s or 70s; the comic strip adventures of Snoopy vs. the Red Baron were legendary. ‘ Curse You Red Baron’ was a routine line from Snoopy as he was foiled time and time again by the Red Baron. Anyone who has seen “ Charlie Brown and The Great Pumpkin ”...

Will World Cup 2022 Become World Cup 2023?

SPOILER ALERT – This article reveals that the temperature becomes quite hot in Qatar in the summer months. That paragon of compliance and ethics, the world’s richest and most influential single-sport ruling body Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), has...

Dan Snyder, the CCO and Doing Business Ethically

We continue the football theme as an entrée into compliance by looking at Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder. I am a life-long Dallas Cowboys fan so having someone like Snyder as the owner of your main rival at the professional level is almost too much fun for words. Clearly presaging the...

Trip to Annapolis and Teaching Leadership

Monday was Memorial Day and is the day wherein the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces are remembered. The holiday is celebrated every year on the final Monday of May . The first recorded Memorial was held on May 1, 1865 in Charleston, South Carolina to commemorate...

Why the Compliance Function is Different Than the Legal Function

I have long been proud of my profession. I would often tell students that they were about to join a profession which extended as far back as Demosthenes, who practiced his closing orations against crashing sea waves so that the full Greek demos might hear him when he closed a trial. Further, while thoughts...

The Magna Carta and Scrutiny of Your Compliance Program

Yesterday, June 15 was Father’s Day so for all us fathers out there, it was our day and I hope that you enjoyed and cherished it. It was also the anniversary of what I believe was one of the greatest achievements in Anglo jurisprudence, the signing of the Magna Carta, by King John and the Barons...

Gettysburg Day 1 – Stepping Back to See the Whole Picture

Last year I did a three-day series on the Battle of Gettysburg and looked at some lessons that are applicable to a modern day compliance practitioner. As not only did I learn quite a bit about the battle, it seemed to strike a chord with many readers so this year I will continue the tradition. Today...

Gettysburg Day 2 – A Failure of Culture in Leadership and How to Overcome It

Today is the 151 st anniversary of Day 2 of the Battle of Gettysburg. Last year I focused on Union General Dan Sickles and how is disobeying of his commanding officer’s order, destroyed his brigade and ended his military career. Today, I want to focus on the Confederate side and how the non-use...

Gettysburg Day 3 – Failure of QA/QC and the Evolution of Your Compliance Program

Thursday was the 151 st anniversary of Day 3 of the Battle of Gettysburg. Last year I focused on Pickett’s Charge and lessons that a compliance practitioner might draw from it. This year I want to look at the Confederate artillery bombardment, which preceded Pickett’s doomed attack. It was...

How a Failure to Set Tone-at-the-Top Led to a Fractured Vertebra

What does ‘Tone-at-the-Top’ mean to any anti-bribery or anti-corruption program? Conversely, what if management says to do the right thing but only judges employees on their sales; what is the message that only ‘Talking The Talk’ sends; if a company fails to ‘Walk-the-Walk’...

World Cup Finale – Compliance Lessons to Be Learned From Success and Failure

Over the past few weeks, I have written several articles on the lessons a compliance practitioner can draw from this year’s World Cup and the international group which runs the event, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association or more commonly know as FIFA. Over on my podcast...

Tribute to Jack Bruce – Finding Talent to Support Your Compliance Function

Jack Bruce died last week. He was simply one of the greatest rock and roll bassists of all-time, as in ever. He helped form Rock’s first super group, Cream, when he joined with guitarist Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker to create some of the most memorable music from the 1960s forward. What...

Ethics in Business: How to Avoid the “Road to Ethical Damnation.”

Of the many periodicals I read and review, I always look forward to Business Compliance , and specifically to the Round Table discussions, where I have had the pleasure and honor of being a prior contributor. This quarter brings another compelling array of thought leaders in a discussion titled Ethics...

Channeling Yogi Berra to Find Smart Risk in Compliance

Yogi Berra died yesterday. In addition to being one of the greatest catchers in baseball, he was a 3-time Most Valuable Player (MVP), a 15-time All Star, a Hall of Famer and member of the All-Century Team, a player on 10 World Series champions and Manager in 2 more World Series. Even in a country with...

The Psychology of Cheating and FCPA Compliance

In the movie Margin Call, Jeremy Irons intones that there are three ways to win in business: (1) be the smartest; (2) be the fastest; and (3) cheat. I am currently out at the SCCE 2015 Compliance and Ethics Institute and as you might guess the Volkswagen (VW) emissions-testing scandal is a major topic...

Compliance at the Tipping Point, Part V – Protection Afforded From a Compliance Program

Today, I wrap up my series on why I think compliance is at the Tipping Point. However as it is a Friday in October, I continue my tribute to the Man in the Shadows , producer Val Lewton, whose films for RKO had some of the most interesting and innovative use of techniques to induce horror that have been...