Lisa Beth Lentini Walker and Stef Tschida on Becoming an Organizational Scholar [Podcast]

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Post By: Adam Turteltaub

There are a lot of skills that compliance professionals need – communication, persuasion, negotiation, patience, and even legal – and now Lisa Beth Lentini Walker, CEO and Founder of Lumen Worldwide Endeavors and Stef Tschida, Founder, Tschida Communications, are suggesting another: organizational scholarship.

The co-authors of the book Raise Your Game, Not Your Voice suggest in this podcast that, to be effective in their roles, compliance professionals need to be skilled at navigating the organization. To do that requires a deep understanding of the organization.

They advocate for taking the time to understand the company’s strategy and culture. Consume as much information about the company as possible: the website, publicly filed documents, earnings calls, even what the marketing people are saying on social media. Is the company just sending out messages, or is it engaged in a dialogue?

Also, look to what others are saying on sites such as Glassdoor. Are people saying good or bad things?

If you are new to the organization, they recommend having a plan for your first quarter there to quickly build your knowledge base. Connect with key people, understand what the key relationships are, and what drives behavior.

Then, look beyond the walls of the organization to understand what is going on in the industry as a whole to better understand what are the key forces, what may happen next and how your company compares to its peers. And be sure to set alerts for news about competitors, as well. A crisis in one could provide clues for what to watch out for in your own organization.

Finally, take the time to learn how compliance is perceived. You only get permission to speak, they explain, when you first take the time to listen. If the business people know that your ears are open and that you are sensitive to their needs, they are much more likely to pay attention to what you have to say.