Jamming with Jason E122: Corporate and Individual Integrity with John Fanning

In today’s episode we discuss with John Fanning (V.P. of Business Development with Integrity Risk International) how important ethics are in today’s businesses. Many companies treat ethics as a checklist and don’t seem to actively promote a positive ethical culture within their organization.

Integrity is an important trait not only personally, but on a corporate level as well. Businesses with integrity will make positive changes when problems are found.

In order to foster a positive culture within our organizations we need to stand by what we say even if short term gains may seem to suffer, because long term gains will greatly benefit.

Listen in at: http://www.jasonmefford.com/jammingwithjason/

Transcript

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Jason Mefford: Hey Welcome everybody. Today I am talking with john fanning and, you know, as we were talking beforehand.

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Jason Mefford: A lot of different crossovers in both of our careers kind of from an ethics and compliance standpoint, so I was really excited john has some great, great.

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Jason Mefford: Experience and insight into the topic that we’re going to be discussing today so john. Well, welcome aboard.

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Jason Mefford: You know, maybe I am I’m now you know familiar with you but let let the listeners just kind of know a little bit about you and kind of your experience because you’ve had some great experience over the years.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Thanks, Jason. I appreciate it. Yeah.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: I am. So currently, I am the Vice President of Business Development with integrity risk international and a I’m representing this company, as well as I represent a software company in conjunction with it so

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Integrity Risk International LLC: But integrity risk is an enhanced due diligence and investigations firm and they are run by some SP get into the name integrity risk is there for a reason. It’s run by some guys who have

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Integrity Risk International LLC: A very high level of integrity and people that I truly respect I worked with them before when I was at crawl and they spun off this company about four or five years ago and

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Basically brought put together a fantastic team of analysts and researchers and and a network of investigators around the world. And so great, guys.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Jim, and Tom Queenie are the leaders there. They’ve also allowed me to work with a company called liberty. Oh, so I represent a data management software company that helps with incident incident incident responses and change management within

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Not just the Ethics and Compliance space, but certainly in that area, little bit of background on me. I

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Have been in the space for over 20 years. I started out with a company called Lexis Nexis and the

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Jason Mefford: Little Prince when they probably know me.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Right, yeah. Out of Dayton, Ohio, and

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Integrity Risk International LLC: was fascinated by Lexis Nexis. First of all, just because I was like, let it you can get information online and, you know, and at your fingertips.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: And I’d actually read a book by Alvin Toffler called Future Shock that talked about how one day all your information would be in the palm of your hand.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: And I thought, well, this sounds like a company that’s heading that direction, but I worked with corporations.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Doing with their legal departments and this is prior to Sarbanes Oxley prior to, you know, SEPA really being a real thing. And so a lot of due diligence that looking at a Mergers and Acquisitions, they would use Lexis Nexis as media and their public records to find information on companies.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: early on in my career I helped a company avoid buying another company that was

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Integrity Risk International LLC: In Europe, that was incredibly corrupt and save them millions of dollars, and I was hooked. At that point on kind of doing

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Due diligence and then I later went to Thomson Reuters and they, you know, had similar products they acquired a company called clear which to do due diligence and was a public records database.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: And then I went to work for a company called crawl and crawl was where I really got in the investigation space and the enhanced due diligence and

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Also very exciting work had to not talk about it too much. But, you know, doing investigations. People don’t like you to brag about it.

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Jason Mefford: And that’s why investigations, you know, everybody says, oh, that’s got to be you know it’s it’s such exciting work. And I’m like,

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Jason Mefford: Well, it’s kind of interesting, right, it is exciting in certain parts of it, but again there’s like you can’t really talk about it, you know, because most of the time you’re in stealth mode.

