Thoughts on Compliance and Revolutions

As I sip on my second cup of coffee this morning, trying to shake off the hazy, lazy long weekend, I’m also reflecting on July 4th and all the things it represents to me.

Things like independence, freedom, revolution and brilliantly colored lights blooming in the night sky.

Strangely enough, these same themes show up in my work in insurance compliance as well. (Well, minus the fireworks…sadly.)

What the what? How could that be?!

“Compliance is there to say, ‘no.’”

“Compliance is there to police the business.”

“Compliance doesn’t stand for independence and freedom!!”

When I type those things, I feel a deep sadness. For me, compliance is not a four letter word. And I’m on a personal mission to challenge that perception. A soft revolution; a quiet rebellion.

No declarations have been signed, but each day I work on how to best educate others about compliance. Everything from providing substantive knowledge for those working in compliance, to how to talk about compliance issues with others so that it’s seen as helpful, and not preventing business.

Why? Because compliance can be transformative for an organization. When compliance efforts are supported and celebrated, the integrity of a business can be protected. That’s the value that compliance can bring. We must challenge the negative stereotypes of what this function does, and continue to show how it can be used to propel a business forward.

The work of compliance isn’t easy. Even for companies that have high-functioning compliance departments, challenges persist. Hard decisions need to be made and sometimes the answer is just, “No, we can’t do that.”

Still, just because something may feel uncomfortable, doesn’t mean that that’s the end goal.

Compliance isn’t out to stop the good, the creative, the innovative. It’s there to help make sure that those things are maintained, and are accurate. It helps create an environment for those things to thrive. It sets the backdrop for those brilliant, booming lights to shine.

There'll probably never be a national holiday for compliance (maybe a hashtag if we're lucky...,) but for all of you out there in compliance land, I hope you'll join me in this revolution to change the perception of the work we do. With a sparkler raised high in the sky, let's celebrate the light that compliance can bring. 

Are You a Wildly Effective Compliance Officer?

Do you want to be?  We’re very excited to be hosting a free webinar on March 31, 2016 at 3:00 pm ET with Kristy Grant-Hart to discuss her newly released book, How to Be a Wildly Effective Compliance Officer.  Kristy will share her personal experiences as a compliance officer as well as her tips and tools for being wildly effective.  Who can afford to miss that? 

Ms. Grant-Hart brings a lot of experience to her book and to our webinar!  Before founding Spark Compliance, she was CCO at multiple Fortune 500 companies.  In 2015, she was on the shortlist of finalists for the Chief Compliance Officer of the Year at the Women in Compliance Awards.  Her book has received many rave reviews, including my own. 

When I read an interview with Kristy in the Wall Street Journal on February 10, I immediately ordered a copy for myself.  Before I even finished it, I ordered more copies for my staff to read.  Within days, I had reached out to Ms. Grant-Hart to ask her to do a webinar with me to talk about the great tools in her book. 

I hope you’ll join me and you too can learn the secrets to becoming a Wildly Effective Compliance OfficerRegister for free here.  

Looking for more ways to learn? Check out our latest initiative at Our newest course on Sales Practice Risk Mitigation is available now – click here!

3 Reasons to Strengthen Compliance by Pushing Out a Training Program

  1. Training is vital to a strong and effective compliance program.  Educating your employees and/or distribution partners about your policies and procedures, as well as regulatory requirements, serves to set clear limits about what is and what is not acceptable. This, in turn, supports your company’s culture of compliance. 
  2. Training is one of the most cost-effective ways to bolster your compliance efforts. As noted in “teach a man to fish,” training and education is a great multiplier. If you would like to have more resources and expertise in your program, but do not expect to get more people, training can be a way to maximize the capabilities of your department. Reach out and make training available on various compliance issues and teach your company to fish.  
  3. A training program gives you analytics to document, document, document. It is an old adage in compliance that it didn’t happen if it isn’t documented. Having a training program in place allows you to document what training was offered to whom and when. It further provides for the option to quiz/test thereby being able to document acquisition of information by particular people. If there is ever a question of who was told what, a formal program can provide you with the documentation you need.

There are many more specific reasons why training might be the compliance answer you seek. Whenever we ask the question, “How can our clients get the most bang for their buck?” we almost always land at “Training.” That is why we are committed to offering a comprehensive compliance education program. Watch this space for more information as we move toward the launch of this exciting initiative!