Lesson 2. Fill Every Hole That the Rats Might Get Through

I once walked into work with a belt and suspenders on. Marc said, “So you’re a belt and suspenders kind of guy?” I really didn’t get the point/joke he was making. Later I figured out that if you have suspenders on, you don’t need a belt. He was giving me the business in a fun-loving way, but as I write this I realize he was wrong―very wrong. The fact that I was wearing a belt and suspenders was brilliant. In fact, I should have had rope, some glue, and duct tape holding up my pants. I should have responded, “What? Are you kidding? You taught me to do this.” You see, Marc always threw the kitchen sink at a high-risk area.

My next office . . . filled with all the tools I could ever need.

(Photo courtesy of the author)

This lesson eventually became one of the keys to the success of our compliance program. We threw many solutions at a problem at the same time. Marc’s solution to potential high-risk problems involved carpet-bombing, just like the enforcement communities carpet-bombed organizations with settlements and corporate integrity agreements. He talked with people who went through what he was about to go through. He didn’t just take the best of the good ideas―he simultaneously implemented all the good ideas he could find. He surrounded high-risk potential problems with many solutions. He filled every hole that the rats might get through.

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