Compliance Perspectives show

Compliance Perspectives

Summary: Podcast featuring the top Compliance and Ethics thought leaders from around the globe. The Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics and the Health Care Compliance Association will keep you up to date on enforcement trends, current events, and best practices in the compliance and ethics arena. To submit ideas and questions, please email: service@corporatecompliance.org

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  • Artist: SCCE
  • Copyright: Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics

Podcasts:

 Chris Audet on Compliance Burdens [Podcast] | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 12:22

Post by Adam Turteltaub Compliance programs continue to evolve, seeking new and better ways to prevent and detect violations of law. It was in that spirit, reports Chris Audet, Senior Director, Research at Gartner, that they began examining ways to improve program effectiveness. At the time the survey began, many of their clients were dealing with peak Covid challenges, which included limits on training and the creation of new policies. Enhancing controls emerged as a potential alternative means of preventing problems. Of particular interest were embedded controls because they can both mitigate risk and reduce the burden on the workforce. Rather than training everyone on an issue or employees having to search for information, the control could flag a potential issue and help both the compliance team and the individual employee act appropriately. For example, travel and entertainment management software could automatically flag an issue and ask the proper questions. As Gartner studied the issue they discovered that compliance burdens tended to fall disproportionately on department and management levels not identified as high risk:  research and development, engineering teams, strategy, planning and others. Because these groups were least attended to, individuals working in them needed to work the hardest to understand their compliance obligations. Senior and Executive Vice Presidents also tended to be overly burdened because they are often trained less than others on compliance issues. As a result, they frequently struggle determining what to do in a given situation. To reduce the compliance burden the Gartner report recommends three things; * Help employees remember better by putting controls closer to decision making. * Reduce the number of judgement calls * Help employees execute Listen in to learn more about easing the compliance burden.

 Susan Freccia on Small Compliance Programs [Podcast] | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 14:04

Posted by Adam Turteltaub Being a compliance department of one can be a lonely job, but not for Susan Freccia, Director of Compliance at Oregon State University. Working in a small compliance department doesn’t feel like a challenge. For one, she is not fully alone. There are compliance partners – professionals who have at least some compliance responsibilities – across the campus. More importantly, rather than focusing on her lack of a compliance team of her own she works at creating collaborative relationships far and wide. That includes the compliance partners, staff, HR, legal and audit. For others in solo situations she advises not falling into the temptation of thinking, “If only I had X or Y the compliance program could be better.” Instead, she recommends focusing on how to work effectively and continue to improve processes. She has also found success comes from the ability to help others get “unstuck” in their efforts.  She frequently meets with various individuals and teams to help figure out what the challenge is and to find a solution. She also may serve as a bridge between departments who may share responsibility in an area, helping them to collaborate more effectively. Susan also advises against seeking perfection. It’s unattainable. Incidents will always occur. She notes that even the Sentencing Guidelines reflect that reality with several elements addressing how a program responds to the inevitable problems. In sum, to make a small program work, take a collaborative, problem-solving approach. It will be more effective and help people see compliance not as the cause of problems but the solutions to them.

 Carrie Penman on the Latest Helpline Trends [Podcast] | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 13:07

Posted by Adam Turteltaub The Navex 2022 Risk & Compliance Hotline & Incident Management Benchmark Report provides a fascinating look into what’s going on in compliance in general and how employees are using helplines specifically. The 2021 report had illuminating insight into the impact of the pandemic. To learn what is in the data from the latest report, we again sat down with Carrie Penman, Chief Risk & Compliance Officer from NAVEX. This year’s report, which covers data from 2021, revealed four key trends, she reports: * Whistleblowers are more emboldened. They are more likely to use their names, rather than remaining anonymous, when making a report. Viewed against the SEC’s reported near doubling of leads to the Office of the Whistleblower, it’s clear that workers are more willing than ever to come forward. What is unclear is why the change. It may be due to employees feeling that it would be easy to find another job if they were retaliated against. * Reports of retaliation have increased. The question here is whether retaliation has increased or employees are more willing to report it. One theory is that employees are much more attuned to issues of workplace civility. * COVID continues to have an impact. While the number of calls to helplines has increased, they are still below pre-COVID levels. * ESG related reporting is notably low. This may be due to employees not fully understanding ESG, or believing that those issues don’t need to be brought to compliance or the helpline. In both cases, more training may help affect the numbers Finally, looking to the future, Carrie anticipates the possible recession leading to turmoil.  Fear levels rise when layoffs occur, and people see less opportunities to find new work. Managers may place excessive pressure on employees to make the numbers, despite the economy. All of these factors could lead to a great deal of work for compliance teams, and a very different report for 2023.

