The limits of our language…

If you are a parent, you may be familiar with the fact that there’s a big difference between telling your kid who is climbing dangerously on a high tree: “This is very dangerous! Careful, or you will fall down and break a leg”, and saying: “Wow, you are very high up, but if you are careful and watch where you are putting your hands and feet, I trust that you are going to do great. I am here watching you and can guide you. But I know you can do it on your own.”

Measuring Integrity – a basic model from first principles

In a recent post I wrote about Turkish Coffee and reflected on three dimensions of Integrity in the „Head-Heart-Hand“ (3H) model used also in competency assessment and people development. After giving this some more thought, I have slightly amended the interpretation of Integrity in the 3H-model and am starting to think this could be used […]

What‘s in a name?

What should the function or department be called that is responsible for Compliance Management? And what should the job title of the head of that function be? What‘s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet. – Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2) While I […]

Integrated Assurance – Assured Integrity?

I recently attended a webinar with the promising title: “Improved Risk Management through Coordinated Assurance”. Some of the content resonated with my own thoughts and the discussions I have led with other internal audit and risk management practitioners in the course of the last ten years under different titles: convergence, combined assurance, aligned assurance. However, […]

What is the color of Integrity?

In a recent my blogpost I have mentioned that I am a physicist by education. My favorite physicist was the Nobel-prize winner Richard P. Feynman. His book „Surely you‘re joking, Mr. Feynman“ was the reason I actually decided to study physics. Feynman‘s maybe greatest talent, one of which he was acutely aware of and prided […]

Integrity, physics and Turkish Coffee

In this post I philosophize about what Integrity means by making comparisons with Turkish coffee and physics, showings that three distinct parts must come together to have Integrity and that the absence of any of the three results in “pathologies” that can be compliant and even ethical but don’t have integrity.

Why are we Managing Compliance?

At the end of the day, it’s all about money. – Garry Kasparov One of our senior executives recently asked me over a cup of coffee: “Michael, why are we actually doing Compliance? Why are companies doing this?” I started answering something about being Ethical, Doing the Right Thing, Stakeholder expectations… But he interrupted me, […]

The dualistic relationship of Compliance and Ethics

Compliance without Ethics is blind. Ethics without Compliance is futile. I coined this meme some days ago and posted it, on LinkedIn, received some likes, a fair number of views but no comments. The idea of expressing the dualistic relationship between Ethics and Compliance had been floating about in my head for some time and […]

It’s Risk Management, Stupid!

When I first started my career, I was an internal auditor and the year was 2005. It was what I would call the “age of internal controls”. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) was just a few years old and the German multinationals subject to it had yet to comply with section 404 in their […]