Compliance practitioners carry a wealth of instruments in their medicine kits. They have tools to diagnose – to detect potential violations of certain regulatory frameworks. They offer prescriptions to treat – recommended corrective actions to remedy specific root causes of past violations. They even provide regular checkups – compliance audits to make sure systems are running as they were designed to do.

However, these solutions are largely reactive. They are methods that respond to symptoms, or attempt to prevent future ailments, all based on the past problems the patient (in this case, an organisation) has suffered before. We would not suggest doing away with these compliance devices. Rather, we propose a broader, holistic approach that embraces these elements while structuring and strengthening an organisation’s integrity.

One way to think of the regimen is the prescription for healthier living that makes an individual stronger, more resistant to, and resilient from, all maladies from cancer to colds. In the same way, organisations can prepare themselves, before a threat materialises, by taking stock of their own organisational integrity and improving robustness by implementing systems that align the incentives of their personnel with the values at the organisation’s core.

Key concepts of organisational integrity

Numerous principles form the foundations of organisational integrity. Various groupings of those principles will be valuable to different organisations. For this article, we have chosen seven key concepts we view as fundamental to developing, instituting and maintaining organisational integrity, whether the effort is compelled by an enforcement authority, driven by the results of an internal investigation, or simply an organic initiative to create a better organisation.

Oct-Dec 2019 Issue