Chief Compliance Officers are in high demand but short supply, and they often leave their positions within a year or two of taking them. One expert opines that “CCOs only last a short while because they either discover that they cannot get, or will not be given, the necessary tools and support to do the job properly or they are scapegoated.” With the increased focus on compliance and ethics programs in today’s business climate, it is easy to see how a CCO can become the internal focal point for external pressures. Company leaders need to outfit compliance officers with the appropriate resources to do their jobs–and to foster an environment that sees CCOs not as inquisitors but as indispensable allies in the pursuit of an ethical culture.
The Dalai Lama spoke in the Bay Area on the subject of integrating compassion and ethics into business, stressing the need for “mental peace” and “to educate people to increase their concern for others’ well-being.” The talk can be viewed here. We are encouraged that high-profile entities devoted to the advancement of ethics are organizing events of this nature featuring speakers of the Dalai Lama’s stature. Ethical culture is a key ingredient to a happy, healthy and productive workplace, and it starts with leadership taking a serious view of implementing ethical systems from the top down.
In Japan, officials from the Fair Trade Commission are visiting schoolrooms to teach students about antimonopoly law, using simulation games and roleplaying to get the students involved. This seems like a promising model for education regarding all subdivisions of business ethics and across all nations and age levels. Traditional ethics training that attempts merely to teach right answers from wrong does not adequately prepare future employees, managers and leaders for the decisions they will face in their professional lives. Hands-on workshops that draw from concrete expertise are better suited to giving students the ability to think about these kinds of problems in a practical way. For more information on this topic, please see our page on teaching ethics.
John T. Delaney, Dean of the School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh, provides an excellent analysis of the need for an ethics education and the obstacles that impede it in our business schools. We are in full agreement that “we must evolve our approaches to ethics education and remain focused on this issue throughout school–not just when the headlines report major scandals in the business world.” An evolved approach to business ethics includes not only classroom instruction but cultural initiatives spearheaded by professors in conjunction with student leaders. Moreover, we believe that the future of ethics education lies in teaching ethical systems design: working with what we know of psychology to design systems that complement and adapt to human nature, rather than trying to change human nature itself.
Ethical Systems contributor and blogger Jeff Kaplan has compiled an eight-part series titled “Parental controls: anti-corruption compliance programs for joint ventures, subsidiaries and franchisees.” We think that this will prove informative and helpful reading for anyone with an interest in managing compliance throughout business entities with complicated and interconnected organizational structures.