Updated: Aug 9
Understanding the concept of offside holds significance in sports and in business, although it can be difficult to understand and recognize.
Ted Lasso, the lead character in the acclaimed Apple TV series, embarks on his coaching tenure with AFC Richmond, possessing minimal knowledge of soccer. In his debut game, he remains blissfully unaware of an offside play. However, as the series unfolds, Ted gradually grasps this critical aspect, ultimately leading to AFC Richmond's advantage. Among the myriad lessons he learns about the intricate game of soccer—or, as many call it, "football"—this particular revelation hits home in the final episode.
In many ways, compliance resembles this important aspect of sports, focusing on staying within the boundaries and keeping the game play in check. For compliance, these boundaries stem from legal obligations and the expectations imposed by internal and external stakeholders. Straying beyond these boundaries results in non-conformance, manifesting as defects, violations, malpractice, injuries, and, if left unaddressed, even the erosion of stakeholder trust. Prolonged negligence in this regard may culminate in mission failure, business setbacks, or even the derailment of one's career.
That's why, it is crucial to remain firmly between the lines of play. The above control chart is used by many organization to monitor their game play and predict when they are at risk of operating off-side.
However, these are not the only lines that are important to pay attention to. There are other lines —lines of defence – that help to stay ahead of risk.
In recent decades, regulatory frameworks have evolved, shifting away from rigid directives and embracing a more outcome-oriented approach. This shift involves effectively contending with uncertainty to minimize public harm and maximize mission success. In this case organizations endeavour to keep uncertainty and its detrimental consequences at bay, ensuring that treats never infiltrate the lines of defence to reach critical assets, capabilities, or resources.
Keeping uncertainty from penetrating lines of defence is also critical to mission success.
Many ask why we describe compliance as:
staying between the lines and ahead of risk.
Now you know.
By adhering to the boundaries, compliance helps to avoid non-conformance and protect the integrity of a company's operations. At the same time, compliance work to keep risks at bay, preserving the robustness of defence mechanisms and maintaining the ability to outpace potential threats associated with: safety, security, sustainability, quality, and so on. It is an unwavering commitment to mission success that propels compliance to consistently stay one step ahead, fortifying defences and safeguarding them from any compromise.
One more thing...
In the TV Series "Ted Lasso" coaching was not only about enforcing discipline which is how we often think of compliance. It was about helping players be a better version of themselves both on and off the field.
In the say way, compliance is not only about audits and enforcement. It is about helping organizations be a better version of itself. And when they are they will meet all their obligations and keep all their promises. This is the secret of Lasso way and the secret of those who are successful at compliance.