The Critical Path to Add Compliance to Strategy

Organizations may not recognize that strategic plans should include a compliance component.  Compliance officers frequently look outward to monitor regulatory enforcement initiatives and assess associated risks.  An organization’s compliance program can contribute significant value to key strategic initiatives by recognizing and proactively managing compliance risks associated with those initiatives. 

Now:  A thorough compliance risk assessment and the organization’s strategic plan can be harmonized to prioritize and manage compliance risks that can complicate or derail strategic goals.  A good place for this exercise is the organization’s Compliance Committee.  Operational and administrative leaders can benefit from the melding of the strategic plan and the compliance risk assessment, assuring each is accurate and focused appropriately to reduce compliance risks in strategic implementations. 

Next Week: Once compliance risks are assessed and matched to the strategic plan, choose, implement, and persevere in following a continuous performance improvement approach.  There are many to choose from, such as the iterative “Plan-Do-Check-Adjust” or PDCA management method, where each strategic goal will have an associated plan including assessment milestones and assigned accountability.  Some other methods for assessing a process include Lean Management (reducing waste while increasing quality); Six Sigma (reducing costs and defects); Agile (using various “tools” to meet or exceed performance objectives); and combinations of these and other recognized process improvement methods.   

Next:  Recognize an ongoing, collaborative relationship between compliance and strategic leaders.  An ongoing effort by the Compliance Committee to monitor the compliance aspects of implementing the strategic plan will pay great dividends.  By strengthening the understanding of C-suite and senior leaders about the importance of compliance to strategy, the organization will improve its potential while reducing the risk associated with new strategic initiatives, particularly those that involve innovation on the compliance frontier.