Reflections on Compliance Week and Policy Management
Recently I had the pleasure of attending Compliance Week 2018 in Washington, DC. Each year, the U.S. conference is held at the historic Mayflower Hotel where somewhere between four and five hundred attendees gather at this peer-to-peer event to gain new insights and education from industry leaders in governance, risk, and compliance.
As an exhibitor, it’s such a great opportunity to shake hands, meet people, and listen to the different challenges and goals people have with regards to their risk, ethics, and compliance programs. We love helping businesses solve problems and become more efficient in these areas, particularly when it comes to policy management. So in that regard, we showcased a number of different solutions that could help depending on their level of need and the level of program maturity they were looking for.
The motivations behind compliance
Most of our conversations at the booth centered around policy and procedure management in some form or fashion. It was interesting to hear what motivated people to want to look into a policy and procedure management solution.
Some folks were motivated by extreme regulatory and compliance pressures, looking for a solution that could provide them with a defensible compliance program. Others were looking for something that untangled the web of complexities and inefficiencies that occur while trying to manage policies and procedures manually. Finally, there were others that were looking for a complete solution that did both.
My favorite policy management panel
One of my favorite parts of the event this year was the round table on selling policy management to the board. After all, why would the board or senior leadership buy into the idea of investing money and resources into policy and procedure management?
I liked this particular round table for three main reasons:
- Because I appreciated the small, intimate setting of about 20 different functional compliance leaders representing companies from all over the country.
- I liked listening to these leaders talk to each other about a host of topics and issues around policy and procedure management.
- The roundtable was not about anyone pitching products or trying to sell anything. It was simply industry leaders sitting around a table having coffee and talking shop. Sharing their experiences with each other and helping each other solve various issues they faced.
I constantly feel like I’m trying to explain the value and need for robust policy management, so you can imagine how I felt just sitting back and listening to compliance leaders talking amongst themselves about why policy management is so important and what people felt was needed for effective management of policies and procedures.
There was a lot of discussion around making things simple and easy for end users. Things like having a single location to store all policies to make it easier and faster for end users to find what they need. Or the need for minimal end-user training, and simple-to-understand policy language.
Other topics they discussed were things like how to measure the effectiveness of a robust policy and procedure management program, the pitfalls of policy management and how to avoid them, common struggles and what to do when things go wrong, and the different ways technology can help create a robust compliance program and create a culture of ethics and compliance.
This was my time to close my mouth, take notes, listen, and learn about what was really working and what wasn’t within compliance programs.
I listened as different leaders shared their experiences and perspectives with the group on best practices and solutions that have helped them achieve success in their compliance programs. I also took note on how candid they were about sharing their failures and frustrations either to get some help from others around the table or to share some insights that could potentially help others avoid those same issues.
In the end, I felt like those that participated in this round table really got some value out of it and were able to walk away with various nuggets of information that they could take back with them after the show. I know I did for sure. Not only that, it was a great way to meet some like-minded folks and make some good industry connections.
Looking for more information on compliance and policy management? Here’s some other helpful resources: