What is the most important contribution ethics and compliance can make to the lives of people in organisations?
I think the greatest contribution it can provide is stability. What I mean is that if the compliance program works you avoid the tremendous disruptions that come from non-compliance.
Now that may not sound like much, but it matters hugely. People want to walk in the door – or these days log onto the VPN – with a sense of confidence that there job will be still be there, that the company will do the right thing, that they’re part of something good and stable, and that if the company is in the news, it’s in it for the right reason. Likewise, investors want to know that the only time their expectations aren’t met is when they are exceeded.
If we can provide that stability and confidence, we have done a lot.
What one thing would you change about anti-corruption regulation or enforcement?
I think the one thing I would change is something that is already changing: greater transparency by the enforcement community into what they expect from compliance programs. We are now seeing much more guidance, and starting to sometimes see in settlements and press releases what has earned organizations credit. The more we can understand what the government expects, the better we will be.
What is your current favourite book or podcast and why?
I just finished reading A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. It’s a novel about a man who was sentenced by a Soviet tribunal to remain in his hotel for the rest of his life. It is in many ways the perfect book for our time, even though it was written before it, since it’s a story about how to build a world for yourself in a very limited one.
Turning the tables somewhat, it is also fair to say that I hugely enjoy hosting the Compliance Perspectives podcast. We have had great guests and a terrific reception by the compliance community, with over 600,000+ downloads to date.
What action could a company take that would make a difference to successful recovery from the pandemic?
In the rush to get back to normal, don’t lose track of what worked during the pandemic.
At the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE) we never did virtual events before the pandemic, and while they do have limitations, for example the lack of an effective way to enable networking, it’s shown us that there are great opportunities. We have done several one-day conferences on more vertical topics that would never work as a live meeting but have done very well online.
We can’t wait to get back to doing in person meetings, but we will continue to offer virtual programs as well to address topics and reach audiences that we can’t successfully via an in-person event.
Adam Turteltaub, CCEP CHC is Chief Engagement & Strategy Officer at the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics.