Clear Beyond Words   The More Carrot Blog

A Culture of Compliance: Now US Government-Approved!

by Josiah Fisk, July 19, 2012

It’s official: establishing a culture of compliance in the workplace – and communicating it clearly – can help you earn a get-out-of-jail card in the courtroom.

That’s the lesson of a recent joint decision by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the US Department of Justice (DOJ), and the US Federal Court for the District of Eastern New York. All three of these entities agreed not to hold Morgan Stanley responsible for criminal behavior by one of its employees. Their decision was based not just on the strength of Morgan Stanley’s compliance program but on the culture they saw reflected in that program.

As Mandy Roth puts it in an article in ComplianceEX, “The important thing with respect to the organization’s liability, at least from the government’s perspective, is whether [the employee’s] action is part of the corporate attitude or not.”

That distinction can be worth millions for a financial services firm — arguably tens or even hundreds of millions if you count not just fines but larger repercussions, such as reputation damage.

So what does it mean to take compliance seriously? According to Loretta Lynch, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, it means getting both the technical and the cultural aspects right.

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This Just In: In Business-To-Consumer Social Media, Simplicity Beats Engagement

by Josiah Fisk, July 17, 2012

For some of us, the most interesting part of the social media revolution isn’t what’s changing. It’s what some people assume is changing even though it obviously isn’t.

Take the idea of community, for instance. In the eons-long history of human community-forming, there is very little to suggest that we’re all hankering to have a group hug with, say, our trash bag manufacturer and our happy fellow trash-bag owners.

Yet some businesses seem to think that social media has magically awakened just such hankerings. In a recent study by the IBM Institute for Business Value, two-thirds of business leaders said they believed people followed their brands on social media because they “wanted to be part of a community.”

Does this make sense to you?

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Cover Story: How to Succeed in Getting into Harvard Business Review Without Really Trying

by Josiah Fisk, July 9, 2012

What does it take to get your company’s symbol on the cover of Harvard Business Review? In the happy case of More Carrot, apparently nothing. It happened all by itself. And they’re fast over there – we’ve barely been around for 3 months!

Although the whole thing is a coincidence, and although HBR’s carrot-related articles are about sales and not communications, there’s still a valid connection: in business thinking generally, as in communications, carrots are coming into season.

And what, exactly, is a carrot? In the traditional sense, it’s an external incentive (such as a sales bonus). Daniel Pink uses the word this way in an article in this issue of HBR.

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