Virtually excited for the 2020 Compliance and Ethics Institute

This week – Sept. 14-16 — Is the annual Compliance and Ethics Institute sponsored by the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE), of which I am a proud member. I been on the faculty of the Institute for each of the last seven years, and I am not about to miss the #CEI this year just because the event is virtual. It’s a highlight of my year!

Here’s what I am talking about this year:

Monday, September 14, 5:00 PM CDT: “The Trouble with Moral Relativism”I’ll be leading an advanced discussion group at the SCCE Institute about the attitudinal trends represented in increasingly popular thoughts like, “It’s all good,” or “Who can tell – they’re all lying.” We’ll talk about whether this growing normative agnosticism creates unstable ground beneath the foundation of corporate compliance programs and any attempt at ethical leadership.

Tuesday, September 15, 10:15 AM CDT: “Speak-Up Success: Training and Communications to Truly Encourage Reporting and Reduce Retaliation.” – I will lead this workshop at the Institute, along with Amy McDougal and OSI’s Chris Cook about practical and effective ways to generate a Speak-up Culture.

And by the way: If my Compliance and Ethics Institute remarks sound interesting to you, then tune in to my next “Powering the Pandemic Pivot” webinar, Wednesday, September 24, 12:00 Noon ET, where I’ll try to share what I learn at this year’s Institute about fostering Company Culture.

Hope you can join us!

A Greeting Card for Businesses in the Time of Coronavirus

We have a timely present for your business or organization.

I was chatting last week with several of my good friends in the compliance sector: Nicole Rose of CreateTraining, the Australia-based education and training company that has produced several powerful animations for LeadGood clients; Richard Bistrong of CEO Front-Line Anti-Bribery LLC, the well-known anti-bribery consultant and speaker; and my frequent colleague and project partner Amy McDougal, JD, CCEP, of CLEAResources, a leading compliance program consultant. We share a deep belief, borne of professional experience, in the power of shared values to inspire people to do great things.

We found we also shared a desire to use what we do at work to somehow help organizations respond to the Coronavirus in a different, honest, but inspiring way — acknowledging that we are in it for the long-haul, and that for as long as it takes, we will have each others’ backs.

The result is this video, which we now offer to you to use as much as you want, however you see fit. Think of it as a video greeting card you can send to your teams, clients, and community. Consider yourself licensed to use it as you wish, to shorten it, to add your own message or logo, to make it yours – please distribute it as broadly as you’d like, just keep the credits at the end. (Nicole is happy to do edits, etc., if you wish, and even to change the voiceover from my voice to her Australian lilt.)

If you want to use this video and need help downloading the file, just contact me and I’ll be delighted to assist.

We hope this video helps your business say what you’re thinking to the people you care about, and and it helps us all stay steadfast.

People Power: A Greeting Card for Organizations to Share Some Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Goin’ Back… to SCCE

I’m excited and honored to have been asked once again by the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics to serve on the faculty of its Annual Compliance and Ethics Institute, outside Washington DC.

On Tuesday morning, September 17, Amy McDougal and I will update and reprise our presentation on “Compliance by Contract – Drafting and Negotiating Terms for Peer-to-Peer Compliance.” (It was a big hit when we last did it a few years back.) When you negotiate a commercial contract that includes terms about compliance — whether with customers, contractors, vendors or suppliers — the right terms can boost your own C&E program, and the wrong terms can undermine it. So we’ll share our experiences as lawyers and compliance pros, exchange pitfalls and engage in facilitated exercises. The goal: getting everyone better at closing good deals that support great compliance programs

Then on Wednesday, September 18, I’ll be leading a workshop on Counseling Compliance in Small to Medium Sized Organizations. which make up 97% of US companies. We will explore the unique challenges (and opportunities) of compliance leadership in SMBs — and nonprofits and governments — where budgets and headcount are limited, processes informal, and executive power dominant. The workshop will take place from 10:15 to 11:45.

If you work in compliance or ethical leadership, you’ll get a real charge from the colleagues and camaraderie at #SCCEcei. Hope you can see it!

Ethics Madness II: Meet the Panel

Here is the impressive panel of contributors for our Live Blog today at LeadGood Live! Amazingly impressive. Like I can’t believe they wanted to do this. Like I hope they will speak to me tomorrow.

Matt Kelly, President of Radical Compliance, and former Editor and Publisher of ComplianceWeek. http://www.radicalcompliance.com/about/ @compliancememe

Tom Fox, Lawyer, FCPA expert, blogger and podcaster. tomfoxlaw.com FCPA Compliance Report @tfoxlaw

Richard Bistrong Anti-bribery expert and speaker, and leader of Front Line Anti-Bribery LLC https://richardbistrong.com @richardbistrong

Amy McDougal Compliance consultant and independent corporate monitor — and my frequent partner on projects and seminar panels. President of CLEAResources, LLC. http://www.clearesources.com @EthiVenger

Dan Day Fellow sports fan and AVP of Communications at Princeton University. His comments and appearance here are unofficial and are not on behalf of our mutually beloved Black and Orange. @danielday

Special Guest: John Templon Sports and Data Reporter for Buzzfeed. His most recent major work uncovers the nationalistic favoritism among ice skating judges at the Olympics: https://www.buzzfeed.com/johntemplon/the-edge?utm_term=.jsLzxZ2qMg#.rxvbRyknAz @jtemplon

Ethics Madness II – A dandy excuse to talk ethics and watch hoop

I greet the college basketball championships this year with mixed emotions. As a hoop fan, this is a highlight of the calendar. As an ethics and compliance professional considering the current pay-for-recruitment scandal at several leading schools, well, what a mess.

