Creativity In Compliance Programs
Contributor, Larissa de Araujo has worked for years in various sectors including the public sector, automotive, fintech, and technological industry with professional background in legal, governance, compliance and risk roles throughout her career. She studied Law, but it was only the door to a world for the next learning in business, data, and compliance. She believes that ethics and respect are the way of building a better society and she puts all her efforts from her personal belief in her professional path. Her goal is to give voice to companies' growth and enrich their local communities. She is passionate about technology and innovative solutions, mainly, when related to the new economy. You can find Larissa on LinkedIn.
Did you know that creativity fits into compliance? Why? Let's think together: adaptability, problem-solving, building trust, accountability, communication, and connection - they all take creativity.
It is common to hear the question of “How to create an effective compliance program?” and they get the perfectly constructed 7 steps that will come to your table as an answer. What nobody told you is that magical formulas do not exist. We are living in an era of increased regulations and renewed enforcement efforts, both for public and private companies. Equally, accountability in tangible and intangible assets is more and more important than the profits that the company generates. Consumers are looking for companies that offer something new and add aggregated value to their products and services.
The question usually we hear nowadays from professionals is how to implement an effective compliance program? The answer usually is: it depends. Following established guidelines from other companies is always risky whether it is going to be effective in your company. There is no perfect answer to this question yet any compliance program providers would offer you the seemingly golden path based on these questions:
What are your company's needs?
What are the true company's values?
What do you want to achieve in medium and the long term?
A compliance program needs to understand thoroughly your business needs, take into account the maturity of your entity and, of course, it needs a piece of creativity. Understanding deeply the values of the company shapes the pillars that build the organization's compliance culture. In this new era industry where everyone is highly connected, compliance professionals shall be creative to grab the attention of their audience.
Here are my advice how to create and implement an effective compliance program:
Speak up! Use an easy language and understandable for different stakeholders. Formality is necessary in determined situations but in an era where people watch no more than 15 seconds of TikTok dancing videos you shall do your best fanfic to not lose their attention. Internal communications are a must to have!
Operate by principles. People are more likely to recognize themselves in a situation when you touch them. Understanding the core values of the company will support you to link with common words that we use in compliance programs such as: Integrity, respect, ethics, and many others.
Straight to the point. Do you really need a policy with 100 pages? In some situations, yes, in other situations you could create a design guideline or a Questions & Answer that will support the team to localize the principal bullet points of the program easily.
Open the channel! Embrace the feedback, listen to your audience, and open the channel for everyone. You have some answers, but you will only improve your program if you actively listen to everyone. From your point of view things might be making sense, but have you ever surveyed them?
Be humble. Be brave. The days of compliance professionals are not easy, be open minded to understand the other team's daily work. Put on their shoes and find out the best solution together. Procedures and policies are only words if not concrete applied.
Networking and design thinking. Understand the different types of practice of the market and design thinking with your team (not necessary compliance team!) to find out the best “users' experience” when people are handling your compliance program.
What is one piece of advice you would give to your younger self?
"So don't worry about whether you like your situation or not. Life doesn't give a damn about what you like. It's up to you to connect what you want with what you need to do to get it and then find the courage to carry it through." (from "Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio)
If you had to choose an alternative career, what would you be doing now?
I wouldn't have an alternative career. I'm exactly where I am supposed to be.
At the end of your career, if you were to sit and reflect, what one hope do you have?
That my job has positively impacted society somehow.