Latest Risky Women Annual Report – including so far in 2019…

This just in from the good people at Risky Women:

“Live events flourished and our own community podcast launched giving even greater voice to our community of experts and inspiring emerging talent.”

Read all about it in the latest Risky Women Annual Report – which also has brief mention of some of progress from 2019 too (excited to be included)!

The Big 5: Secrets to Driving Cultural Change in Your Organisation

Wonderful and intimate event this morning. And what a setting (thank you St. Barnabas for the work you do). And great to be in conversation with Pauline Blondet, VP at GAN Integrity and Isabelle Meyer, Deputy General Counsel at Just Eat.

Steinholtz Notes for GAN Integrity Talk
Handwritten notes – the 5 keys…

And here, in reverse order… the big 5 keys:

5. It is not a programme or project – it is a forever effort. Bake it into the DNA of your organisation. Recruit / onboard / promote accordingly!

4. We cannot do it alone. Build coalitions with other functions, and line-of-business. CEO? Sell her/him on the fact that a strong (ethical) culture is good for business. Build a library of business cases.

3. Nothing effective was ever devised in isolation. At HQ, co-create with ethics ambassadors / culture navigators.

2. You need to understand the culture(s) – and what motivates people. What motivates people? Organisations don’t change. People do!

1. V-A-L-U-E-S

Be sure to follow #EthicalBusinessPractice to learn more. And thanks to all who braved the heat to come to Soho.

The Five Key Secrets to Driving Cultural Change in Your Organisation

Pauline Blondet, VP Compliance EMEA at GAN Integrity, and I will discuss this these with a select group of ethics professionals this morning.

I’ll share a follow-up post after the event with key insights – but for now, be sure to:

  1. Follow the #EthicalBusinessPractice hashtag on LinkedIn
  2. Check out the Connected CCO blog from GAN Integrity
  3. And follow along on Twitter too: @GAN_Integrity & @RuthSteinholtz

Friday Morning Reflections

And here are some questions that can help you do some end-of-week reflections – whether you’re in attendance or elsewhere:

  • Do we as an organisation understand the impact of our decisions?
  • Do we have clear and espoused values providing effective guidance for our decision takers to make the “right” decision?
  • Are we mindful of the underlying intentions of regulations set forth, of the pitfalls the regulators actually want to help us avoid?
  • How does this connect with the way in which we wish to be perceived in society and to our clients and employees?
  • Have we established clear principles of conduct (as opposed to codes) that can help us in our decision taking?


3 Quick Quotes from the Global Legal Group Fireside Chat: Beating the compliance gap

3 Quick Quotes from the Global Legal Group Fireside Chat: Beating the compliance gap

“We are here to discuss the intersection of risk, innovation and regulation and the role of integrity and compliance in helping the Board successfully navigate these treacherous but critical waters.”

  1. “Compliance can only grow in a strong ethical culture. A strong ethical culture is the only petri dish that will grow compliance…”
  2. “A global team is needed, and unless those teams communicate oversight globally, things can fall through the cracks.”
  3. “It is very important that local and HQ appreciate each other’s issues – the central compliance function should not always be in ‘broadcast mode’.”

Follow #EthicalBusinessPractice to learn more. And I hope to see you at a future Global Legal Group event. Thanks to my fellow panelists for a stimulating discussion – and the actionable insights.

“Can we regulate for innovation and can we innovate in regulation?”

Last week I had the pleasure of participating in a conference focused around the question “Can we regulate for innovation and can we innovate in regulation?”.

Robert Madelin, Chairman, Fipra International, has written an analysis that crystallises the Opening and Concluding Remarks at the conference. It covers the challenges, the lessons and the learnings on the day. I commend it to you. Read it here.

Also, some of the materials from the day are now available:

  • Andrus Ansip, Commissioner for Digital Single Market and Vice-President of the European Commission – speech
  • Christopher Hodges, Professor of Justice Systems at Oxford University and Fellow of Wolfson College – lecture
  • Ruth Steinholtz, Business Ethics Advisor, AretéWork – presentation
  • Elisabeth Crossick, Head of Government Affairs, RELX – speech notes

Global Legal Group Fireside Chat: Beating the compliance gap

As part of a moderated, but informally structured conversation, our speakers will discuss how to help legal advisers set a firm board agenda for innovation, while managing appropriate risks. The discussion will include:

  • How to analyse such gaps and integrate compliance into your organisation
  • Navigate the challenge of compliance by identifying routes to value
  • How to compare relevant laws, and assess specific gaps to be corrected before implementation
  • Viewing compliance as a source of competitive advantage and customer differentiation
  • How best to facilitate collaboration across the business to enable to meet emerging threats head on.

Chair: Ruth Steinholtz, AretéWork

Panel: David De Ferrars, partner, disputes and investigations, Taylor Wessing; Tasmina Goraya, senior associate, patents, Taylor Wessing 


The Ethics of Compliance & Risky Women: What’s next

#RefinitivSummit Risky Women Event SydneySome follow-on things you can do today following the Risky Women event at the #RefinitivSummit in Sydney – dive right in:

  1. Join the Risky Women Network
  2. Follow @RiskyWomen |@kimberleycole | @ruthsteinholtz
  3. Connect with Gillian Cameron & Ruth Steinholtz
  4. Subscribe to Risky Women Radio on iTunes | Spotify | Google Play

About Risky Women®

A global network connecting, celebrating and championing women in risk, regulation and compliance. It has proven to be a great forum to engage and interact with peers, exchange ideas, opportunities and insights in the governance risk and compliance industry.