But from both perspectives, Tom Fox and I have decided to mark the beginning of “March Madness” with a reprise of our live web-chat we call, “Ethics Madness.”

LeadGood will host this “live blog” panel discussion on our LeadGood Live! page on Friday afternoon March 1

6, starting at 2 PM (Eastern) and going until 6:00 (at least). Join me, Tom FoxMatt Kelly, and other guests as we discuss current issues in compliance and ethics, including compliance in sports and education, and sports as a metaphor and lesson for corporate C&E efforts, as well as the cultural messages about ethics and compliance that a typical NCAA viewer is receiving – in the ads, during the games, and real-time in social media.

We might talk about other E&C topics. And judging from last time, we’ll talk a little hoop, too!

And throughout the tournament, let’s all resolve to share our E&C thoughts by using the hashtag #EthicsMadness.

Face it, you want a way to watch the First Round afternoon games without feeling guilty. So here it is! (But follow us even if you’re stuck at your desk – I’ll be sure to pass along the key scores along with our pithy, pointed, and (I hope) useful thoughts.)

Join the conversation at LeadGood.org (http://leadgood.org/about/leadgood-live/) and #EthicsMadness

LeadGood Seminars and Sessions in 2018 (Thanks for Asking)

I am honored and excited to have once again been asked to present a double-shot of panels at the annual Compliance and Ethics Institute of the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics, coming up in Las Vegas in October 2018.

On Sunday, October 21, I will co-lead a three-hour workshop on “Preventing harassment: can compliance ever succeed?” Joining me will be my frequent speaking partner and project colleague Amy McDougal of CLEAResources, LLC, and Susan A. Parkes, General Counsel & Vice President of Alyeska Pipeline Service Company.

It’s been 20 years since the Supreme Court rulings in Faragher and Ellerth made corporate anti-harassment efforts routine, yet there are more headlines than ever about blatant acts of harassment, especially among corporate and cultural leaders. Sharing research and our collective experience, this workshop will focus on training, policies and culture-building, to explore why we have failed in preventing harassment, where we have engaged, and how we can elevate behavior. One critical focus will be retaliation vs. a “speak-up” culture, including best practices for creating, maintaining, and getting management support for an Open Work Environment.

Then on Monday, October 21, Amy and I will return to present a discussion on “Counseling compliance in small to medium sized businesses.”

Businesses with under 100 employees make up 97% of US companies, and headlines show they are at least as prone to compliance-related failures as the Fortune 2000. But “SMBs” are unlikely to have a CCO or even GC. So the task of leading and counseling compliance falls to other professionals, including HR and outside counsel. In this panel, Amy and I will explore the unique challenges of compliance leadership in SMBs, where budgets may be limited, processes informal, and executive power dominant. We’ll share experiences, including ways to use regular operational processes as tools to promote compliance, and to use the strong culture in these companies to their ethical advantage.

The idea for this panel was inspired in part by the Charlie Rose episode, which even though it involves a major TV star, is really a failure of small business compliance. Rose’s production company had no HR department, only a executive producer who among other duties may have tended to enable rather than check her “CEOs” misconduct. Our hope is that this panel will be of particular appeals to HR professionals and the “compliance lawyer.”


I’m also very excited that I have been asked to moderate a panel at the upcoming UIDP26 Conference in San Jose, CA. UIDP is the University-Industry Demonstration Partnership, an organization that considers university-industry (U-I) relations and opportunities to develop new approaches to how academia and business can work together. The panel is entitled: “Ethics and Compliance 2018: a University-Industry Dialogue.“

From #MeToo to campus speech to AI to perceived conflicts of interest, concerns about ethics are now even more a part of daily life at companies, colleges and universities alike. For both sides, this concern is only more heightened when it comes to their partnerships with other institutions. (Who are your partners, and what do they appear to stand for?) In this panel, ethics and compliance professionals from academia and industry will share their respective points of view and current concerns. The goal will be for attendees to understand better not just what their partner needs their institution to do, but how it hopes they will do it.

If you are at any of these events, say hi!

Looking forward…

Ethics Madness! A “live blog” on Sports, Compliance and Ethics

March Madness ethics live-blog

Love Compliance? Love #MarchMadness? Then here’s a fun way to combine the two!