 Rupert Evill on Good and Bad Decision Making [Podcast] | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 11:39

Posted by Adam Turteltaub Good and bad decisions are at the heart of compliance efforts. So much of our work is dedicated to helping people make better informed choices. In this podcast, Rupert Evill, Founding Director of EthicsInsight shares practical advice for making good decisions. He begins, though, with outlining several factors that lead to bad decision making. Pressure is, not surprisingly, a very large factor, whether it is time-based or financial.  Ethical hazing wrongly gives people permission to do something that they shouldn’t. Faulty assumptions are another persistent challenge. Still another factor is failure to plan. Not taking the time to foresee issues can leave individuals suddenly confronted with circumstances where it is already too late to do the right thing. So how do we encourage and make good decisions?  He lays out four steps: * Consider possible outcomes. Take the time to assess what might happen and encourage diverse opinions. One handy trick he recommends is asking people to write down ideas rather than sharing them publicly. That can lead to more diverse thinking. * Consider the likelihood of each outcome. When doing so, he recommends using a numerical scale rather than words like “it’s possible.” That phrase can mean very different things to different people. * Rank the preferred outcomes and their likelihood. Look for assumptions in decision making and test them to see if they are true. Consider carefully your strategy for achieving your goals. * Consider what can be done now to favorable affect the outcome. Think through what the options are, don’t show your cards too soon and remember that there is usually more than one option. Listen in to learn more. It could be the best decision you make today.

 Oleksandr Pomoshnikov on Russia Sanctions [Podcast] | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 14:07

Post by Adam Turteltaub Ever-increasing sanctions of Russian individuals and entities are looking to be a long-term challenge for compliance teams.  That’s not surprising since, they are a part of a war of attrition, according to Oleksandr Pomoshnikov, Head of International Business Development for Ukraine-based YouControl, which offers RuAssets, a tool for tracking Russian and Belarusian assets. In this podcast he underscores the importance of adopting a three lines of defense model and paying close attention to the origins of funds.  Russian companies have been actively changing beneficial owners to persons in neighboring jurisdictions and opening business units there as well. This can lead to very complicated and hard-to-trace business structures, he explains, not just because there may be multiple holding companies.  Many of the jurisdictions in the region have closed systems, making it difficult to determine ownership and identify politically exposed persons. Listen in to learn more.  But do listen carefully.  Oleksander was in Poland with a challenging internet connection while recording.

 Donna Schneider on Having Better Conversations [Podcast] | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 11:34

Post by Adam Turteltaub When we talk about communications in the world of compliance, we tend to focus on training and other forms of mass information sharing. Not as often discussed, but just as important, are the individual one-to-one conversations between the compliance team, leadership, management, and frontline personnel. Getting these interactions right is essential to the success of a compliance and ethics program. Donna Schneider (LinkedIn), Vice President, Corporate Compliance and Internal Audit, Lifespan, has been running a series of six columns in Compliance Today magazine focused on communication done well. In this podcast she touches on a few of the key topics that she addresses. Her first piece of advice: stick to the facts. It's very important to be factual because if you do not rely on facts there is a tendency to tell yourself a story. By analogy she points out that when someone cuts you off driving we tend to come up with reasons why the person did it, even though all we know is that they cut us off. Likewise in a crucial conversation it's good to focus on what you know definitively:  the things you saw, heard or read yourself. She also shares how to handle one of the ongoing challenges when it comes to compliance:  setting expectations for leadership. Often, management is eager to come to a quick resolution and put the issue behind them. That is not always the best course since a thorough investigation takes time. For that reason, she advocates consistent communication, establishing a collaborative rapport and setting reasonable expectations.  Periodic updates are also exceedingly important. Before a difficult conversation she advises thinking through what outcome you want for yourself, others or the organization. Consider, too, the relationship between you and the person you are speaking to. Don't focus on the specific issue you are talking about but what you want to happen. Are you in a dialogue, do you want to share facts or are you there to learn facts? Think about your intent and then ask yourself: how would I behave to achieve that goal? Think through, too, both what verbal and nonverbal communication skills you will need. Think through also how you would respond if the conversation went south. What would you say or do to bring it back to the direction that you want? Listen in to learn more about how to best prepare for difficult conversations, including the power of “do” and “don't do” statements.

