Articles You May Have Missed

What You Missed At The 2017 Global Ethics Summit

On March 15th and 16th, I joined my colleagues from SAI Global at the 2017 Global Ethics Summit, hosted by Ethisphere in New York City. It was fitting that an event for ethics and compliance professionals would find itself face-to-face with an unexpected risk, in the form of Winter Storm Stella, and that the Ethisphere team was able to overcome that adversity and succeed in hosting a great event despite those challenges.

Whether your plans to attend were changed by the weather, you made it but didn’t take notes, or simply weren’t able to go this year, I wanted to share a recap with some highlights, photos, quotes, and video that I was able to capture and write down. Here are some key takeaways from Ethisphere’s E&C event.

On Diversity and Leadership 

The opening keynote of the event focused on “Leadership Through Diversity” and how embracing diversity can enhance company values and performance. When asked about the value of diversity and the impact it makes on a business, these were the points made by the panel that resonated:

  • Diversity among employees helps a business by giving different insights and perspectives into what your customers and community are thinking.
  • When your organization embraces diversity, it improves employee morale and engagement because it demonstrates that there is a level playing field in the company.
  • In order to actualize diversity as a part of your organization’s culture and strategy, it is critical that you set the “tone at the top” by embracing diversity in the C-suite and the Board of Directors. That means including women and people of different cultures and religions in these senior-level positions.

We ran a Twitter Poll at the event asking about the challenge of diversity and inclusion in organizations, and while the sample size of responses was small, it helped reinforce the fact that many organizations still have work to do and that diversity and inclusion is an ongoing initiative.


Two quotes related to these points from the panel really made an impact:

On The Value of Integrity and Ethics 

The first plenary session featured the Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer (CECO) of Dell and the SVP of Internal Governance at Boeing discussing the evolving role of ethics and integrity in organizational cultures.

  • When the moderator asked “how do you bring ethics and compliance to life?” the response was one that every compliance officer can agree with – “it’s all about winning hearts and minds.”
  • When asked about the changing goals of a compliance program: the goal used to be staying out of the headlines, but now the goal is separating your organization from its competitors and enhancing your brand by embracing ethics and compliance as a differentiator and building trust both internally and externally.
  • A constant theme between Dell and Boeing was patience, practice, and transparency: Dell promotes integrity by having conversations with their employees and customers about why integrity matters, the importance of trust, and how data is protected. Boeing preached that it’s crucial to remind leadership in your organization that ethical values and cultures take time and constant awareness to work – they don’t just happen overnight.

At the event, Ethisphere announced their 2017 World’s Most Ethical Companies and shared data related to the direct relationship between ethical behavior and business conduct and financial performance.

Read about the data and insights gathered from the World’s Most Ethical Companies here.

On Something Every Compliance Officer Can Relate To

On The Future of Ethics and Compliance Training Programs and Technology 

As a sponsor of the event, SAI Global was able to host a breakout session moderated by Paula Davis, our VP of Learning Product Strategy, and featuring Dan DeMeritt from ITT Corporation, Seth Rice from Kennametal, and Kim Yapchai from Whirlpool.

The conversation was all about what successful ethics and compliance training programs look like today, what they’ll look like in the future, and the role technology will play in helping compliance officers accomplish their goals.

Here are 8 tips and takeaways shared by our panel at the event:

  1. Modern compliance programs are less about command & control, and more about values, culture, respect, and trust.
  2. Ethics and compliance training and communication can’t be disconnected from business and financial objectives. You have to put it into the context of how and why it matters.
  3. One actionable tip that was shared and can be implemented for free was to leverage real world news and “viral” social content to make training more relatable.
  4. When it comes to connecting with Millennials and engaging them with E&C training and education, it was agreed that using social media platforms like Snapchat to share images and videos from training can be an effective and measurable way of getting that audience interested and excited. It was also shared that the panel has seen success and traction with short videos, posters, music, and media-driven initiatives to engage Millennial employees.
  5. Related to the quote we shared above, our panel suggested treating compliance programs like an ad campaign: promote it internally and be creative with how you share information.
  6. To help empower managers to ethically lead their teams and establish a tone from the middle, it was suggested that equipping them with communication tools that can be used in meetings for quick, effective training and dialogue is a successful approach that doesn’t require many resources to create.
  7. On the topic of new trends in codes of conduct, the panel agreed that employees want to be proud of how it looks & what it stands for. (If you’re attending the ECI Annual Conference, we’re hosting a breakout panel on modern, engaging codes of conduct)
  8. On aligning compliance with the rest of the business, Dan DeMeritt shared the following:

We’ll have a full hour-long video of our panel from the Global Ethics Summit soon, but until then, I suggest following SAI Global on Twitter and LinkedIn for other content and coverage from our upcoming events.

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