Given the paucity of leadership coming out of Washington during this crisis, I thought it would be a ripe time to consider some innovations in compliance leadership. While many compliance departments may have begun more as a command and control function, set up by lawyers to comply with anti-bribery laws such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), this type of leadership model is now becoming outmoded in today’s world. It is not that employees are interested in the ‘why’ they should do business ethically and in compliance with such laws but it is more that power is shifting inside corporations.

Given the paucity of leadership coming out of Washington during this crisis, I thought it would be a ripe time to consider some innovations in compliance leadership. While many compliance departments may have begun more as a command and control function, set up by lawyers to comply with anti-bribery laws such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), this type of leadership model is now becoming outmoded in today’s world. It is not that employees are interested in the ‘why’ they should do business ethically and in compliance with such laws but it is more that power is shifting inside corporations.

As the compliance profession matures, it will become more a component of a company’s business function. This means less of a lawyer’s top down mentality of do it because I said to do it, to more collaboration.

Three key takeaways:

  1. The lawyer-driven command and control method for compliance is outmoded and outdated.
  2. Innovation in compliance leadership is recognizing the bi-lateral nature of power and communications in an organization.
  3. A feedback loop can be used in the leadership function as well.

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