 Beverlin Hammett on the First Questions to Ask [Podcast] | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 10:37

Posted by Adam Turteltaub You just started leading a compliance program.  Whether you are new to the company or new to compliance, you probably have a lot of questions to ask as you get started, but where do you begin? In this podcast, Beverlin Hammett (LinkedIn), Compliance Regulatory Risk Officer at Habersham Medical Center, offers an intriguing answer.  She met with leadership around the organization and asked them three questions: * How long have you been with the hospital? * What are your main issues? * What do you think I am here to do? The first question helped her understand how much experience the person had both within the organization and their role.  This helped her gain an understanding of how much expertise the person had as well as the issues, challenges and triumphs that they had experienced. Asking what the main issues they saw was a more subtle question than it appears.  It provided insights into their perspective on the institution and its challenges and helped her understand their focus. The final question, “What do you think I am here to do?” helped illuminate attitudes towards compliance and begin laying the foundation for the idea that compliance is here to help solve problems. The exercise helped her both get off on the right foot with operations and to better understand the challenges and opportunities.  It also helped illuminate several issues within the organizations that she was able to successfully address immediately. Listen into learn more about her intriguing approach and the benefits it could have for other organizations.

 Jeb White on Encouraging Internal Whistleblowers [Podcast] | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 10:55

By Adam Turteltaub When it comes to encouraging internal whistleblowers, there are two main barriers to coming forward, reports Jeb White, CEO, Taxpayers Against Fraud.  First, is the belief that their concerns won’t be heard.  Put another way:  why bother.  The second is the fear that by sticking their necks out they risk getting their heads chopped off. Their careers could be ended. Even for those who do come forward, there is always the challenge of keeping their trust so that they do not then go outside the organization to the press or regulators. To solve these challenges he recommends embracing communication and transparency.  To the extent that you can, keep whistleblowers in the loop.  Let them know that the investigation is proceeding.  Embrace the lesson from food delivery apps that let you know that your pizza is in the oven.  Let the whistleblower know that the investigation is ongoing and active.  And, to the extent you can, let them know what the final disposition was. If the organization does not find wrongdoing, he recommends sharing with the employee the broader context as to why what he or she saw was legal and proper.  Perhaps explain the laws involved. That will help them both understand the organization’s decision and stay engaged. If the organization does find wrongdoing, Jeb is a strong advocate for sharing the lesson internally.  It will help demonstrate that the organization takes wrongdoing seriously. It also helps mitigate the risk of a dysfunctional culture, in which the words in the code of ethics are nothing more than words, employees are afraid to speak up, and lines of communication are shut down. Listen in to learn more about how you can improve your own internal whistleblowing efforts.

 Jeff Kluge on the UK GDPR Children’s Code [Podcast] | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 11:05

Post by Adam Turteltaub The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) already provides considerable requirements for compliance programs. With Brexit comes a new GDPR for the United Kingdom. Adding to the complexity, the UK GDPR also contains a Children’s Code, explains Jeff Kluge (LinkedIn), Founder & CEO of Holistic Ethics. The UK has long led in protecting the data of children, and the new code follows the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. For companies doing business solely within the United States it is not likely to be an issue but for those operating globally he advises being aware of and in compliance with the Children’s Code’s requirements. There are standards and rules in place for connected games and toys, for using artificial intelligence (AI) and processing children's data. So, what should compliance teams do? First, they need to understand the algorithm used in the AI their organization employs, ideally while it is still being developed. Second there should be a children's data oversight committee in place. Third the company should be asking whether they should have an ethics committee overseeing their AI-based systems. Also, the compliance team needs to recognize that AI initiatives are often created without their knowledge. It's important to get a handle on what's going on help people understand the importance of closely monitoring artificial intelligence, particularly those systems that are autonomous. He reports that the compliance team can be particularly helpful in identifying what data is being collected and what is the right data to be using. The team particularly needs to be monitoring what decisions are being made based by the AI. Listen in to learn more about the UK GDPR Children’s Code and what compliance teams need to do to protect both children and their own organizations.

