Ethics & Integrity In Volatile Times

News . . . the roller-coaster of information pouring into us about the tumultuous times we live in can be overwhelming.  The current focus on the economy in the wake of an ongoing shake-up in Wall Street has many living on the edge of their seats – uncertain about the future.

 
There definitely is a need for a correction in the course of our economy and financial markets.  Whether one is for or against an economic bailout – one thing is certain . . . the financial markets need to be fixed.  What the US, and the World, for that matter is facing now is much more significant than the Enron and WorldCom scandals that opened the 21st Century. The writing is on the wall – tighter regulation and restructuring of regulatory oversight will happen.  This is unfortunate for libertarians and free market capitalists, but it appears to be the inevitable at this point.  There is and will be a continued look at fraud and wrong-doing with a push to hold executives accountable.
 
What does this mean to the GRC market?  It means opportunity and growth.  We will see a renewed focus on corporate and political ethics and integrity.  Organizations will strive to communicate ethics and further establish a culture of compliance within organizations. 
 
However, ethics is not something that is simply taught – but also is enforced.  It is hard to get a way from discussions of philosophy and theology when it comes to these matters.  Myself, I am a Calvinist and believe that man has a depraved nature and inclined to make bad choices.  Ethics and integrity training by itself is not complete.  What will be demanded from regulators and stakeholders is accountability and oversight.  The fallout will mean more than stronger corporate values, better training, and ongoing communication of policies.  It will also require stronger processes for monitoring and enforcement of policy.  To keep people, whether there intentions are overtly malicious or not, doing the right thing.  The fallout will also require a revisiting reporting and investigations processes.
 
While many parts of the economy will suffer if a recession will bare down on us, the market for products and services to establish a culture of governance, risk, and compliance oversight will remain strong.  GRC solutions and services will be the prescription ordered to help cure the ailments upon business and the financial markets.
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