If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door – Milton Berle
There is ample evidence that employees do not just wait for life to happen to them. Rather, they try to affect, shape, curtail, expand, and temper what takes place in their lives. This is at the heart of what it means to be proactive and the catalyst for operational excellence initiatives across the majority of industries and organizations.
However, research tells us that a precondition for proactive behavior is situational accountability. Where there is clear accountability you are more likely to find employees being proactive.
"The dynamics of proactivity at work", Adam M. Grant, Susan J. Ashford, 2008
That is why it is important that companies take ownership of their obligations as the first step in improving their performance and their compliance..
Performance models (and this includes compliance) based on the reactive audit-fix cycle have not been able to keep up with continuous streams of changes that come from all directions.
To achieve mission success in the presence of continuous change, you need proactive behaviors which in itself is:
a process that anticipates, plans, and acts
to ensure that objectives are met and outcomes are advanced.
This applies to all activities that service the value chain particularly compliance programs. Here we find that compliance has been too slow, and too late to keep up with ensuring that companies stay within the lines. This increases the chance that only one recall, one defect, one violation, or one incident may result in the loss of business.
Companies do not need to wait for the audit committee to knock on their door to create the opportunity for improvements. They can start building more effective programs today.
To reduce the possibility of loss of business, it is essential that compliance adopts a proactive mindset that encourages continuous improvement towards strengthening an organization's ability to always be in compliance.
These abilities include:
risk management, and
tied to mission outcomes.
Increasing the effectiveness of these programs will result in greater certainty that outcomes will be achieved and greater resilience to threats. Both of these lead to increased stakeholder trust. And it is this trust that determines whether or not a company will survive should an adverse situation occur.