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Culture and the International compliance Standard

Friday 17 December 2021

This week the GRC Institute hosted an event run by Deloitte looking at  37031 Compliance Management System through the lens of culture.

The new international standard in compliance management was published in the first quarter of 2021.

A panel consisting of the GRC Institute Chair & Partner Deloitte for the Asia Pacific Heather Loewenthal, Deloitte partner for integrity  Professor Dean Sanders and Deloitte Risk Advisory Director Murray Lawson asked companies that looking to inculcate the new the ISO standard into the compliance framework to look beyond their regulatory obligations and consider the needs of all their stakeholders.

A brief snapshot
Murray Lawson stressed that taking the stakeholder into consideration is not just about considering the stakeholder needs but also stakeholder perception the about abut the compliance culture of the organisation.

Lawson challenges that compliance is a loaded concept.

“I often have  internal philosophical battles with the term compliance anyway. Is compliance what we should be driving for? Compliance still smacks of here is my rules and stick to them.”

Professor Dean Sanders addressed the challenges of identifying, measuring, and changing in organisations.

“I think that acknowledging culture as a living construct not just dead thing that can be limited to rules is the first step in understanding in how we combat it.”

Professor Sanders also highlighted the complexity of the different teams within an organisation having their own cultures,  which while all being  different, are  ‘authorised’ the executive culture.
“That is the culture of executive leadership and that is the culture that we really want to talk about when it comes to things like compliance. How it is operationalised by the officers on the ground is different, radically.”
Heather Loewenthal  highlights that the tone from the top is just not a phrase but has the impact compliance culture.

“From whether or not the Board will grant funding to whether or not the programs for reg change , and those sorts of things, will be embraced. And very much in all my experience the group executive, or whatever  you want to call them, looks straight to the CEO for a nod in a board meeting.”

She emphasised that support from the top is critical.

“I was really pleased when the standard also, apart from emphasising culture,  really put a greater emphasis on leadership and governing body  and those sorts of things, because they go hand in hand.”