As a profession are we in danger of over complicating compliance? We have a substantial (and growing!) regulatory regime to meet, however the spirit is all about acting in the customers best interests. Having provided numerous Compliance subject matter experts for both Interim and Permanent roles, the most successful engagements show some common traits that are worth sharing:
1. Know the rules. It goes without saying that subject matter knowledge is key. Being up to speed with the regulations and understanding what is on the horizon through continuous personal development, white papers and networking within compliance groups will pay dividends.
2. Understand the business you operate in. There is often a disconnect between the commercial and technical reality of the business and the compliance function. Without this the compliance professional can't fully understand the inherent risks in the business strategy or specific products and processes.
3. Engage. Executives and Stakeholders need to know very simply “What does this mean for me?” Translating complex regulations into easily understood implications. Stakeholders need to know the implications and what they have to do to comply, in simple language that we can all understand.
4. Be collaborative. Go out and actively build relationships across the organisation, and develop exceptional stakeholder management and communication skills. Win over the business through great salesmanship, sell the benefits.
5. Cultivate a compliance environment. Lead by example through demonstrating the right behaviours. Stop, think, are we acting in the customers best interests?
6. Empathy. The business and stakeholders are all under considerable pressure and pressed for time. It really pays to empathise with stakeholders, understand their business and their issues.
Compliance is very much front of mind at Board level, and may seem complicated, let’s keep it simple.