Is Trust an Effective Control?

When trust is violated the damage can be far reaching. The old axiom, “it takes a lifetime to build trust and a second to ruin it” is an apt warning. Trillions of paper profits have been lost because of a loss of trust!


Advising Clients to Pursue an Honorable Course

As often as not, our clients come to us with difficult problems, expecting more than a recitation of the law; they want to know the right (honorable) thing to do. This is both a great privilege and a great responsibility, and shame on us if we lack the courage of our convictions to steer our clients in the right ...


The Positive Value of Ethics

You assign one of your staff to complete fieldwork for a major project. The associate is not capable of providing the requested services and tells you well before the deadline. How do you reward this person’s honesty and trust in you?

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Financial Institutions and a Lack of Ethics

Financial institutions have been guilty of a host of transgressions lately, and while the offenses are varied, their causes can be traced back to one key issue: a lack of ethics. Despite the issues being well publicized and having resulted in serious reputational harm, the transgressions continue to pile up. They've failed to grasp that increasing compliance ...

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The Person of the Year: The Chief Ethics Officer

With every changing of the calendar, Michael Volkov names a "person of the year." This year, the distinction goes to the Chief Ethics Officer, as companies are coming to a better understanding of the integral role a culture of ethical behavior plays in an effective compliance program. In fact, many are finding that you can't have one ...


7 Key Actions to Accelerate Your Ethics and Compliance Program

If your ethics and compliance program seems to be dead in the water, don't despair yet. There are several actions you can take first to either launch the program or breathe new life into it. Michael Volkov outlines seven such steps. Follow these recommendations to get the program off the ground and position the organization for ...

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The New Frontier in Anti-Corruption Efforts

Ten years ago, talking about ethics in the context of business was a conversation stopper, much less a global campaign to combat corruption. But the world has been reshaped, as Seidman notes. The two spheres of the personal and professional are no longer clearly distinct and separate in a world that has gone from connected to interconnected to interdependent.


Start Out Your Year With a Resolution to Bring the “C” Word to Work

If you facilitate a discussion among several groups of leaders about the values they hold in greatest esteem and would most want their organizations to reflect and exemplify, you may find something interesting: the same values turn up again and again. This has been Jim Nortz's experience, and each of these key virtues, compassion included, is as vital ...

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The Important Distinction Between Ethics and Compliance

Compliance alone isn't enough, says Michael Volkov. Compliance alone is the bare minimum; fostering an ethical culture takes your compliance program to the next level, requiring little besides commitment. And there's the payoff, of course... employees want to work for companies that operate with integrity, and clients want to do business with ethical organizations.