The corporate compliance disasters at Michigan State University, Uber, and Wells Fargo led to very high financial cost, and cost CEOs and other top brass their jobs. How can leaders avoid compliance fiascos? I was able to provide my perspective in an article on Michigan State in The Detroit Free Press (The Free Press writer’s name is similar to mine, but it’s not my article):
It can also help to make sure the rules are being applied to everyone fairly and not waived for important people, said David Jaffe, an attorney specializing in compliance and the former vice president, general counsel and secretary of Guardian Industries Corp. of Auburn Hills, along with former partner in the law firm of Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn in Detroit.
“The CCO will have to help the university build a culture in which every employee — and student — understands that her or his boss, and the institution, expect ethical conduct and compliance, in which there is one standard of conduct for everyone, no matter how important, and in which asking questions and reporting possible violations are encouraged and retaliation is prevented,” Jaffe said. “This is all good to do. It will be extremely helpful if there’s also work on the culture. The devil will be in the details and in the level of independence that the office will have.”
(Photo: Robert Killips, Lansing State Journal)