Taking action based on values rather than personal gain
Organizations cannot control the integrity of individuals, but they can certainly influence it. An organization’s culture influences the integrity of those employees that are either on the fence or would rationalize wrongdoing when the culture promotes willful blindness, permits ignorance of policies and controls, or encourages the avoidance of those controls through unreasonable business goals and rewarding success by any means.
No controls, compliance program, or business culture can eliminate or totally prevent people without integrity from doing wrong, but the absence of those factors greatly increases the capacity of wrongdoers to operate with impunity, while the strong presence of those factors greatly increases the likelihood of preventing and detecting wrongdoing, as well as providing a foundation to mitigate its impacts and consequences on the organization. People often adopt the mindset of the masses and tend to fall in-line.
Non-compliance seriously increases risk and liability, depreciates M&A and joint venture value, potentially damages the brand, undermines and reduces trust and confidence, increases the potential for prosecution, and threatens sustainability.
In addition to an organization's culture, business and thought leaders must also consider what role greed, selfishness, blind ambition, reckless need for recognition or even performance anxiety can play in the non-compliance rationalization process. These leaders must be pro-active and continuously diligent in their efforts to mitigate individual and organizational risks.