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Jason Mefford: And so it is exciting. But I always

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Jason Mefford: Not necessarily felt bad because people were making the choices for themselves but i i could empathize with the people who

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Jason Mefford: Were the subject of the investigation and ended up having their life turned upside down because of bad mistakes they made so it’s it’s exciting that the total was I usually tell people it’s exciting, but it’s not necessarily fun work when you see the human impact of it, but

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Yeah, and, and there are several examples of that. I mean, I’ve seen where one of the things that I really liked about the folks I worked with, they were

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Professionals and they knew how to manage that process and you know you have someone who’s come forward to talk about something that they’ve seen

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Integrity Risk International LLC: And if sometimes there’s, you know, organized crime involved and things like that. And so being careful and making sure that you make the right moves at the right time, you understand the laws of the country.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Was so imperative. And I did. I saw things go well I saw people try to cut corners and, you know, they would cut us out for one reason or another, and then trying to manage it internally.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: And I’ve seen things go horribly wrong. And those cases as well. And so it’s just interesting work. It is not an expensive and the customers were not happy to see you coming

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Integrity Risk International LLC: In the door.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Because they knew that it was going to be expensive but and and the company. I’m with now integrity risk we do that type of work as well too. And the thing

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Integrity Risk International LLC: I value about it is we do have some, you know, very sharp people former FBI former CIA folks who one gentleman who came from the Royal Hong Kong police force.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: And just, you know, they know what they’re doing. They’ve done it before. And they’re going to try and do it cost effectively, but they’re not going to do it if they can’t do it right and

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Integrity Risk International LLC: You know, we also, you know, the enhanced due diligence component of it is so important, too, because you can avoid a lot of these issues up front. If you do the right things. Initially, and so

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Integrity Risk International LLC: So from from crawl. I went on. I had a short stint at a company called atmosphere which really enhanced my love of just benchmarking your program understanding ethics and really

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Letting the data speak for itself and understand take you where it needs to go and being able to assess your program in a, you know, in a manner that will give you an idea of

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Integrity Risk International LLC: What needs to be improved, where you have your strengths and how to best present that to the board to your Executive Committee.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: And I’ve tried to carry that into what I’m doing now. I’m very independent. The guys at integrity risk gave me the ability to represent some other companies that were non competing

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Integrity Risk International LLC: One of those is liberal iOS, which is a data company which where they use keyword linking capabilities to manage the audit process to manage the

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Integrity Risk International LLC: The change management related to the the findings from audits and from other type of evaluations.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: And to done automate that process so that the key stakeholders are alerted and that they go through the right training and things like that. And so

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Integrity Risk International LLC: My Love is for making good companies even better and giving them processes that are affordable and effective and mitigating the risk and the key is, you know, I’ve always said you can eliminate all the risk if you just stopped doing business, but

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Jason Mefford: That’s, that’s not an option. Right, so there has

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Jason Mefford: To be some risk, along with it, but I think, you know, like you said, it’s it’s it’s especially important for people if

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Jason Mefford: If you’re, if you find yourself needing to do a serious investigation that’s kind of high stakes bring somebody in from the outside because I’ve seen people really

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Jason Mefford: bungle things and make some big mistakes if that’s not sure your specific area wheelhouse, make sure to go out, you know, get somebody like integrity rescue in

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Jason Mefford: To help you with it because it’s it’s high stakes, it’s higher risk because when things go bad, actually. Sometimes you can expose your company.

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Jason Mefford: To more risk even if you do the investigation and everything wrong as well. Plus, you know, with things like you know liberals and everything. A lot of

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Jason Mefford: A lot of this comes down to the documentation aspect and the compliance of it and your consistency in doing it as well. And if you are not consistent

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Jason Mefford: And what you do and how you discipline people or deal with things like that. Again, you can significantly increase the exposure to your company so

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Jason Mefford: Yeah yeah no good. Good stuff. And a very, very important part of you know what what companies need to do to be able to keep themselves.

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Jason Mefford: Doing good things right so well and I know you know, since it’s kind of the end of the year.

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Jason Mefford: I thought it would be fun to just talk a little bit about ethics because I know

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Jason Mefford: You know that’s been your background as well. And I, I just see a lot of people really kind of misunderstanding ethics and we go through ethics training, per se.

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Jason Mefford: But it’s more like checks.

