[0] => WP_Post Object
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            [post_date] => 2015-09-30 15:00:34
            [post_date_gmt] => 2015-09-30 15:00:34
            [post_content] => 

This month once again saw hundreds of junior infants heading off to school for the first time, small spines straining under the weight of new satchels and shiny lunchboxes filled with hummus and carrot sticks (to be replaced by ham sandwiches within days) with small arms barely poking out of the sleeves of school blazers that they may grow into, eventually. All fresh and eager to learn their ABCs…



So how are your ABCs? No, not the rudimentary elements of reading and writing; rather the fundamental building blocks of ethical business practice - your Anti-Bribery & Corruption procedures. Just as children have to learn basic rules to develop literacy and writing skills, so do executives need to fully understand their compliance responsibilities and be given the tools and training to equip them with the skills necessary to make ethical business decisions. Now more than ever.

Orange is the new black….

Two weeks ago, in a dramatic new step-up in the enforcement of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Deputy AG Sally Yates issued a memo to all US attorneys, announcing a policy to prioritise the prosecutions of individual employees involved in corporate crime— not just their companies - and to put pressure on corporations to turn over evidence against those culpable executives. Add to this the trend in overseas enforcement. To date the focus has been squarely on the traditional hotspots of China, Russia, Africa, and Southeast Asia, but more recently there has been a clear uptick in anti-bribery activity across Europe to0 - all contributing to the eye-watering total of over $5b in fines collected in the last 5 years alone.

orange is the new

Closer to home, the London-based Serious Fraud Office secured its first conviction under the 2011 UK Bribery Act last December in connection with a Ponzi fraud scheme, with combined sentences of 28 years for the 3 men involved. The extra-territorial reach of this draconian piece of law should also not be under-estimated, particularly when you consider the UK is our largest trading partner by far. And soon it will be our turn: the Criminal Justice (Corruption) Bill is waiting in the wings. When enacted, it will:
  • Outlaw both giving and receiving bribes
  • Cover both the public and commercial sectors
  • Make corporate bodies liable for the corrupt actions of their directors, employees and agents
  • Require those companies to “take all reasonable steps” and “exercise all due diligence” to prevent corrupt practices.
Oh – and directors and managers who “wilfully neglect” the commission of an offence will also be criminally liable. Potential sanctions: unlimited fines and penalties of up to 10 years in prison. The sorry fact is that most Irish businesses are woefully unprepared. Now is the time for action.



Check your Kitbag:

At a minimum you will need to:
  • Appoint a compliance lead and carry out a corruption risk assessment
  • Put in place an anti-bribery policy and roll-out related training
  • Embed anti-corruption controls and due diligence procedures
  • Ensure an effective “whistleblowing” channel is available
  • Review investigation and disciplinary protocols
  • Initiate monitoring and review procedures for board and executive
  Above all, as we all know, “culture eats strategy for breakfast”, there must be appropriate and genuine Tone from the Top. Without that it’s all talking but no walking. And that’s the thing about ABCs – there is simply no room for an F.

In the IMI we have developed a specialised Diploma in the Management of Compliance, which is designed to help both organisations and individual managers to meet the challenges of doing the right thing - everywhere.

  Ros O’Shea is the Programme Director of the IMI Diploma in the Management of Compliance and lectures on the topic of ethical leadership and governance on a wide range of IMI. She is also an independent director and a partner in Acorn Governance Services.   Download our new e-book on Compliance Essentials 2015  [post_title] => Back to school: how are your ABC’s? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => back-school-abcs [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-05-11 20:41:07 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-05-11 20:41:07 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4780 [post_author] => 7 [post_date] => 2013-09-10 15:15:30 [post_date_gmt] => 2013-09-10 15:15:30 [post_content] => It's that time of year when the summer days shorten, the morning rush hour gets busy again and the nation's children pack their bags for school. But what about the rest of us? What are we packing? What are we planning to learn?

