Thoughts on the recent SCCE Compliance and Ethics Institute
Four years ago, I thought I knew everything about corporate compliance, and would have been happy to tell you about it whether you asked or not. Now, four years removed from my first trip to the Compliance and Ethics Institute, I’m struck by how much has changed and how much has remained the same. And of course, how little I actually knew and how much I’ve learned in that time.
What Has Changed
Corporate compliance is a profession. This seems like an unneeded statement in 2015, but there it is. The growth of the conference, the extension of the vendor list, the greater feeling of autonomy for compliance officers makes it feel like the profession has truly arrived. Four years ago, many of the people I talked to related to me that compliance was a secondary (often lesser) part of their roles within their company. This distinction now seems like the exception not the rule, and it is so cool to see such great representation from audit, compliance, legal and above all else ethics.
The Ease of Access
The complexity of regulations and compliance programs hasn’t changed, if anything it gets substantially worse every year. What has changed is the unprecedented access to quality help and information. SCCE is a veritable smorgasbord of people and process all designed to make the corporate compliance profession and all the related professionals successful. As regulatory complexity grows the simplicity of picking up the phone and connecting to a friendly, knowledgeable ear will become increasingly more important, and from what I’ve seen from the SCCE community, readily available.
Four years ago, many of the people said that compliance was a secondary part of their roles within their company.
This distinction now seems like the exception not the rule.
What Hasn’t Changed
From the moment I arrived at the 2015 Compliance and Ethics Institute in Las Vegas in October, I felt welcomed, and there was really no reason for it. Coming from the vendor side, and having been to many different kinds of conventions, I have a pretty good idea of how vendors are perceived, and let’s just say disinterest is one of the better reactions you might receive.
However, the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE) is fundamentally different and this is just one of the many things that elevates it as an organization. As a company and an individual we were welcomed and treated as a part of the group. All that mattered was we were trying to be a part of the solution, and evolve the workforce, fostering more ethical compliant cultures. This rare distinction puts SCCE in a class by itself. A community…a family.
Corporate compliance can be hard, vast, unruly and a number of other words that succinctly describe its tenacious difficulty. If you imagine the regulatory environment as a giant wave (like Teahupo’o in Tahiti – trust me, the wave is scary), full of force and malice, you can think of the SCCE and more importantly their events, institutes and academies as a big, buoyant surfboard.
The quantity, and more importantly the quality, of the content SCCE members have access to is staggering not only in its breadth but also in its accessibility and practicality. And, (a very important and) this content, this quality, these people stay with you. I highly recommend reaching out to someone you’ve made a connection with at an academy, or the institute, and you will quickly realize that all the talk about community is not lip service.
Corporate compliance can be hard, vast, unruly and a number of other words that succinctly describe its tenacious difficulty.
…From Here To When
Four years later and I realize how little I knew then, and how much I still have to learn. I have become a better listener, open to a panoply of experiences that will never be mine, but have exponentially benefited my growth as a corporate compliance professional.
Four years from now, I can only imagine all the things I haven’t learned yet, and how much the compliance and ethics community still has to teach me.
Four years later and I realize how little I knew then, and how much I still have to learn.