Focus On Human Nature and Ethics, Not Compliance

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In today’s fast-paced business world, companies often prioritize compliance over understanding the deeper aspects of human nature and ethics. While compliance is essential for meeting legal and regulatory standards, it is not enough to ensure the ethical integrity of an organization. Focusing on human nature and ethics goes beyond ticking boxes; it involves understanding the core values that drive behavior and decision-making within a company. By emphasizing human nature and ethics, businesses can cultivate a more genuine and sustainable culture that naturally aligns with compliance, resulting in a more robust and resilient organization.

The world of compliance is a complex mosaic.

In theory, compliance is a combination of operational and managerial functions that propels an organization forward while mitigating legal risks and corporate oversights. In reality however, it is merely an underserved business function that many executives do not understand – this often includes general counsels, chief compliance officers, and chief legal officers alike. Segments of corporate compliance generally include governance, risk mitigation, regulatory compliance, human resources management and ethics.

Economic shifts and downfalls after the financial crisis have changed the way public and private companies do business.

These changes have created dynamic regulatory frameworks, in numerous industries, that mandate more stringent corporate controls. Companies, more than ever before, are paying for poor business practices and violations of good dealings. Now, government bodies and judiciaries at the local, state, and federal levels constantly pry into industries for wrongdoing. With companies fearful of fines, civil lawsuits, criminal prosecution and reputation damage, institutional compliance has become a reactive function in response to legal risks and ancillary threats.

Many employees, stakeholders, and executives, believe that a company’s compliance function is merely a set of practices curated to maintain the status quo, to adhere to regulations, or simply to check a box for an audit or other due diligence initiative. The problem with this mentality is that compliance or any part thereof, is innately a function grounded in ethics.

As working professionals we carry a collective understanding of the world around us. We live ethically. The majority of us understand what it means to be reasonable and to act prudently. So why do we suppress our moral compasses during business hours?

This is a rhetorical question, but undoubtedly an important one. It appears that companies, more accurately, the people who run these entities, manufacture a moral compass that is inferior to ethics practiced outside of business.

In business, entities ignore introspection. They rely solely on growth and sales as metrics to be proud of. This is problematic.

Compliance and all its ancillary parts will gain more depth when companies redefine these growth metrics.

Once companies begin to assess their value to the public based on more universal standards, complying with regulations and other mandates will become second nature.

Effective compliance programs will always involve numerous professionals working together to harness better practices. In addition to staff alignment, companies must begin to foster a deep-rooted appreciation for corporate ethics. No organization will completely eliminate legal risks, threats of internal corruption, collusion or similar inherent dangers; but every company can improve its operation by prioritizing values and rudiments of civil decency—that is what this is all about.

If your organization has any governance, risk mitigation, ethical or regulatory compliance concerns, we can help simplify things for you. Contact us directly at 908-447-0521 or via email at

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