Culture and the Cuban Missile Crisis

culture

I am a bit of a history buff, so lately I’ve been reading Nuclear Folly, a new chronicle of the Cuban Missile Crisis written by Ukrainian history professor Serhii Plokhy. Little did I know when I began reading it, that a central lesson of good corporate governance would be a major theme of this book. …

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Corporate Ethics and Voter Suppression Laws

voter suppression

I’ve long said that the standard corporate response to looming new legislation or regulatory moves is first to do nothing; then scramble and panic once the legislation or regulation comes to pass. Now we see Corporate America has held true to that strategy yet again, in response to Georgia’s voter suppression law.  By now you…

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On Ethics, Ethics Czars, and Success

values

I recently watched The Oprah Conversation with Barack Obama about the writing of his new memoir, The Promised Land. Oprah Winfrey asked the former president about his eight-year scandal-free administration (tan suit excepted), and Obama reflected: “I am very proud of the fact that we didn’t have a whiff of scandal while we were in…

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Leadership Failures at Fort Hood

Fort Hood

Compliance officers have another case-study in flawed corporate culture and problematic leadership to consider. This one comes from the U.S. Army, in a blistering report on senior officers’ failure to prevent sexual assault at the Fort Hood military base. The Army fired or suspended 14 senior officers Tuesday for their leadership failures at Fort Hood,…

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More Misadventures in Leadership

Who knew, compliance officers, that we could spend Thanksgiving weekend musing over yet another example of tone-deaf leadership and the damage it can do to corporate culture? Yet we can do precisely that thanks to Michael Hancock, mayor of Denver.  Those of you in Colorado may already know the story. Hancock, like every other sensible…

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A Must-Read on Whistleblower Retaliation

Anyone who cares about a strong ethical culture and protection of whistleblowers — which should be all compliance professionals everywhere — should read a column in the Washington Post this weekend written by Alexander Vindman, the national security officer driven out of the military because his whistleblower report led to President Trump’s impeachment. Whistleblower retaliation…

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Leadership Disaster at Holyoke Home

Holyoke

Last week Massachusetts officials published a report about one of the worst failures of our state’s Covid-19 response so far: the deaths of dozens of elderly veterans at the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, Mass. in late March and early April, at the height of our coronavirus outbreak here.  The report is worth compliance and audit…

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Two Tales of Ham-Fisted Leadership

leadership

One might assume that the leadership challenges facing Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook and Roger Goodell at the National Football League don’t have much in common — but when talking about inept leadership in modern times, some universal truths do indeed emerge. First, let’s recap each man’s leadership bungles individually. We’ll start with Zuckerberg. The spark…

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Cruise Lines Face Covid-19 Compliance Squeeze

cruise

Royal Caribbean International has agreed to an exhausting set of criteria from the Centers for Disease Control so the cruise line can evacuate its employees from ships stuck at sea — including the risk of civil and criminal penalties for senior executives should Royal Caribbean bungle the task. That certainly takes the importance of running…

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Wells Fargo, Part II: Leadership Fails

leadership

Today we continue to examine the misconduct at Wells Fargo by examining the failures of leadership that allowed its unauthorized accounts scandal to happen. After all, poor leadership is the sort of dysfunction that could happen at any company, so what happened here is important to understand. In our first post about Wells Fargo earlier…

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