FCPA Compliance and Ethics Blog

July 24, 2015

The Kitchen Debate Presages the FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report

Filed under: FCPA,FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report — tfoxlaw @ 7:31 am

Kitchen DebateOn this day in 1959, occurred one of the more iconic events of the Cold War, that being the Kitchen Debate between US Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. It was called ‘The Kitchen Debate’ because it occurred in a US exhibition in Moscow, showing casing American domestic scullery esthetics, in the form in the kitchen of a model home built in the exhibition, where the two men went at each other. Nixon suggested that Khrushchev’s constant threats of using nuclear missiles could lead to war, and he chided the Soviet for constantly interrupting him while he was speaking. Taking these words as a threat, Khrushchev warned of Nixon and America of “very bad consequences.” Perhaps feeling that the exchange had gone too far, the Soviet leader then noted that he simply wanted “peace with all other nations, especially America.” Nixon rather sheepishly stated that he had not “been a very good host.” Whether the world pulled back from the brink of war in this model home’s kitchen or not will never be known.

One thing that is known, however is that the recent podcasts, up on the FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report, continue to bring some of the most relevant and unique voices and issues to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and anti-corruption discussion. If you have never listened to any of my podcasts I would urge you to check them out on the website highlighted above or by going to iTunes and searching for the podcast name and subscribing. The price is certainly right, as all of the podcasts are available at no cost.

Some of my recent highlights are:

Episode 180-I discuss the recently announced FCPA Master Class training I will begin in September, detailing the highlights and the great course material you have come to expect from my blogsite, books, white papers, eBooks and other publications I put out.

Episode 179-Tim Peterson, a partner at Murphy and McGonigle, discusses the ever-growing FIFA bribery scandal and what it may mean for US companies. As a former SEC lawyer and current white collar practitioner, Tim brings a unique perspective to the ongoing discussion around the burgeoning affair. He explains its importance to both the US and international fight against corruption

Episode 178-Dr. Ben Locwin joined me to provide some of his unique insight into risk assessments. Ben is a true thought leader around business process and practices. He writes, speaks and consults extensively in this area, in the pharmaceutical industry. He has thought about and written extensively on risk assessments and he brings an interesting perspective to this discussion, outside of the traditional anti-corruption compliance practitioner approach.

Episode 177-tone in an organization. I explore how a compliance function can help to create and move an appropriate culture of compliance throughout a company. By creating a tone from the top, into the middle and down to the shop floor you can burn compliance into the very DNA of your organization. Learn how in this podcast.

Episode 176-Tim Treanor was the lead counsel for PetroTiger in its FCPA investigation and held the company to sustaining a Declination from the Department of Justice to prosecute the company. This Declination was recieved in the face of the company’s three top executives pleading guilty to FCPA violations. Tim has called this case one of the most significant corporate enforcement stories of the past several years. Tune in to this podcast to hear Tim explain how he achieved this result and why he deems it so important. Every CCO and compliance practitioner needs to listen to Tim’s recap of this matter.

Episode 175-well known lawyer and law firm consultant Debra Bruce visits with me about the dynamics of law firm funding outside the US and how she believes it will change not only the practice of law in the US but how it could well change the delivery of legal and compliance services going forward. Any lawyer in private practice or in-house needs to understand the dramatic changes that are occurring in the financing of law firms outside the US and how those changes will come to this country.

Episode 174-Compliance Week Managing Editor Matt Kelly returns to talk about the 5th anniversary of the Dodd-Frank Act, what it got right and where there is room for improvement. He also discusses Uber and compliance in an interesting analysis of Uber’s conundrum with the California Labor Board over an employee.

Episode 173-Adam Turteltaub joins me to preview some of the upcoming SCCE Institutes and discusses the 2015 Compliance and Ethics Institute to be held October 4-7 in Las Vegas. Adam highlights some of the keynote speakers and unique opportunities for compliance practitioner to work, learn and commiserate together.

Episode 172-in a ‘must listen’ for any Chief Compliance Officer or compliance practitioner, Scott Killingsworth visits the podcast to discuss the recent SEC enforcement efforts against CCOs individually and what it may mean for compliance practitioners going forward. He reviews the underlying facts and how the enforcement actions appear to be different from the SEC’s stated position how and when CCO’s will be prosecuted.

The above list is but a short summary of some of my recent podcasts. The FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report is the only podcast dedicated to the FCPA, anti-corruption, compliance and ethics. The episodes are all under 30 minutes so they are easy listening on the commute to work, at the gym or even walking around the neighborhood. If you have not done so, you should go over and take a listen.

Finally a huge shout out to my friend and colleague the FCPA Professor on turning 6 today. He brings a unique and distinctive voice to the FCPA discussions.

 

This publication contains general information only and is based on the experiences and research of the author. The author is not, by means of this publication, rendering business, legal advice, or other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such legal advice or services, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your business. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult a qualified legal advisor. The author, his affiliates, and related entities shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person or entity that relies on this publication. The Author gives his permission to link, post, distribute, or reference this article for any lawful purpose, provided attribution is made to the author. The author can be reached at tfox@tfoxlaw.com.

© Thomas R. Fox, 2015

March 10, 2014

Compliance Leadership Lessons from Captain Kirk

Captain KirkAs readers of this blog know, I am an über Star Trek maven. Last week, in Episode 41 of  my podcast, the FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report,  I visited with John Champion, one of the co-hosts of the Mission Log podcast. Mission Log will eventually review all of the Star Trek television episodes and movie franchise entries. John and his co-host Ken Ray began their journey summer of 2012 and have managed to get through all 79 episodes of the original Star Trek television series. They will next turn to the Star Trek movies, the animated television series, then to Star Trek – The Next Generation and on down the line of the world built by Gene Roddenberry.