LeadGood is hosting a “live blog” panel discussion on our LeadGood Live! page on Friday afternoon (not coincidentally, during the First Round NCAA Men’s Basketball games). Join me, Tom Fox, Leona Lewis, and other compliance and ethics leaders as we discuss…

  • Compliance in Sports – there’s a lot to talk about, from FIFA to tennis, Penn State to UNC, concussions to doping, the brackets etc.
  • Sports as a lesson and metaphor for corporate C&E efforts – the influence of money, cultural framing, teamwork, coaching, etc.
  • The cultural messages about ethics and compliance that a typical NCAA viewer is receiving – in the ads, during the games, and real-time in social media. (Remember the Coke ad that advocated lying to your boss? Or this year’s Super Bowl ad that touted the Prius as the care of choice for bank robbers?)
  • And yes, we might talk a little Hoop, too!

You can follow our discussion — and add your own comments!  We’ll start at 2:00 PM and keep it going until at least 6 PM Eastern, and very likely until the afternoon games wrap up a little later.

And throughout the tournament, let’s all resolve to share our E&C thoughts by using the hashtag #EthicsMadness.

Face it, you’ve always wanted a way to watch the First Round afternoon games without feeling guilty. So here it is! (But follow us even if you’re stuck at your desk – I’ll be sure to pass along the key scores along with our pithy, pointed, and (I hope) useful thoughts.)

 

Join the conversation at LeadGoog.org (http://leadgood.org/about/leadgood-live/) and #EthicsMadness

#SB50Ethics If You’re Thinking Ethics During Super Bowl

Had a fun little idea I want to spread.

If you are watching the “Big Game” Sunday Feb. 7 (or the “Big Pre-Game” or the “Big Post-Game”), and a pithy thought pops into your head about ethics, or compliance, or business leadership and culture, please join me in using the hashtag #SB50Ethics. And if you just want to see what E&C oriented folk are thinking, then follow #SB50Ethics.

No pressure. It’s not a live-blog, something happening every 30 seconds, must write thing. Just thought I’d suggest a single social media home for our collective musings, however casually they are offered.

Will we really be thinking about ethics between the wings, beer, and commercials, you ask? Oh, yeah.

Remember deflate-gate?

Hear about this year’s Budweiser ad theme, “Give a Damn“?

Ever seen a Go-Daddy ad?

Or maybe you will just HAVE to tell the Twittersphere that you CANNOT believe DENVER is using a THREE-MAN front and STILL doesn’t leave a D-Back to spy on Newton.

In any case, I hope you will join me and some friends, and have a moment of fun at a little E&C virtual Super Bowl party.

My Proposals for the 2016 #SCCEcei – What’s Your Fave?

I’m really excited about the three panel proposals I submitted last night to the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE), for its 2016 Compliance and Ethics Institute. Thanks to Amy Hutchens, JD, CCEP, Page Motes and Heather Powell for joining in.

Our proposed topics were:

  1. An advance workshop on drafting and negotiating contracts with compliance provisions — this would take the next step from the compliance contract panels that Amy and I did at the CEI in 2014 and this year.
  2. “The Good Reasons Why People Do the Wrong Things” — Exploring the frequent instances when people follow their own ethical code and choose to break rules. (Think about teachers or nurses following their deep ethic of care.) The lesson: it’s not just greed or “bad guys” that lead to misconduct.
  3. “Fostering a Speak-Up Culture: What Really Works” — Now more than ever, it’s critical for compliance professionals and business leaders to focus on what, objectively, has worked best to foster and maintain a culture in which people report suspected wrongdoing freely, constructively, and internally. So how do you make that happen?

I wish they’d let us do all three of them! So tell me, what’s your favorite?IMG_3426

Tone at the Very Top: The Umpire Strikes Back

The other shoe has dropped.

I wrote last month about concerns that the Justice Department may have gotten off to the wrong foot, tone-wise, following its “Yates Memo” declaration that it intended to prosecute individuals within companies for their organization’s wrongdoing.

But, as Mike Volkov so well summarizes, the top enforcer on this playing field quickly found a case with which to make its point. On October 29th, the DOJ announced a $125 Million criminal settlement with pharmaceutical company Warner Chilcott (once Galen, now Actavis). In the same breath, Justice also announced criminal charges against four company employees — including the company’s former president. According to the release, several other employees have already pled guilty or been indicted on criminal charges. The cases arise from Warner Chilcott’s payment of kickbacks to physicians to induce them to prescribe its drugs.

DOJ’s press release makes its intended message explicit:

“Pharmaceutical company executives and employees should not be involved with treatment decisions or submissions to a patient’s insurance company.  Today’s enforcement actions demonstrate that the government will seek not only to hold companies accountable, but will identify and charge corporate officials responsible for the fraud.”

Interesting, and not surprising, that Justice struck this blow in the healthcare industry. Pharma and Medical Technology have been the industries on the bleeding edge of enforcement (and internal compliance efforts) since the 90’s (at least).

In commenting on my earlier post about the tone being struck by the DOJ, Scott Killingsworth pointed out that “the DOJ will tell you what they are going to do, and then by golly they will do it.” I agreed, and I speculated that the Department must be “itching” to prosecute some company executives. Not that it took much in the way of powers of prediction, but it looks like we were right. Executives and companies who ignore the Yates Memo do so at their peril.