With the challenges facing society today, the role played by business has never been more vital. We’ve covered the The British Academy’s Future of the Corporation programme on this blog earlier – including the Principles for Purposeful Business that place purpose at the heart of the way business operates and the policies that govern the relationship between business and society.

The British Academy is gearing up for the second summit on this. It should prove interesting. Register here.

Help spread the #FutureoftheCorporation word

‘The future of regulation is culture’

Isolated application of deterrence theory isn’t enough to solve most of the problems regarding unethical behavior in business and enterprises.

Download full article: bibliotecadigital.fgv.br/

Recent studies presented in our new article titled:

‘The future of regulation is culture’: opportunities to change unethical behaviour in business and public administration in Brazil

by Christopher Hodges, Ruth Steinholtz, Alexandre Aroeira Salles

… show that deterrence is frequently ineffective in affecting future behavior, which conducts enterprises to a “compliance trap”: a false belief that the merely institution of compliance policies would reverse the current ethical crises.

The thesis of the article is that such change requires the adoption of an ethical culture, which concerns a switch in regulatory approach, able to modify the nature of law enforcement, but also the engagement of enterprises, it ́s directors and collaboratives with this culture.

The article also confronts evidence based on behavioral science and recommended by international bodies (such as the OECD) with recent legislative changes in Brazil (in particular the new LINDB and the Economic Freedom Act) that expand the strength of consensus between Public Administration and individuals.

Access the full article through the digital library at FGV – and connect with the authors to learn more: Professor Christopher Hodges OBE, Ruth Steinholtz, Alexandre Aroeira Salles

Stand-in CYA Training

To get 2021 off to a good start here’s another cheeky take on how [not to] engage virtually:

To receive updates from Christian Hunt (Human Risk) & Richard Bistrong (Front-Line Anti-Bribery) on the Compliance Communication Toolkit which will help you in:

Engineering an Engaging Experience with a Virtual Audience

P.S. Maybe we should consider including CYA into the AretéWork Acronyms, abbreviations – and mnemonics collection.

5 Most Read 2020

Visitors from 90 different countries stopped by in the last year – and here are five of the most-read posts:

  1. The 7 Levels of Ethical Business Practice
  2. The Ethics of Events during a Pandemic
  3. #EthicsDisrupted Replay
  4. What really motivates anti-corruption compliance?
  5. [Virtual] Compliance Won’t Take Root or Grow in a Toxic Culture

Thanks to all who visited – and here’s to 2021! Happy New Year.

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AretéWork Quarterly – The Year-in-Review – 2020

The AreteWork Quarterly recently went out – in case you missed it, here’s an excerpt. You can read the full issue here. And to be sure to get the next edition, subscribe:

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AretéWork Quarterly – The Year-in-Review – 2020

Well, what a year! It has certainly tested our resilience and ability to adapt. I’m grateful for my long held value of “ease with uncertainty” which more than came in handy this year. Much was lost but there have been some good things too; in particular a reconnection with some fundamental human values.

On the negative side I place poor political leadership in some countries, where a double standard appeared to apply, leading inevitably to a loss of trust and a drop in compliance with the measures required to stop the spread of Covid19. In my view, this is the most important challenge for 2021.

Work has continued however, so welcome to the last 2020 edition of the AretéWork Quarterly – it has fresh news and articles that relate to Ethical Business Practice and Ethical Business Regulation.

If I haven’t run into you at a recent virtual conference or zoom call – then I hope to do so in 2021! Meanwhile, keep reading (and clicking) – and if you don’t want to wait a full three months between updates, be sure to follow along on Twitter , LinkedIn and of course the AretéThoughts blog (right here).

We’re here to help meanwhile. Just get in touch.

Wishing you a happy holiday season, and dare I hope, for a healthy and happy 2021. #staysafe and please wear a mask, wherever you are!


2020 In Quick Review

OECD Partner talks

Join us at the 2020 OECD Anti-Corruption & Integrity Knowledge Partner talks – watch the videos to learn more about the latest insights of civil society and academia on a range of issues including beneficial ownership, sovereign wealth funds, and ethical business regulation.

Key take-aways from this year’s #BetterRegulation conference

Organised by FIPRA and the European Justice Forum – here’s just one of several useful take-aways:

“The basic idea is to say let’s regulate through ethical culture, rather than through deterrence. Let’s have a problem-solving approach, rather than the linear approach of identifying breaches.” “When you have a business and regulator committed to ethical business practices, the relationship between the two is ethical business regulation. Then, we need lots of regulators and businesses involved to maximize effectiveness.”

Professor Christopher Hodges

What will you be reading in 2021?

