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Nicole Rose: I need chicken soup for the compliance soul

While sitting around feeling sorry for myself with the flu — after I had to cancel a number of meetings and a trip to Europe — I am reminded of the need for preventative action. Was there something I could have done to prevent this nasty infiltration on my body?

Of course there was! I am kicking myself for not taking my Jewish penicillin earlier. Chicken soup is a brilliant remedy but would have been far more useful when the symptoms kicked in rather than when they already exist.

And it got me thinking? Is there something that we can offer to people who experience symptoms of bribery and corruption that is just as comforting, warming and heartfelt as chicken soup?

People love a good story. We love to reminisce over what company got what penalty. We love stories of people who did ridiculous, blatant, clever or plain stupid acts. We muse over the billions spent in fines, legal fees and management time. We analyze prison sentences, crimes, corrupt payments, corrupt action, and corrupt consequences.

However, these stories are clearly not deterrents as corruption is just as prevalent as ever, if not more so.

When was the last time we heard a good-news story? About someone who said no to corruption. Or who foiled the third party agent’s ploy to siphon money from to his local government official brother. Or who refused to do business without a proper contract in place.

How about the person who produced their company policy in a meeting when asked for a bribe? Or who refused to pay a bribe at the border, or person who didn’t succumb to lavish entertainment, Christmas gifts, expensive travel and attractive sporting events?

The point is that there are loads of instances of the above.

I know from some great companies I have worked with that these situations do happen — in fact, every day. But we don’t learn about them because people aren’t publicly commended for compliance. 

Many companies will reward their employees for great customer service. Some name an “employee of the month” and highlight their achievements. This is particularly prevalent in the hotel industry. But compliance heroes? We don’t here about them.

Jack Canfield’s Chicken Soup for the Soul series (now consisting of around 200 books) focuses on examples of the best qualities we share as human beings: compassion, grace, forgiveness, generosity and faith.

What if we could read compliance stories that, as the front cover of the Chicken Soup books says, “restores your faith in human nature”?

How about if people who faced real compliance dilemmas shared their stories of courage, grace, and fortitude from the front lines?

The idea is to share the difficult scenarios and temptations and how people responded in real life situations.

There must be thousands of stories that would hearten any drizzly rainy day and potentially prevent those horrid corruption symptoms kicking in.

I am serious about putting these stories together. No need for names, they just need to be true and inspiring.

Contact me here.


Nicole Rose is CEO of Create Training. She’s a lawyer, trainer, writer and artist. Together with her team of animators and artists, Create Training has been making compliance training videos for learners around the world. It can customize training in any language and also has a collection of animated compliance training videos Follow her on Twitter @createtraining2. Contact her here.

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1 Comment

  1. Hi Nicole, couldn't agree more—celebrating these 'good news' stories is very much part of creating a culture of integrity. To promote ethical behaviour, rewarding people for 'right' behaviours—the carrot—acts as a crucial counterpart to the stick of compliance, an issue covered in our book Creating a Culture of Integrity: Business Ethics for the 21st Century. Good examples of companies who do this include GE and Walmart's Integrity in Action award program. Look forward to seeing your Chicken Soup story collection! Best wishes, Andrea

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