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Winter is coming.

What’s your doomsday scenario?

That is, what event would totally wipe out your compliance program as just another well-intentioned corporate initiative that never took off?

Have you ever thought about it?

Lots of compliance officers think about the existential threats to their businesses—but how often do you think about an existential threat to your program?

Seriously: if you haven’t thought about it, why not?

Your job depends on it. Your team members’ jobs depend on it. And if you take the value of a compliance program seriously, your entire company’s existence depends on it.

Here’s the most likely doomsday scenario for most programs: someone with control over your budget calls you into their office and asks “why are we doing these things? What results are we seeing?”

And the right answer to that is “for every $100 in budget and headcount, we (1) do these things, which (2) creates these results, which (3) saves the company $120."

That is a business case. If you can't say that, your program gets labeled as an expendable nice-to-have.

Look, winter is coming.

A regulatory shift, a change in enforcement, an economic downturn, a shakeup in corporate leadership—any of these things can trigger a request for you to explain why your program is useful and what value it delivers. In financial terms.

And there’s both good and bad news about that:.

The good news is that you can make this case. Compliance is measurable and saves money.

The bad news is that you have to make this case. You have to measure results and build a financial model, just like every other department at your company. You cannot rely on benchmarking reports or certifications that just focus on a list of things you are doing.

Your first priority has to be orienting your time and money around how it adds value to your business, not how it compares to other compliance programs.

That is how you will get a seat at the table and move your program from an expendable initiative to a rock-solid business necessity.


(And if you want to see what this looks like in the training context, you can check out our Gifts & Entertainment suite. It includes a financial model to help you measure ROI in dollars.)

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