I’ve recently started Moral Development and Reality: Beyond the Theories of Kohlberg, Hoffman, and Haidt – and I am also looking forward to reading the recently published The Crisis of Confidence in Legislation, edited by Maria De Benedetto, Nicola Lupo and Nicoletta Rangone. It tackles the important issue of the low levels of trust and confidence of citizens in legislation and enforcement and the consequences for regulation, and suggests ways to improve the situation. The book grew out of the Annual Conference of the International Association of Legislation – IAL, which took place in Rome in October 2019.

What will you be reading in 2021?

Please do share – let me know vie LinkedIn, Twitter or good old fashioned email.

2021 #EthicsDates

Some of the events coming up in 2021 – any missing? Let us know… add #EthicsDates to your tweet / LinkedIn post.

2021 European Business Ethics e-Forum

Online: 2 – 4 February 2021

9th Annual SCCE ECEI European Compliance & Ethics Institute

Virtual | 15-17 March 2021


Virtual | 20-22 April 2021

Book Launch: Culture Audit in Financial Services

London | 3 June 2021 – pre-order now


Everywhere | 17 October 2021

Also, the Institute of Business Ethics offers a range of training sessions and events throughout the year.

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt of the AretéWork Quarterly. You can read the full issue here.

Let’s build #EthicalBusinessPractice together

#OECDintegrity Knowledge Partner Series 2020

Join us at the 2020 OECD Anti-Corruption & Integrity Knowledge Partner talks – watch the videos to learn more about the latest insights of civil society and academia on a range of issues including beneficial ownership, sovereign wealth funds, and ethical business regulation.

AretéWork: Ethical business regulation: A counterintuitive approach to anti-corruption

Traditional approaches that rely heavily on sanctions are ill-equipped to deal with the root cause of ethical violations: misaligned systems, toxic cultures and outdated compliance models. In this session, we will present our findings and then discuss practical solutions to delivering a “just culture” approach.


– Ruth Steinholtz, Managing Partner, AretéWork

– Christian Hunt, Founder, Human Risk

Further reading:

What is Ethical Business Practice and Regulation? A primer…

Access all the talks here: oecd.org/corruption-integrity/forum/KP-talks/

*The views expressed in these talks are the Knowledge Partner’s only, and do not necessarily represent the views of the OECD or its member countries.*

European Compliance & Ethics Institute | 15-17 March 2021


European Compliance & Ethics Institute | 15-17 March 2021

Learn about the Challenges Facing the European Compliance & Ethics Communit

Though we are all disappointed we will not be together in-person, the SCCE remains dedicated to providing a first-class learning experience while keeping the health and well-being of everyone a top priority. 

The 2021 European Compliance & Ethics Institute (ECEI) will have the great speakers and content you’ve come to expect at the in-person event. This is the place to find out about the latest solutions to your challenges, hear strategies to mitigate risk, and improve your organization’s compliance program.

ECEI’s educational sessions will provide you with the opportunity to earn live Compliance Certification Board (CCB)® Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from the convenience of your home or office.

The 2021 agenda includes a range of trending topics including:

  • Anti-Corruption
  • Pandemic Learnings
  • Crisis Management
  • Data Protection
  • Implementing Global Trade Compliance
  • Investigations
  • Risk Management
Register now for a discounted rate | View Prelim Agenda

Reasons to join the Anti-Money Laundering Professionals (AMLP) Forum

Founded in 2001, the AMLP Forum is a cross-industry association of financial crime and anti-bribery & corruption professionals from within financial services, insurance, money service businesses, extractive, aerospace & defence, gambling sectors, and other regulated industries in the UK, Europe and internationally. The key aim is to provide a peer forum in which to:

  • share knowledge and experience
  • compare and benchmark best practices
  • advance professional development of members
  • provide a support network on anti money laundering and anti-corruption issues
  • a powerful voice in government

AMLP Forum members are recognised as ethical and knowledgeable members of the financial crime and corruption prevention community.

Membership Benefits:

  1. Regular closed Members Meetings examining topical AML/CTF, financial crime, ABC and sanctions developments as well as common industry issues and evolving best practices
  2. AMLP Online Resource Centre – a one stop source of global legislation, regulations, guidance, best practice papers, enforcement fines on AML/CTF, anti-bribery & corruption and economic/trade sanctions.
  3. A complimentary bi-weekly newsletter rounding up global AML/CTF, anti-bribery & corruption and economic sanctions developments
  4. Discounts to AMLP events: AMLP masterclasses, Annual European AML & Financial Crime Conference, Annual AML & Financial Crime Seminar and Annual Anti-Bribery & Corruption Forum
  5. Access to AMLP Members Area, including the list of corporate members and past presentations
  6. One free job listing in the Job Area and further discounted competitive advertising rate

Learn more: amlpforum.com/