I met John at the NMX Annual Conference earlier this year. I heard him talking about his podcast and checked it out. I also asked him if I could interview him for my podcast, specifically on the leadership lessons that a compliance practitioner might draw from the original captain of the Enterprise, James T. Kirk. John graciously took time out of busy schedule to visit with me on leadership, Star Trek and his podcast, Mission Log.

Champion views the leadership style of Captain Kirk as one that greatly depends on the inputs from the group that surrounds him; specifically Lt. Commander Spock and the ship’s physician, Dr. Leonard McCoy (Bones). In other words, his senior management team. More insightfully, Champion noted that it is the interplay of these three characters, Kirk, Spock and McCoy that not only makes the television series work so well but it also informs what he termed the “leadership psyche” of ethos, pathos and logos.

In the Greek world, these three were believed to be the key to successful leadership. Ethos is the Greek word for ‘character’. Through ethos, a leader stands as an authority figure, through credibility, competence and/or special expertise. Pathos is the Greek word for both ‘suffering’ and ‘experience’. It is generally recognized as the more compassionate side of humanity. Logos generally refers to the more rational side of humans. The best definition I have found for logos is on the site, PathosEthosLogos.com, which says that “Logos is the Greek word for “word,” however the true definition goes beyond that, and can be most closely described as that by which the inward thought is expressed and the inward thought itself”.

In the original Star Trek all three of these traits are identified in one character. Kirk, the ship’s captain, is the authoritarian figure. Spock, the half-human, half-Vulcan subscribes to the Vulcan ideology of suppressing one’s emotions in favor of logic. Finally, Bones is the romantic of the three and clearly speaks for the Greek concept of pathos. Champion’s dissection of Kirk’s leadership is that he takes all three of these concepts and uses them in his analysis. While clearly, at the end of the day, the decisions are the final responsibility of Kirk, he does actively seek input from his trusted advisors before coming to his final choice.

For the compliance practitioner, this means that you should seek a wide variety of inputs for your decision-making calculus. The Machiavellian trait of seeking trusted advise from experienced advisors, (Subject Matter Experts – SMEs) is certainly in play here. But by incorporating these three very different concepts into the way you might think through an issue can help you to evaluate a greater range of considerations. Monitoring, auditing and similar oversight techniques can bring you the logical examinations through data. But data is, in the final analysis, a product of human actions so the data must be read with some measure of humanity or human character. Values are not numbers but how we assign actions to that raw data? Finally, the ethos must be taken into account. Obviously there must be an ethical component to any decision made, but ethos also speaks to the character of the decision. Was the decision made using all the facts that were, or should have been, available to the decision-maker?

I thought about Champion’s remarks when I read the New York Times (NYT) Corner Office column by Adam Bryant, entitled “When Ideas Collide, Don’t Duck”. In this article, Bryant reported on his interview with Jeff Lawson, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Twillio, a cloud communications company. Lawson spoke about all three Greek leadership concepts in both his education in being a company head. From the ethos perspective, he spoke about his grandfather who built and sold a hardware company in Detroit. Then in his 70s, his grandfather took a job as a manufacturer’s representative, selling paint accessories to hardware stores that had previously been his competitors. His grandfather did this for another 20 years and when he died, Lawson said, “The Owner of every hardware store in Detroit came to the funeral. It was amazing.”

Lawson had another insight, which related to pathos and it revolved around feedback. He said, “This is especially important with millennial workers, who really want feedback. They want to always be learning, always be growing, and they’re looking for that constant feedback. It’s not that they’re looking for constant praise, but rather they want to keep score. They want to know how they’re doing.  Part of it is the short cycle of Internet feedback, and people who grew up with the Internet just expect quick feedback on things. That’s just part of the changing ethos, especially with younger workers. If you get into the habit of regular feedback, it’s not confrontational; it’s just the ebb and flow of conversation and a constant tweaking of how you work with somebody.”

Lawson incorporates the logos concept into his leadership set as well. He does this in the context of empowering employees to come up with new ideas but requires these employees to validate them to move forward. He said, “A lot of our values are about empowering employees. “Draw the owl” is a favorite. It’s based on the Internet meme of how to draw an owl. It says: “Step 1, draw some circles. Step 2, draw the rest of the owl.” That’s what it takes to be an entrepreneur — you have to put aside all the reasons you think you can’t do something or figure it out. Our job is to come in every day and take a vague problem that we don’t know how to solve and figure out the solution.”

Does art imitate life or does life imitate art? I am never too sure. But from my chat with John Champion, it is clear that even such a cultural marvel as Captain James T. Kirk can provide leadership lessons for the compliance practitioner.

If you have not yet done so, I hope you will go over and check out my podcasts at the FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report. I am up to Episode 41 and should have a couple more up this week. 

This publication contains general information only and is based on the experiences and research of the author. The author is not, by means of this publication, rendering business, legal advice, or other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such legal advice or services, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your business. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult a qualified legal advisor. The author, his affiliates, and related entities shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person or entity that relies on this publication. The Author gives his permission to link, post, distribute, or reference this article for any lawful purpose, provided attribution is made to the author. The author can be reached at tfox@tfoxlaw.com.

© Thomas R. Fox, 2014

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