Thoughts on the Uvalde Failures

Uvalde

Effective corporate compliance and risk management programs are all about how to make a large organization run well. So within that frame, the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, last week is an awful, heartbreaking case study for corporate compliance programs, because we can find failures at almost every level.  Indeed, what torments me most about…

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Survey: Pandemic Ordeal Boosts Corporate Culture

vaccination

LRN has released the 2022 edition of its annual Ethics & Compliance Program Effectiveness Report, finding that most companies’ ethical culture has emerged stronger than ever thanks to two years of the Covid-19 pandemic.  LRN polled nearly 1,200 ethics, compliance, and legal officers at corporations around the world, most of them with 1,000 employees or…

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Microsoft & Activision, Part II: Repairing Culture

culture

In a post earlier this week we explored the numerous antitrust and privacy concerns that arise from Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Today let’s assume that Microsoft somehow does close this deal. How would Microsoft then address the deeply troubled corporate culture at Activision?  That’s a challenge ethics and compliance officers encounter all the…

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Pointers on Setting Compliance Goals

culture

Today we return to the compliance officer bookshelf. I just began reading Get It Done, a newly released book by business professor Ayelet Fishbach, that examines how people can motivate themselves to change their behavior. The first chapter alone raises excellent points about how to set goals that people want to achieve — a subject…

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Activision Trying to Right the Ship

Activision

Activision Blizzard is looking to hire at least 19 people to build up its ethics and compliance function, as part of a broader effort to address complaints from regulators and employees that the company tolerated a poor corporate culture for years.  The hiring plans were announced in a staff memo circulated last week by Frances…

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Corporate Culture: Speak Up vs. Listen Up

culture

The other week I had the privilege of hosting a webinar on cultivating a speakup corporate culture. Given how important that is for corporate success — and how many organizations either mishandle their speakup culture, or reject the premise that a speakup culture matters entirely — today let’s consider some of the points raised in…

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Mapping the Pressures on Corporate Values, Priorities

Sometimes big lessons about corporate culture can come from very small businesses. We have such a lesson today from a butcher shop in New York and its attempt to deal with the Black Lives Matter and gay rights movements — an attempt that failed, miserably, and says much about who determines corporate ethical priorities these…

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More Activision CCO Drama

Activision

We return today to the saga surrounding Activision Blizzard and its chief compliance officer Frances Townsend — because, much to my astonishment, this story is getting even stranger. Townsend is doubling down on her statements about whistleblowers and, apparently, blocking employees on Twitter who disagree with her. Townsend made headlines last week for an ill-phrased…

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Activision CCO Steps Into a Mess

Activision

Looks like Frances Townsend, the chief compliance officer for Activision Blizzard, is going through some things this week. The state of California just sued the video game giant for allowing a sexually harassing culture, Townsend then circulated an email to employees calling the allegations false, and now employees are furious at her statement. This is…

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Digging Into the State Street Settlement

I haven’t had time to write about this until now, but last week State Street Corp. agreed to pay a $115 million criminal penalty and accept a compliance monitor for two years, to settle charges that the bank deliberately overcharged its clients for years. If you want an example of how invasive compliance monitorships can…

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