Last week we had a great talk with an esteemed consultant about compliance and how to go about it. He had quite a nice way of approaching it. It was during this call he dropped the phrase:
“Compliance is a moving target”
This made me think about being compliant and how it changes all the time. It actually is a moving target, and that’s what makes working in compliance such an exciting job.
Within the environment of a business, changes happen all the time, new employees enter, employees leave, laws change, standards change, customers demand change, and so on. Every change has an impact on the compliance of a company and can definitely be seen as a moving target. It would be a utopian vision to think you as a company is 100% compliant—it is mostly based on best efforts and, sometimes, interpretations. Hence, stating that a company is compliant simply because it passed an audit doesn’t make lots of sense, although it is common to do this. There are always changes that have an influence on the level of compliance. When a law changes, the organization needs to adopt this change. When a new employee enters, they need to be trained how to work properly.
The Fun Part
Because compliance is a moving target, it comes with so many challenges. This is for most people working in it what makes the job exciting. Changes are required, and support by the employees is a necessity. This balancing act between the hard requirements and the human touch is what makes working in compliance so great. Chasing that moving target and getting as close as possible to being 100% compliant is the goal and is something compliance managers don’t do on their own. It is most definitely a team sport and something that is done with every single person in the company. This isn’t always easy because not everyone is as excited about compliance management as we are, but they all have the power to break the chain, with ease.
Even as a compliance platform, we don’t believe that buying a compliance platform makes you fully compliant. Technology is there to support not lead. All the rules and regulations, laws and standards are man-made and, therefore, can be pretty fuzzy. Because of that, people need to interpret them in order to place it in the right context. Technology isn’t in the same league as humans when it comes to this. You need to be involved in the compliance processes as a human for quite some time. Which is great because it is a great job to do.