Know the Numbers

Know the Numbers

The following is based on a section of my new book, “How to Have a Wildly Successful Career in Compliance,” which will be published on June 19th! Pre-order is available HERE.

Know the Numbers

Does this joke sound familiar to you?  “I got into compliance because I don’t do math…” It’s a variation of the “Since I can’t do math, I went to law school,” retort, but for many of us, we think it’s true.  It doesn’t have to be though, and to advance your career at the fastest possible rate there are numbers you need to know.  These include:

What is our Stock Price or Forecast?

It’s critical to know where the business is now. If you’re publicly traded, it’s easy to see the movement of the stock price. Just Google the company’s name and “stock price,” and you’ll get a graph of the stock’s movement over the past five years. If it’s up, congratulations! Your management is probably happy. If it’s trending downward, you may be in for a bumpy ride.

If your company is not publicly traded, try to find out how the company has been doing. Has it been paying bonuses? Has it been giving raises? Has it been laying people off or

restructuring? Try to find out all you can about the current state of the business and where it hopes to go financially.

What is Our Revenue?

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IT'S HERE! Free excerpt from my upcoming new book, "How to Have a Wildly Successful Career in Compliance"

IT'S HERE!  Free excerpt from my upcoming new book, "How to Have a Wildly Successful Career in Compliance"

I couldn't be more excited about this one!  My new book, How to Have a Wildly Successful Career in Compliance, comes out in exactly two weeks!  To celebrate, here's a sneak peak at the Introduction and first chapter.  The book is available for pre-order now on Kindle

Ready?  CLICK HERE TO ACCESS!

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The Changing Face of Investment: Culture, Harassment, and Governance on Display

The Changing Face of Investment: Culture, Harassment, and Governance on Display

“In the current environment, [the] stakeholders are demanding that companies exercise leadership on a broader range of issues.  And they are right to: a company’s ability to manage environmental, social, and governance matters demonstrate the leadership and good governance that is so essential to sustainable growth, which is why we are increasingly integrating these issues into our investment process.” 

Larry Fink, the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BlackRock, wrote these words in his annual letter to CEOs. 

BlackRock is the world’s largest asset management company, with $6.3 trillion in investments.  Mr. Fink’s letter speaks to the changing face of investor’s focus – not simply from quarterly returns and financial performance – but to governance and the long-term profitability of corporations that focus on ethical behavior and corporate culture.  

Expectations are Higher

Investors and asset managers care increasingly about corporate culture for good reason: it drives profitability.  For example, before the firing of one CEO in a high-profile case last year, it was reported that staff turnover in the organization was 30-40 percent per year.  When employee churn is that high, the cost of recruitment and business management goes up substantially, draining profitability, which can lead to unrelenting pressure on sales and tolerance of misbehaviour of high-financially-performing leaders.  

In an article titled, “Sexual Harassment is Becoming a Serious Investor Risk,” Barron’s cover story noted, “Companies that tolerate or cover up sexual harassment, perpetuate a culture that fosters it, or fail to provide proper avenues for employees to report concerns and offenses, could pay in multiple ways, from difficulties in attracting, retaining, and motivating talented workers to customer defections, ruined business deals, and lost revenue and profit.”

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How to make the most painful GDPR tasks less painful

How to make the most painful GDPR tasks less painful

Since Friday is the big day that GDPR officially comes into force, I thought I’d ask my good friend Patrick O’Kane for tips on how to make GDPR less painful! Patrick is an in-house Data Protect Officer, and the author of the fabulous book, GDPR: Fix it Fast! 

Click Here to buy GDPR: Fix it Fast on Amazon

As an in-house lawyer and Data Protection Officer for a Fortune 500 company, I have experience in trying to engage different departments such as HR, Marketing and Legal in the sometimes grim area of data protection. You are never going to be the most popular person at the office Christmas party when you hold my job but if you make your GDPR project practical and engaging you can get on the right side of the law, win the trust of your customers and avoid those much-hyped fines. 

Running an effective GDPR compliance programme means you must change some of your processes and operations to align them with GDPR. You must also educate the people in your company all the way up to the boardroom on what they will have to do, and avoid doing, in order to avoid its mammoth fines.

Some of the GDPR tasks are going to be painful. Here are some tips on how to make them less painful.

Making data protection fun

Let me tell you a story; I once had to give a three-hour lecture on data protection to a group of millennials at my last company. They were looking forward to it about as much as one looks forward to root canal treatment. I came armed with 40 slides bursting with legal information but I had not made the effort to make my presentation in the least interesting. Just as I was about to be booed offstage it finally dawned on me that when you are preaching data protection you have to, first and foremost, make it engaging.

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Top 10 Sources of Benchmarking Data to Evaluate Your Compliance Program

Top 10 Sources of Benchmarking Data to Evaluate Your Compliance Program

“What are other companies of our size doing?”  This question plagues compliance officers in all corners of the world in all industries.  Benchmarking our programs and getting concrete information about what others are doing is critical to making our program a success.  But it can be difficult – where do we find the data we need?

Unfortunately, there is no one source for all data.  However, there are plenty of places to find information.  These include:

1.      Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics Surveys

I’ve been using the SCCE’s data and survey results as a benchmarking tool for years.  They have salary surveys, surveys on how compliance interacts with the Board - even surveys regarding staffing and budget.  This is my go-to source to start any benchmarking exercise. (full disclosure – I’m on the Board of Directors at the SCCE – but I still love and use their material!)

2.      Compliance Vendors Surveys

Compliance vendors produce some of the best surveys and reports.  Steele Solutions, NAVEX Global, GAN Integrity and others create outstanding reports.  Even better?  They often offer webinars going through the results of their surveys.  Sign up for their lists, and download their materials, even if you don’t need the data right now.  By gathering the information before you need it, you’ll be ready to respond when the C-Suite, Board, or management requests for benchmarking information.

3.      Conference Presentations

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