Learn more:

Driving a focus on ethical behaviour in your organisation

Coming up at the #RefinitivSummit in Sydney this week:

Driving a focus on ethical behaviour in your organisation

● Is influencing activity on the front line more important than changing corporate policy?
● Are rules or principles more conducive to driving ethical behaviour?
● What role should deterrence have in embedding a values-based ethics system?
● Using behavioral economics and psychology to drive internal change
● Do customers need to be re-educated around ROI in a principles-based system?

I’ll be in conversation with Ryan Page from Refinitiv.

I hope to see you there – and be sure to follow #EthicalBusinessPractice for follow-on reading and resources…

#EthicalBusinessPractice Thoughts from Sydney

This is my first visit to Australia (I’m here for this year’s #RefinitivSummit). And I have landed right in the middle of the best place and time to explore ethical business practice and regulation. Why? A Royal Commission on misconduct in banking and financial services recently delivered its final report. And banking touches all sections of society.

If at first…

Final Report: The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.The recently re-elected government originally resisted the inquiry. Now it has promised to adopt the bulk of its recommendations. Quite a change.

There is a flurry of activity by both financial regulators and financial institutions around this. Yet much of it seems to be occurring without an appreciation of how to bring about real change.

Front page headlines in the Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday took up the topic, quoting Helen Coonan, the Chair of the new Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA). She says:

“Poor culture in financial institutions has been identified as the main culprit that permitted a slew of bad practices, appalling treatment of consumers and small businesses, and in many cases arrogant indifference to regulatory and compliance risk…”

Ms Coonan also asserted that the:

“AFCA is playing an important part in restoring shattered community trust and confidence in the financial services sector.”

How exactly they are going to do that while slamming financial institutions in speeches is not obvious.

Treating them like children…

No doubt there has been some appalling behaviour in these institutions. And everyone agrees that culture is at the root of it. So, while the Royal Commission covered many subjects, and I will focus only on: Section 2 – Culture.

There is a lot to agree with in the Report, including the statement that:

“Culture can-and must-be assessed by financial services entities themselves”.

It goes on to say that entities must form a view of their own culture, identify problematic aspects and change them, followed by reassessment.

I agree wholeheartedly with this statement, however I am not sure that they actually mean it. As the Report goes on to say that in organisations that have the most problematic cultures:

“There is…an important role for regulators to supervise culture – that is to:

  • Assess the entity’s culture
  • Identify what is wrong with the culture
  • ‘hold up a mirror’ to the entity. … and educate the entity about its own culture;
  • Agree what the entity will do to change its culture; and
  • Supervise the implementation of those steps.

This would appear to contradict the categorical assertion that “Each financial services entity has primary responsibility for its own culture.”

Cultural transformation clues – to try try again

I would like to make two points, although there is so much more to say.

First, as we say in our book (Ethical Business Practice and Regulation) culture cannot be changed from the outside. Efforts to do so are bound to fail, and the one mentioned above is no exception – being based upon a PARENT-CHILD relationship (if you’ll forgive me for drawing on the field of psychology).

The essence of Ethical Business Regulation (EBR) is that regulators should encourage organisations to assess – and deeply understand their own cultures. And to bring credible evidence that they have done so as the basis for developing a relationship based on trust.

Those who know me will know that I am passionate about the use of the values based Cultural Transformation Tools of the Barrett Values Centre for this purpose.

The other point I would like to make is that unless and until regulators, the media and politicians stop blaming blaming every financial institution and person in them we will not achieve change. Why? Blame is the opposite of an environment of psychological safety. And psychological safety is so important for an open, just culture where the true root causes of misconduct will emerge.

Stepping up enforcement where intentional criminal behaviour is found is fine; but taking the same attitude towards all misconduct will accomplish the exact opposite. Behaviour will remain hidden and defensiveness will prevail.

Regulators and financial institutions must recognised the nuanced reasons for misconduct. There is a need for (some counterintuitive) steps to be taken in order to eliminate blame culture – and encourage accountability.

There are many factors that created the misconduct in the first place, and the solutions are not simple, nor will they be immediate.

#EthicalBusinessPractice - Open Just Culture Open Just Culture
#EthicalBusinessPractice – Open Just Culture

The Ethics of Compliance

Looking forward to the next Risky Women® network lunch on June 4 during the Australian Regulatory Summit 2019…

At the Sydney event the topic is the ethical culture of compliance. I’ll be in conversation with Gillian Cameron, Director of Client Services at Refinitiv.

Join us:

  • The importance of taking a behavioural and values-based approach to compliance and enforcement
  • Why the usual compliance focused approaches have failed to create ethical companies
  • The most significant road blocks to achieving values-based and ethically-based leadership
  • Achieving this cultural shift amidst tightening regulatory frameworks
  • Where momentum is building and how we can all get to the root of what will drive real change

Please register now and feel free to contact Shirley Gao, should you have any questions.