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Compliance Entrepreneursí Handbook Review

Thursday 26 August 2021
Recommended Reading

“While you are still in-house, you want to start thinking about how to make the jump and how to have a successful business.”

There is no time like a pandemic for compliance professionals to take stock and see what they can improve, or even make a change. 

In those jurisdictions that are still in various stages of lockdown, compliance professionals have been delivering value for their organisations remotely, which has opened a space for the new opportunities and challenges.

However, this book is aimed at compliance professionals who might be considering starting their own businesses. 

In the foreword of the Compliance Entrepreneurs’ Handbook: Tools Tips, and Tactics to find your Killer Idea and Create Success on Your Own Terms is more than just how-to guide, it offers glimpses of some personal journeys who have taken the risk of starting out on their own.
Kristy Grant-Hart, Kirsten Liston, and Joseph Murphy share get down into minutiae of what taking the leap would entail specifically for compliance. 

“We wrote this book because while there are great books written about entrepreneurship, there weren’t any available specifically about starting a business in the compliance and ethics industry.”
The book is neatly divided into four sections:

  •  The inception
  • The execution
  • The marketing
  • The Exit strategy

Kristy Grant-Hart begins by charting her journey  from  acting, to law, to joining the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act group, to starting a publishing company, publishing her first book (How to be a Wildly Effective Compliance Officer), and building her own consultancy (Spark Compliance). 
Grant-Hart’s unique experience provided with unique skillset, but just like everyone else she had to rethink her goals and priorities in 2020:

When the COVID-19 crisis hit, I knew I would need to pivot. I couldn’t perform paid speaking engagements in a lockdown and traveling back and forth from Europe to West Virginia and California would have to stop for a while.

But even with this change compliance the E&C professional, author, speaker, business owner said that she hoped that she continues building and growing:

 I love my employees fiercely and appreciate everything that they do. I hope that I am always able to build businesses, both in the compliance world and beyond.

Joe Murphy started compliance consulting journey from the mid-1970s form legal launchpad.
It was through his work in the in the American telecommunication sector that he stumbled upon the idea of parts of organisations thinking beyond marketing and selling and were trying to do the right thing. 

We had separate groups that dealt with long-distance competitors and also competitive suppliers. From this, I learned that you could actually have groups in a company whose orientation was not simply selling to customers but being fair to competitors.

Like Grant-Hart, Joe Murphy also published a book on compliance, he co-authored Interactive Corporate Compliance--the difference being that this was the first book ever published on ethics and compliance back in 1988. 

His journey took him into the compliance and specifically into computer-based compliance training and also started his businesses. 
While Murphy’s compliance journey seems to begin with a growing awareness of compliance itself, Kirsten Liston took a job at Integrity International (which would eventually be bought by SAI Global).  Integrity International also happened to be the company that Joe Murphy was involved in setting up.

Liston balanced side hustles and or the writing and real-estate, but compliance during this process her work had become more interesting than she expected it to be: 

But also, compliance turned out to be genuinely interesting–full of the same kinds of human problems and dilemmas that had attracted me to writing in the first place.

Then some a major compliance challenges hit the news cycle:

All this changed when Enron collapsed in 2001, followed by the Tyco, WorldCom, HealthSouth, and other corporate accounting scandals. Congress responded by passing the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the most sweeping set of new business regulations since the 1930s.

For her, this seemed to really catapult the importance of integrity and compliance to the forefront. 
After the SAI Global buyout, Liston would then the begin her journey to start Rethink Compliance. 
Liston advocates some trial and error, to go all, but also to approach the new venture with humility. 

While the book is short (around 130 pages) it goes into a little the detail about some important legal aspects of having a go and taking the risk.