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How to build corporate culture: Part 1

Anders Ling ( is Managing Director at Compass Consulting, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

What is in it for me? This particular question is raised consciously—or subconsciously—by most people when asked or told to do something. Unless there is something in it for us, we tend to give it less priority than other matters where we have something to gain. Sound familiar?

As risk management, compliance, and ethics practitioners, it is something we face on a daily basis. We have tried explaining that “the right thing to do”—complying with laws and regulations; protecting the company, its people, customers, and other stakeholders; or doing things for the greater good—is the basis for all our work and undertakings. When that didn’t work, we went to the traditional carrot-and-stick approach.

Although we may have a robust and mature enterprise risk management framework in place and despite comprehensive mandatory trainings, ongoing monitoring, and risk management being embedded in business processes, the first line of defense tends to fail again and again. The risk management and compliance and ethics function is becoming more and more of a goalkeeper; as goalkeepers, we cannot win the game—the best we can achieve is a draw, preventing a loss.

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