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Jason Mefford: checkbox ethics. Yep. I did my training, boom, I checked the box to me. Most of the ethics training is not really about ethics, it’s more about checking the box and being compliant, which

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Jason Mefford: Which is kind of sad and and anyway so I figured we kind of jump in because there’s another couple of points to. But let’s let’s see where a conversation kind of goes on this for the next little while

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Ya know, and I agree. I don’t think it’s always intuitive. I think what people think when they think of ethics and

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Integrity Risk International LLC: It’s, it’s, it’s kind of seen through their own perceptive or their own perception or their own lens and

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Integrity Risk International LLC: You know, that’s why training is very important. And I think not just training in regards to what you need to do to, as you call it checkbox ethics, but to kind of

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Level, set the mindset and the objectives and the mission of the company and say, you know, here’s what we’re all here for because there’s a lot of

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Integrity Risk International LLC: There’s a lot of people that there’s individual entrust there’s individual concerns and and people’s own personal crusades that they

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Integrity Risk International LLC: They, they pursue and they feel like that is more important than anything else, and

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Integrity Risk International LLC: You want to give people the ability to do that because it certainly is a big part of what working in an organization is about is giving people freedom to express themselves, but you want to set some parameters that are going to respect you know

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Integrity Risk International LLC: My grandmother always said your nose ends where mine.

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Begins.

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Jason Mefford: Well, actually I see a picture of Abraham Lincoln on your back wall. I think he was

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Jason Mefford: He was one that actually said that originally or that I i’ve heard actually attributed to him as well. So right on your grandmother. That is a that is one of my favorite

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Jason Mefford: quotes of all times, right.

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Jason Mefford: And I think that

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Jason Mefford: That really is a lot of into where we can go with this too, as far as the ethics and where are your nose ends right that’s it stops there. So if I actually punch you in the nose.

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Jason Mefford: Right. I’ve crossed the line at that point and I think it gets into some of the

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Jason Mefford: Ethics is not I usually say, so tell me if you agree with this, too, but ethics is not as black and white as people think it is.

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Jason Mefford: Their shades of color, their shades of grey along the way, there’s always a another side to the story or another thing to consider as well.

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Jason Mefford: And that’s why I think you know some of the things that gets so pretty prescriptive to where it just becomes compliance. It kind of gets away from really what ethics and integrity is about

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Integrity Risk International LLC: You know,

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Jason Mefford: And its essence.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: I would agree 100%. And I think one of the most exciting things that I’ve seen coming out lately is that the focus on culture.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: And I think culture, it really impacts you know the ethical perspective of the company. If you have the right culture, you’ve communicated the right message, then you are able to you know instill the right

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Integrity Risk International LLC: You know, I guess the right framework or the right guidance to you to the entire organization. And if you’ve got the right culture. It’s going to, to a certain degree, police itself.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: And you don’t have to be monitoring people 24 hours, seven days a week. Everybody’s going to self monitor, they’re gonna you know if there’s something brought up around the

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Integrity Risk International LLC: You know, on the zoom. Call now since we’re not meeting in person, but and traditionally around the coffee maker.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: You know, if someone goes over the line, someone else will police them, they’ll say something to them confront them and that’s the best way to have. I would rather have

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Integrity Risk International LLC: One guy go Hey man, you’re going, you don’t need to go there and have it escalate and have someone’s feelings hurt and in in actually have it go somewhere else and so

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Integrity Risk International LLC: I think that when people feel like they’re operating in an environment that is gives them some psychological security or that makes them feel safe to be able to speak their mind and

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Integrity Risk International LLC: I think, then you can have open dialogue as long as you’ve built some parameters around it, I think. I think that’s really what an ethics and compliance officer is trying to do.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: And if they can do that. It makes the job a lot easier. Otherwise, then they’ve got to be monitoring, then they have to be intervening they have we

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Integrity Risk International LLC: chasing down investigating everything that comes through the hotline and so if they can push some of that down to the mid level managers and to the people who are in the field.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Then they can they can feel comfortable that things are running

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Under the guise of a culture. And so that’s what I’ve seen a lot of that I am atmosphere we did testing of cultures, we benchmark people’s cultures. I know there’s a lot of other folks out there doing that and you see it almost has become

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Integrity Risk International LLC: You know one of those terms that you cringe when you hear it because every article is about culture, but I, I really do think it’s a great focus and as long as people do it the right way. It’s a way to kind of address that.

