The F-Word

Impactful communication on the outcome of 2nd line monitoring is not only a key for a successful transformation into learnings and sustainable improvements. It also helps establishing the Compliance function as a valued and trusted partner rather than pointing fingers and blaming people for mistakes and misbehaviour, at least for the more frequent, less serious deviations.

Auditors usually call the detected deviations as findings and there is often no room for discussion.

You may call it semantics, but I strongly believe that FINDING is not the word to be used when Compliance informs about the monitoring outcome. “Finding” has a negative connotation and can be perceived as an irrevocable verdict, not least because people are used to this term from audits.

The term OBSERVATION should be used instead. A monitoring “Observation” shared with the implicated person or the management sounds more neutral, facilitates the discussion about the reason for the mistake, offers the opportunity to clarify facts, and ultimately helps moving Compliance away from the perception of internal police towards a valued and trusted business partner.  

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