 Krista Wolff on Memes, Printers and Compliance [Podcast] | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 15:31

Post by Adam Turteltaub San Diego-based Qualcomm was having a tough 2018. The company was going through a whole host of highly destabilizing activity including an attempted hostile takeover. Needless to say, it was a challenging time for the company and the corporate culture. The compliance team very much wanted to be a part of the solution, Krista Wolff, Senior Manager, Corporate Compliance Communications tells us.  Their goal was to amplify the positive and strengthen the organization's culture, despite all the challenges it faced. To help, in the Spring of that year they launched the Lead the Way employee ethics recognition program. In the Fall they launched the newly revised code of conduct and their first Compliance and Ethics Awareness Week. Through the years since they have rolled out a number of activities to involve employees and communicate important messages. One of their more fun ideas was a “spot the issues” exercise. They staged desks, photographed them, and asked employees to spot items on the desk that could be indicative of something problematic. When the pandemic struck and people began working from home, they continued this program although now featuring desks in a home setting. One of the more interesting efforts they did was focused on protecting confidential corporate information. As a technology company IP is very important to Qualcomm and the compliance team wanted to stress to people the importance of protecting data. They worked with the IT department to identify printers around the globe at Qualcomm offices. They then sent to the printers in these in these offices a document marked confidential company information with a message about the importance of protecting IP and asking the employee who found it to email compliance letting them know where they found that document and when. It was a great way to demonstrate that people sometimes send things to printers that they shouldn't and leave them there far too long. This activity had an interesting response rate that illuminated cultural differences. They found that people in Asia rarely emailed in. From Europe, by contrast, the response rates were very high, and in the US employees tended to leave the document on the printer for others to find as well. To make other parts of the program relevant globally they worked with their ethics liaisons and in-country compliance teams around the world to plan local events. The response has been very positive, and the level of innovation has been equally high. Listen in to learn more about how Qualcomm’s Compliance and Ethics Awareness Week both helped to meet their compliance goals and strengthen the overall corporate culture.

 Jay Anstine on Demystifying the Helpline [Podcast] | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 10:26

Posted by Adam Turteltaub Compliance teams spend a great deal of time and effort encouraging employees to contact the helpline.  But, points out Jay Anstine, Compliance Program Director, Western Division, Banner Health, we tend to make less of an effort to train them in what happens after they make that call. That’s a mistake, he argues in this podcast, since employees who see perceived wrongdoing tend to feel anxious and vulnerable.  They are stressed because they are uncertain what is going to happen, if anything. By helping them understand the post-call process, we can eliminate this blind spot, he argues, greatly reduce the stress level, and increase the likelihood that they will come forward.  That means providing training that brings greater clarity to the process during on-boarding and annually thereafter.  It also means taking the time to understand the questions the workforce may have about what happens from start to finish. Also, he advises, include in the training information about what to expect when reporting face to face, either to their supervisor, or somewhere else, including the compliance team. Finally, Jay provides insight into how to make the reporter feel comfortable when bringing the information to compliance, and what you can do to protect his or her anonymity. Listen in to learn more about how demystifying the helpline could help yours ring more often.

 Jay Ernst on Tying Corporate Compliance & Ethics Week to Your Values [Podcast] | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 15:05

Posted by Adam Turteltaub Procter & Gamble (P&G) is one of the best-known companies in the world, boasting top brands such as Tide, Crest and Charmin. The company is also well recognized for its highly strategic marketing and its integrity. In fact, its reputation for principled behavior is what attracts and helps retain top talent at the organization, reports Jay Ernst (LinkedIn), Director – Ethics & Compliance Office, P&G, in this podcast. How strong is the organization’s commitment to ethical behavior?  In annual surveys the company's purpose, values and principles are cited most frequently by employees as something that they do not want to change. For its annual Corporate Compliance & Ethics Week celebration, which they have dubbed the “Do The Right Thing Celebration”, the compliance team ties the program and compliance training into one of three commitments – respect, integrity and stewardship -- that are part of their refreshed code of conduct. In 2021 the theme was “Leading with Respect”. Activities included marquee events featuring external or high-profile internal speakers. They also had videos highlighting challenges people may face, risk areas and how to deal with them. To make the program relevant to its employees around the world, they enlisted the help of the employee relations group, which helped them identify individuals to lead the local activation of the program. The same people each year now lead the activities in their region. While the local activation follows the common theme, there is opportunity to customize the program to increase the relevance to their communities. Each year there are even global recognition awards for activations that demonstrate creative activity and engagement. The company also has a peer recognition program known as the Power of You, which recognizes excellence across a range of areas, including ethics. Employees can nominate their peers who have gone above and beyond in their work. It has proven to be an excellent opportunity to recognize ethical actions on a peer-to-peer basis. Listen in to learn more about P&G’s experience and how you may be able to apply it to your own organization.

