Right about the time our oldest son turned seven he kind of turned impossible. His behavior, from the way he treated us to the way he treated his homework (he would write and erase his answers over and over again), was driving my wife and me more than a bit nuts.
After many battles with him we emailed the doctor to see if she had any recommendations of what to do. She recommended we read Your Seven-Year-Old by Louise Bates Ames. It’s one of a series of books that explains child development year by year. The first chapter of the book is “Characteristics of the Age,” and it was shocking to read. It revealed that everything our son was doing and that was driving us crazy was typical behavior for a seven year old, even the erasing the homework part.
It was very calming and reassuring to see that what we perceived as bad behavior was actually symptomatic of very normal, healthy growth. It was also a humbling reminder that, no matter how unique you think your child is, he or she is also pretty much exactly like every other kid that age.
Compliance programs are very similar. They are all most definitely unique, reflecting the culture and history of each organization that has one. But, at the same time, the commonalities are vast. If done correctly, they all meet the seven (that number is coming up a lot) elements of an effective compliance program under the US Sentencing Guidelines. They face many of the same challenges: from getting leadership to support the program to securing buy in from the business units, to coping with high risk environments.
[bctt tweet=”What do 7-year-olds and #compliance programs have in common? @AdamTurteltaub” via=”no”]
That’s why it’s critical to periodically stop and remind yourself that your problems may not be that unique to you, and that you can learn a great deal from other “parents” of growing compliance programs.
So the next time you find yourself having an issue, pick up the phone and call a compliance colleague who works elsewhere to see what she or he would do. Post a question on our social network site, search the HCCA and SCCE websites to see if there is anything on the topic, and participate in a conference. There are over 100 sessions planned for the upcoming Compliance and Ethics Institute. It’s 100 chances to see if your problems are unique, or are a part of normal, healthy development.