Knowledge-is-power (via faronics)

While we often hear phrases such as 'you learn something new everyday' or 'it's never too late to learn' – it's always worth reflecting on how active you are in doing this: Do you sit down and reflect at the end of the day and ask yourself – what did I learn today? Did I improve myself? How can I do better? I am always so impressed by the participants I work with who are continuing to learn throughout their careers.  I mentor managers on IMI's Business Research Programme who, having initially undertaken a Diploma programme are now on the road to earning a Masters.  Their projects are always all the more relevant and interesting because they have emerged from their own learning  journey. Taking the first step can be daunting. The challenge is often in overcoming the feeling that you are somehow too far along in your life or career.  I've even heard people say 'I'm too set in my ways to learn anything, too old to change' - this attitude infuriates me! I am prompted to tell a story about my Grandad. I had the privilege of having the company of my grandparents for a long time into my adulthood. They were always interested in current affairs, in our young lives and followed everything closely. They were also keen followers of sports and my Grandad in particular, Jimmy, loved to travel to matches and race meetings in his younger days and then, as he aged, he got great joy from sports on television. One day he asked me did I follow the cricket. He then went on to say how he had taken it up recently. He had never really understood it before but now that he had taken the time to study and learn the rules he understood the game and was getting a great kick out of it. I found this inspiring – to take the time to understand something new and different, to figure it out so that he could appreciate it better. If Grandad could take on a new sport at his age – I could learn anything! Did I mention he was 100 at the time? It's never too late to learn. This year don't just watch the kids do it, think about going back to school yourself or take the time to understand something different and unfamiliar. Find your thirst for new knowledge and skills. Don't stay in a work silo, talk to new people, look at others' perspectives and needs, figure out how you can work better with new ideas and experiences. It was that same positive attitude of wanting to learn something new, to make the effort to understand something different that helped keep Grandad interested, alert and up-to-date, right to the end of his life, even as he dipped his toe in a third century. (J.F. Meagher, 1887- 2002) [post_title] => Back to school: What will you learn this year? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => back-to-school-what-will-you-learn-this-year-6 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-05-11 21:33:56 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-05-11 21:33:56 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 25268 [post_author] => 7 [post_date] => 2019-04-01 13:59:24 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-04-01 13:59:24 [post_content] => [post_title] => The Three Circles of Creativity [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => three-circles-creativity [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-05-07 16:22:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-05-07 16:22:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) )


5th Apr 2017

Costas Markides is an IMI associate who teaches on the Senior Executive Programme.

Related Articles

Back to school: how are your ABC’s?
Back to school: What will you learn this year?
The Three Circles of Creativity

Do Schools Destroy Creativity?

Research by Professor George Land has shown an alarming decline in our creativity as we go through the educational system.  For example, when a group of 3-5 year-olds were tested for divergent thinking (a prerequisite to creativity), about 98% were rated as “genius in creativity”.  The same children were tested again five years later and—alarmingly—the creativity geniuses had fallen to 32% of the sample.  Even worse, when the same kids were tested again five years later when they were teenagers, only 12% were rated as geniuses in creativity.  When a group of adults (over the age of 25) was given the test, only 2% received the “genius” rating.

3-5 year-olds have hugely divergent thinking (Photo source)

These are of course depressing statistics, and people have used them to argue that there is something fundamentally wrong with our educational system.  For example, Sir Ken Robinson has eloquently argued that instead of promoting our children’s curiosity and sense of adventure, schools tend to encourage conformity and kill creativity.  He has passionately demanded a complete restructuring of the educational systems of the Western world.

Without disputing the need to re-think our educational systems, I wonder whether there is another way to look at these numbers.  As most of us would agree, there are positive things coming out of our current educational system (along with the negatives). Thus, we should be careful not to destroy the positives in an attempt to remove the negatives.  There is no sense in throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Yes, schools teach us to conform.  And yes, this harms our creativity.  But conformity has its benefits as well—for example, it makes us better, efficient and law-abiding citizens.  Rather than risk losing all this in an attempt to reclaim our creativity potential, how about if we keep the educational system as is and search for alternative ways to improve our creativity?  For example, Jeff Howe, in his book Crowdsourcing, estimated that the probability of finding the correct answer in the game: Who Wants to be a Millionaire is increased by 65% when we phone a friend and by 91% when we ask the audience.  This suggests that we don’t necessarily have to find the answer ourselves.  All we need to do is ask someone else.

Academics call this Open Innovation—rather than try to come up with creative ideas yourself or on your own, it may be better to acknowledge that somebody else out there may already have the idea or the answer.  Thus, even if only 2% of people in the whole universe can be considered “creative”, the trick is to find ways to access them and their ideas.  The solution to our schools destroying our creativity is not to revamp our schools; it may be to practice “open innovation” in a more strategic way.

Costas Markides is an IMI associate who teaches on the Senior Executive Programme.  Costas is Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship and holds the Robert P. Bauman Chair of Strategic Leadership at the London Business School.  He is a researcher and widely published author on the topics of diversification, strategic innovation, business-model innovation and international acquisitions.   He was named one of the Top 50  Most Influential Management Gurus by Thinkers50 in 2011.