When Prosecutors & Compliance Officers Agree: Interview with Richard Bistrong

Masters of Disaster features Richard Bistrong, fresh from the Compliance Week 2016 in D.C. We discuss the most memorable underlying approaches to compliance talked about among thought leaders and practitioners in the field. The compliance community seems to be evolving.  Messages from both prosecutors and private industry now speak more holistically on how to view the effectiveness of a compliance program than they did a few years ago.  Compliance professionals and government prosecutors are both moving away from a myopic focus on compliance as a set of policies, to a compliance strategy focused on disincentivizing wrongdoing by the Chief Compliance Officer becoming a strategic partner to the business.  

Richard Bistrong is CEO of Front-Line Anti-Bribery LLC, a consultancy that engages organizations seeking to take their compliance efforts beyond the traditional "bolt-on" set of rules and procedures. Richard’s story highlights the importance of identifying both "spoken and unspoken" organizational messages, including forecasts and compensation, that might have unintentional consequences on the behavior of front-line employees who may be inadvertently rewarded for bad behavior contrary to the stated intentions of leadership.

He also looks at ethical behaviors and messaging as potential red-flags of decision making.  
With respect to bribery in particular, Richard also provides a point of view on how training and tools might be created to provide those at the front-lines with a deeper understanding of why bribery is never a "win-win," which is an illusion too often embraced at the front-lines of international business. Having spent the better part of ten years living and traveling in high-risk areas through the "dark side" of international business, he shares his own perfect storm of "rationalizing bribery" as an insightful perspective to help organizations better understand how corruption is confronted at the field level of international business.

The risk of corruption in the field remains great, and corporate personnel are tasked with business growth in high-risk areas, often working among corrupt local officials, third parties, and other entities. Keeping company employees on the ethical "right side" does not happen without engagement, understanding and training. Front-Line Anti-Bribery LLC is centered on helping organizations with those "where to start" moments and the comfort that you can "fix what you know."

In other words, while you might have a robust compliance department & program, but is it understood at the front-line of business where policies & procedures meet the behaviors? Richard’s experience and journey is there to help you calibrate programs to factor in realities in the field.

Richard Bistrong richardbistrong@gmail.com   
Front-Line Anti-Bribery LLC 
Compliance Week 2016