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Compliance and Data Protection: Leadership and culture

Compliance: Company culture

By José María Balboa. Teacher «Compliance regulatory framework». Master in Compliance & Data Protection Management of the EIP International Business School.

Compliance cannot be an isolated fact in the organization and the same thing happens when we talk about culture of compliance or ethics, a very indeterminate concept by the way, which we cannot afford to separate from the culture of a company.

As each organization is unique, its culture is also unique, we cannot pretend from a compliance function to try to establish values or beliefs that do not interact with the rest of the organization, and if we consider that the existing ones are not appropriate or we find ourselves in the circle of continuous improvement, let's work to change and improve them with the leaders of the organization. The call tone from the top, so different from tone at the top, What and how we as leaders of the organization transmit, influencing people's behavior.

This culture is not an automatic process Nor can we expect to create it in the short term, it is one of the so-called “long-distance careers”, and involves people who in turn have their own values and ethical principles that do not always correspond with those of the organization.

Any norm or standard emphasizes it, and we could say that it is a essential element In any compliance system, it is clear that if the people who make up our organization are not able to decide whether a behavior may be irregular, or at least ask about it, there is a cultural deficit that we must address. Specifically in Spain, Circular 1/2016 of the State Attorney General's Office establishes that “The organization and management models not only aim to avoid criminal sanctions for the company but also promote a true ethical business culture” And although we do not find culture as an express requirement in the standard, it is still a fundamental reference when assessing the effectiveness of any compliance system.

What to take into account regarding a Compliance culture?

Analyzing our organization, its context, knowing the sector we are in, its dimensions in every sense (financial, human resources, etc.) is essential so that we can implement a culture of real compliance. And of course make measurements, what is not measured does not exist, and it is essential that we analyze the state of our culture.

And although there is no magic formula or methodology that guarantees success, let us not forget that communicating and training are the cornerstones of creating a true culture of compliance.

Do you want to specialize in Compliance Management and data protection?

He Master in Compliance & Data Protection Management will make you a highly qualified professional with the necessary skills to carry out specialized tasks in two of the most relevant areas for both private businesses as for public administrations: data protection and regulatory compliance or Compliance.


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