 Mary Shirley on Encouraging Employee Feedback [Podcast] | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 13:01

Posted by Adam Turteltaub Getting employees to come forward and provide feedback on the corporate compliance and ethics program is often a challenge. Many are hesitant to talk to compliance at all. Still others may fear that their conversation may lead to more scrutiny by the compliance team. Mary Shirley, Head of Culture of Integrity and Compliance Education at Fresenius Medical Care and co-host of the Great Women in Compliance podcast, found an interesting way to change the dynamic. She made feedback an integral part of the organization's annual Corporate Compliance & Ethics Week celebration. The compliance team there recognized that during the week-long celebration people are eager to participate. That means there is a golden opportunity to collect data from them that can provide insights that might not otherwise be captured. This includes both informal conversations and using things like quizzes to determine how much information from earlier training has been retained. Also, games can help.  In one fun exercise they had a ring toss in which to get a ring the individual had to answer correctly a question related to compliance. The program has yielded remarkable insights. For example, one part of the compliance team was concerned that it was sending too much email. When they used this opportunity to ask employees what they felt, they were surprised to discover that it was actually a preferred means of communications. Listening has one other benefit: it enables the compliance team to demonstrate that it is responsive to employee workplace concerns. Listen in to learn more about how you can turn Corporate Compliance & Ethics Week into a learning experience both for employees and for the compliance team.

 Michele Landis on Digital Accessibility [Podcast] | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 11:53

Post by Adam Turteltaub While we have all grown accustomed to seeing access ramps and automated doors in the physical world, it is easy to forget that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires digital accessibility as well. In this podcast, Michelle Landis, co-founder of Accessible360, explains that the challenges start with organizations not even realizing that the ADA sets numerous requirements that organizations must comply with. The challenge posed by this knowledge gap has been both exposed and increased by the pandemic, which has accelerated the need for online resources that are available to all. How do you bank, order groceries, and work from home if the websites you need are not accessible to individuals with physical challenges? For organizations looking to catch up with the digital requirements of the ADA, she recommends starting by taking an inventory of your consumer facing websites and mobile apps.  Those are the ones most likely to be subject to litigation. Next, get a live user assessment by individuals trained in this area and from people who are living with disabilities. She advises being cautious around companies promising to provide a quick fix with a simple overlay. Another pitfall, she warns, is underestimating the time it takes to implement suitable changes to your websites and apps that need them. When faced with a demand letter for changes within 21 days, you should engage your legal team to respond in an appropriate way. Finally, she advises that, as with the physical world, it is better to build in accessibility from the start rather than adding it later. That means keeping it front and center when designing and evolving your organization's digital assets.

 Adam Balfour on Corporate Compliance & Ethics Week at Bridgestone Americas [Podcast] | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 14:19

Posted by Adan Turteltaub There are a lot of things you can do to make your organization’s celebration of Corporate Compliance & Ethics Week a success. But sometimes, less is more.  Adam Balfour, vice president and general counsel for corporate compliance and Latin America, Bridgestone America's, explains in this podcast that they realized that it would be better to evolve their celebration from a lot of different activities to just a few and to make them bigger. So what are they doing? For the last few years they have bestowed a series of Leading With Integrity awards. These go to managers who have been nominated by employees for their exemplary leadership when it comes to compliance and ethics issues. All 50,000 of the organization's employees can nominate any leader, manager or supervisor that they think deserves the prize. The nominations are evaluated by a cross functional panel which is good for bringing in and engaging other leaders in the organization. Then five or six winners are selected each year, and they are announced during a leadership panel with about 1100 employees on the call. For the winners the greatest impact comes from the recognition and knowing that the CEO knows your name and for a very positive reason. This program has also helped the compliance team gain exposure to people they didn't realize were embodying the organization's commitment to compliance. Another event that they do, or more accurately two events, are leadership panels wherein employees are invited to join in and listen as leaders discuss compliance and ethics issues. It sets a clear tone at the top for the organization and illustrates ethical decision making. Each year, for a little bit of fun, the compliance team puts together an event using ethics issues found in popular TV shows and movies. This helps teach compliance in a more relatable way and leverages good adult learning theory. Finally, the compliance organization offers a Compliance Battle Royale every year.  It's a big production with a bracket of 16 teams competing against each other over a period of four days.  There is daily elimination, and it gets very competitive. Got any good ideas of your own to share? If so add them to the comments below. And be sure to listen to this podcast.

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