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Harry Cassin
Publisher and Editor

Andy Spalding
Senior Editor

Jessica Tillipman
Senior Editor

Bill Steinman
Senior Editor

Richard L. Cassin
Editor at Large

Elizabeth K. Spahn
Editor Emeritus

Cody Worthington
Contributing Editor

Julie DiMauro
Contributing Editor

Thomas Fox
Contributing Editor

Marc Alain Bohn
Contributing Editor

Bill Waite
Contributing Editor

Shruti J. Shah
Contributing Editor

Russell A. Stamets
Contributing Editor

Richard Bistrong
Contributing Editor

Eric Carlson
Contributing Editor

Use check-ins to beat the ‘dangerous silence’

When I was beating my sales targets every quarter over the course of a decade, it’s understandable why no one wanted to uncover anything that might disturb those results. So a “dangerous silence” marked my relationships with both peers and those above me in the chain of command.

During my time as a sales executive, I thought of myself as an island. I never grasped  my role and responsibility as a guardian and gatekeeper of my former employer’s reputation.

I didn’t check in with my company during that decade in the field, and they didn’t check in with me. That was before the advent of technology like Gabbi. Had my company deployed Gabbi, I could have had regular check-ins on my phone — from airport lounges, city hotels, or border crossings. 

Working alone, remotely and thinly supervised, I sadly thought of my conduct as a win-win, whereby my company enjoyed tremendous sales increases, my channel partners moved to the next opportunity, and often poorly paid public officials got a little something to make ends meet. And of course, I made my objectives and hence, my bonus; I wasn’t thinking of the wider ethical implications of my conduct, on society, on innocent employees and customers, and most regretfully, on my health and family.

While it’s hard to speculate if Gabbi would have changed my own trajectory, what’s not speculative is the rising  expectations of regulators. The Department of Justice, for example, in its recent release of “Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs,” addresses the importance of accessibility, availability and frequency of compliance messaging, measurement and communications. And in our world of technology, that goes well beyond annual on-line training and annual certifications. As we often hear, “there’s an app for that.”

So, how do we get everyone to embrace the crucial idea that ethics, compliance, and the law applies to them 24/7, no matter how far from HQ they might work and reside?

If the goal is to keep your people and company safe, between those annual certifications, then it’s time for your executives, employees, and third parties to start checking in.

There’s a lot of talk these days about the importance and role of “behavior nudges” to point us to the right side of ethical decision making. So can a simple smart-phone check-in help us to overcome the “dangerous silence” and change the direction of someone’s life? If you would like to find out, it’s a click away here.


Richard Bistrongpictured above, is a contributing editor of the FCPA Blog and the brand ambassador for Gabbi, the compliance check-in app. He’s the CEO of Front-Line Anti-Bribery LLC and was named by Thomson Reuters in 2018 as a Top 50 Social Influencer in Risk, Compliance and RegTech. The trailer to his award winning anti-bribery training video, co-produced with Mastercard, can be found here.

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