What was Wilson Picket’s top selling single? Amazingly it was Land of 1000 Dances. It is also one of my favorites tunes. Most people remember it for the “na na na na na” hook which, as legend has it, happened by accident when Frankie “Cannibal” Garcia, lead singer of Cannibal and the Headhunters, forgot the lyrics. They recorded the song in 1965 and took it to No. 30 on the Billboard chart. The melody to this section was also created spontaneously, as it is not in Chris Kenner’s original track. The song mentions 16 of the 1000 dances: the Pony, the Chicken, the Mashed Potato, the Alligator, the Watusi, the Twist, the Fly, the Jerk, the Tango, the Yo-Yo, the Sweet Pea, the Hand Jive, the Slop, the Bop, the Fish, and the Popeye. It was a true original and still rocks out to this day. So what does the Land of 1000 Dances have to do with podcasts?

Quite a bit it turns out,  as sometime next week, I will post my 1000thpodcast. I still thank Howard Sklar for introducing me to podcasts when he asked me to join him for the original incarnation of This Week in FCPA. As anyone who has worked with Howard will know, he is very knowledgeable on the subject matter of compliance and very passionate about the practice of compliance as well. Also, once you have become a friend of Howard Sklar, you have a friend for life.

My journey shifted when I premiered the FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report (now the FCPA Compliance Report) back in 2013. It has become my signature podcast where I interview someone about a compliance or ethics related topic. It posts weekly, every Monday. My other podcasts include the Compliance Report -International Edition where I focus on an international compliance topic, with a guest from outside the US. It was through this podcast that I became acquainted with Tim Khasanov-Batirov who created Compliance Man. We decided to do a series using Tim’s compliance expertise in emerging markets as the theme. We had great fun doing and are now developing a season two.

I have long been interested in business leadership. I approached a good friend Richard Lummis to ask if he would host me in such a series. Out of this came 12 O’Clock High, a Podcast on Business Leadership. In this series, we use history, current events, research and scholarship to discuss business leadership. It also features interviews with selected business leaders. Over this spring we have posted podcasts on the leadership lessons to be learned from American presidents, focusing on those leading up to the Civil War. It has been a great history lesson for Richard, myself and hopefully our listeners.

The intersection of the Board of Directors is often talked about but I could find no definitive podcast on this issue so I started one which became Across the Board, a podcast on Board of Directors and governance. Through this podcast I have been able to speak with some of the top thought leaders around Boards, Board governance and strategic management of risk. As readers of this blog know I am continually looking for ways to make compliance more effective as I believe that effective compliance makes companies more efficient and, at the end of the day, more profitable. To that end I started my newest podcast Innovation in Compliance, a weekly podcast series that focuses on innovation in tech, products and services which could be used by a compliance professional.

Finally, I am privileged to have three podcasts where I get to chat with some of the top compliance practitioners and commentators around. Matt Kelly joins me for Compliance into the Weeds, where we delve deeply, literally going into the weeds, of an Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) topic, on a weekly basis. Jay Rosen, Mr. Monitors himself, and I have a ton of fun each week on This Week in FCPA, which is the only weekly wrap up of FCPA and Compliance related events. Lastly, I host (and sometimes participate in) the only roundtable podcast in compliance, Everything Compliance, which was founded in 2016. The panel includes both Jay and Matt, plus Jonathan Armstrong, from Cordery Compliance Limited in London, and Mike Volkov, founder of the Volkov Law Group. The breadth and scope of these podcasts led me to create the Compliance Podcast Network, which is designed to bring the most topical podcasts to the compliance community.

What have been some of my top podcasts over the past five years? It has been a wide variety but rather amazingly my No. 1 podcast has been Branding Lessons from Count Dracula, on 12 O’Clock High. Apparently, I tapped into the intersection of vampires and leadership (who knew?). In a precursor to Compliance into the Weeds, Matt Kelly and I had a popular post when we discussed Alstom, Avon and Petrobras. David Kotz was a big favorite when I interviewed him on the FCPA Compliance Report for his book Financial Regulation and Compliance.Two top podcasts from the always fan fav This Week in FCPA were the Covfefe and I Left My Heart In San Francisco editions. The Everything Compliance gang was a favorite for two episodes as well, the 1st100 Days of the Trump Administration (Part 1 and Part 2). But nothing beats the month of January 2018 where my month long podcast series 31 Days to a More Effective Compliance Program, drew more than 200,000 downloads and impressions.

To help celebrate this month as the Land of 1000 podcasts, I am running episodes in each podcast series where I visit with a guest about the changes in compliance, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement, ERM and international compliance over the past five years. I am also featuring a special five-part series each month. This week, over on Innovation in Compliance, I am running a series on the intersection of Sherlock Holmes and compliance. Next week, on Compliance into the Weeds, Matt and I will explore the future of audit, compliance, and analytics. The following week, on the FCPA Compliance Report, I visit with Vincent DiCianni and Eric Feldman from Affiliated Monitors Inc. (AMI) on ethical culture. I will conclude this month’s special series with a new series on FCPA Opinion Releases. Watch for these special episodes and series. I know you will enjoy them and, more importantly, find them useful.

Where will the next 1000 podcasts take me? I can only say the journey is a big part of the exploration. One thing I am committed to is continuing the use of the podcast medium as it has become the prime medium for me to disseminate information, commentary and lessons learned for the compliance profession. I am working on some exciting new series for the fall and beyond so stay tuned….

To listen to a YouTube version of Wilson Pickett belting out Land of 1000 Dances, click here.

This publication contains general information only and is based on the experiences and research of the author. The author is not, by means of this publication, rendering business, legal advice, or other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such legal advice or services, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your business. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult a qualified legal advisor. The author, his affiliates, and related entities shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person or entity that relies on this publication. The Author gives his permission to link, post, distribute, or reference this article for any lawful purpose, provided attribution is made to the author. The author can be reached at tfox@tfoxlaw.com.

© Thomas R. Fox, 2018