Too often, leaders attempt to change the way people act without changing the way they think (i.e., their beliefs). As a result, they get compliance, but not commitment; involvement, but not investment; and progress, but not lasting performance. Thats not a compliance culture.
Compliance is not a great word… it has mixed connotations; dictionaries list synonyms such as conformity, consent, obedience and observance alongside complaisance, docility, resignation and submissiveness. If you want to be a compliant organisation what approach needs to be taken?
Managing change is key
The ‘need for change’, and the subsequent enforced compliance, has been an excuse for many atrocities in this world. However, on so many occasions the change has been applied to the symptom and not the underlying cause.
If a leader sees the symptoms of applying a regulation or standard as an ‘overhead’, a ‘burden’ or a ‘necessary evil’ then the people in the organisation will become docile, submissive and complaisant. However, if the leader seeks to appreciate the reasons for a rule then, with good communication, they can inspire innovation and the people will strive to find the best way to stay within the rules whilst benefiting the organisations productivity and reputation.
Building a dynamic governance environment which isn’t hidden behind board room doors is important. Involving everyone in building the organisation they want to work in creates a spirit of cooperation. Managing organisational change can be done transparently an openly (See also the Equation of Compliance)
A dynamic governance, with managed change and open communications – That’s not just compliance, thats a compliance culture.