FDIC, Part II: Lack of Accountability

Today let’s return to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., and the corporate culture meltdown documented in an investigative report the FDIC released last week. Specifically, let’s look at the lack of accountability even amid years of misconduct, and how that sorry state of affairs came to pass.  For those who haven’t heard yet, last week…

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Scorching Report on FDIC’s Flawed Culture

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., one of the primary banking regulators in the United States, has released a blistering report about the agency’s own failure to uphold a culture of compliance, workplace respect, and accountability. Ethics and compliance professionals have so much to digest here we’ll need to explore it all over the course of…

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‘Owning the Risk’ and Compliance

risk assessments

Compliance officers and regulators alike always love to say “the business owns the risk” — and we all know that here in the real world, those words often fall short of reality. I recently had a conversation with a compliance officer friend that reminded me just how widespread that shortcoming is. With his permission, I…

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Corporate Culture & the Ted Lasso Way

Ted Lasso

There is a sub-culture of compliance professionals out there who adore “Ted Lasso,” the Apple TV drama about an American football coach leading a British soccer team. I have delightful news for this crowd: the most recent episode included a scene about Ted’s coaching style that speak perfectly to how a corporate culture should work.…

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How to Start a Values Conversation


Corporate leaders always say they want to talk about the importance of their organization’s ethical values, but those conversations aren’t necessarily easy to start. So today let’s look at a resource that Penn State University publishes to help its leaders with the task. The resource is a page on the website of Penn State’s ethics…

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SEC Nails Activision on Culture Oversight


Activision-Blizzard has agreed to pay $35 million to settle charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission that the company didn’t have adequate processes to warn investors about its poor corporate culture. The company also settled charges that it violated whistleblower protection rules. The settlement was announced Friday morning, and I fear that this case may…

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Ethisphere’s Latest Ethical Culture Survey


Ethisphere has released its latest report on employees’ perceptions of ethical culture, finding that those perceptions generally improved throughout the pandemic, although we have a few troubling patterns with young workers worth pondering. Generation Z workers, the report found, are the least likely demographic to report bad behavior. At the same time, however, Gen Z…

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Mental Health and Compliance Officers

mental health

There is a mental health crisis in the U.S. workforce today, which I suspect is not news to compliance officers. So when I had the privilege to moderate a webinar on how mental health issues can affect corporate culture and compliance officers themselves, I took detailed notes.  First, we need to clarify what we mean…

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Another Sports Scandal: Hockey Canada


I spent most of last week on vacation in Canada, trying to put aside the clamor of ethics and compliance news for a while. Well, even amid the gorgeous architecture of Montreal and the boring expanses of the 401 highway, ethics and compliance news caught up with us anyway. The news in question was the…

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Thoughts on the Uvalde Failures


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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