More on the Challenges of Listen-Up Culture

Today we have a disturbing lesson on ethics and compliance from New Hampshire, where police are frantically searching for a seven-year-old girl who apparently has been missing since 2019 — because nobody took the girl’s drug-addled mother seriously while she tried to raise alarms about her daughter for months. The girl is Harmony Montgomery. She…

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Culture and the Cuban Missile Crisis


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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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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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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Study: Second-Hand Reports More Reliable


Some news that’s both useful to corporate compliance officers and totally relevant to our political drama in Washington: fresh research shows that whistleblower reports based on second-hand information tend to be more reliable than those from first-hand reporters.  Moreover, second-hand reports are more likely to be about accounting or business integrity issues; and the more…

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Some Points on Why People Stay Silent


Ethics and compliance officers often need to consider the psychology of whistleblower retaliation and the culture of silence around corporate misconduct. Why do groups of people tolerate things they know are wrong? Why do people punish those who sound the alarm, rather than join them in defense of what’s right?  As you ponder those questions,…

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Sharp(ie) Insights Into Speakup Culture

We return today to leadership lessons from President Trump, who has given us another example of how not to lead large organizations. Compliance professionals who care about developing a speakup culture should take note, since Trump’s behavior illuminates several important points about the relationship between CEO and employees. The incident in question is, of all…

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Survey, Good and Bad, on Compliance


LRN has published a new survey of ethics and compliance professionals that says employees are still fearful to report ethics violations, and that too many senior executives still aren’t promoting ethical behavior in their organizations. On the flip side, LRN also identified several characteristics of high-performance organizations that echo other industry surveys about training and…

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Call for U.S. Olympics CCO


A special commission reviewing the sorry state of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee has published its final report, calling for the appointment of a chief compliance officer and sweeping reforms to the Olympic Committee’s corporate culture. Known as the Borders Commission, the group was established last year to review how the USOPC mishandled the…

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How Good Training Finds Its Wings

human capital

I spent most of last week on vacation in California, which required a cross-country flight to get there. Since compliance professionals fly all the time, you know what that means: flight safety videos.  And, naturally, thoughts on compliance training.  After all, one of the biggest challenges for compliance training is how to keep the material…

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