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Jason Mefford: Well, it isn’t in, you know, I totally agree with you, because you know if you can have the the front line effectively self policing.

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Jason Mefford: Than then it just makes your job much easier because you’ve got the right culture. But, you know, in one thing that you brought up that I’ve, I’ve seen that I believe is so vital.

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Jason Mefford: Is that the culture allows people to speak up, but not just, it allows people to speak up in general it’s it’s a culture that allows people to have differing opinions.

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Jason Mefford: And it’s okay within the organization. Right, so much of the time you get told you know, look, you know, it’s like

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Jason Mefford: You got, you got to, you know, go along with the party standard, if you will. Right. And you’ve got to toe the line and you’ve got to say exactly this one thing

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Jason Mefford: And and as companies do that are trying to force that type of a culture, it actually backfires on you because then people don’t feel comfortable saying

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Jason Mefford: What needs to be said. And so they usually just don’t say anything and they go along to get along.

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Jason Mefford: Because they realize, and this is where you know the values of the one thing, but if I don’t believe

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Jason Mefford: That you really are serious about no Jason I want you to tell me if you don’t agree with me, you know, it’s like everybody’s had a boss like this, right.

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Jason Mefford: Brother like Jason I want you to tell me if you don’t agree with me. And it’s like, yeah, I ain’t gonna do that. I saw what you did last person who disagree be you with you. Right.

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Jason Mefford: So it’s

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Jason Mefford: It’s it’s important for the leaders for the company if they want that culture, that means that they’re going to also probably hear some things they don’t want to hear and they’re going to have to

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Jason Mefford: To tolerate differing beliefs and and other things like that, which, again, I think, is where sometimes that word ethics. I think gets misconstrued with morality.

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Jason Mefford: And it’s not the same thing. It’s okay for us to have differing views right as long as we’re meeting a certain

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Jason Mefford: That’s why I like code of conduct better myself than a code of ethics. Because it, it just sets the conduct expectations, based on the culture in what we need to do without trying to mind control people

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Know exactly i think i think i i would agree 100%. And one of the things that I’ve seen that I think is

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Integrity Risk International LLC: really valuable as you see some tools being built to help to actually implement some of these things. And I saw that there’s a hotline tool.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: That has come out recently that you know what it does is it allows you to make a report and then that report is stored on the individual or the situation.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: And it doesn’t actually escalate through the system until someone else makes

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Integrity Risk International LLC: A similar report about that individual. And so it’s all done anonymously. Nobody is going to be penalized, but

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Integrity Risk International LLC: The people who need to know about the problem. Get to know about it, but it’s verified before it goes up the food chain, because a lot of people do get their feelings hurt.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: And, you know, they may speak up. They may have a better audience with the with the with the the powers that be and that can then cause a lot of tension and can cause a lot of drama that doesn’t need to happen.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: But I really think that what you see happening is trying to create safer spaces for people to speak up, but you want to protect the minority point of view to, you know, there’s another saying democracy is two wolves and sheep deciding what’s for dinner, and you don’t want that either.

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Jason Mefford: That is a great one.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Yeah, so you want that cheap to be protected because you know you want wolves, but you want cheap. Do you want everybody has a role, and I think it’s a

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Integrity Risk International LLC: I mean for the company to perform. You’ve got to have some people have some of those Killer Instincts but you also have to have a way to keep them in check and make sure that they don’t become

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Integrity Risk International LLC: You know, the folks who step on people’s you know you know step on others to get ahead and that

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Integrity Risk International LLC: And that you’re allowing things to go on that just aren’t aren’t right because you might be gaining he might have short term term gains but in the long term. It’s going to destroy the company and so

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Practically, I think there are some really good tools that are being developed for that. I think they’re using things like game theory and some of that stuff to

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Really find ways to understand human psychology and impact the behavior and you want to impact the behavior, but you want to do it under the guise of this is what our objectives are, and I and

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Integrity Risk International LLC: If you can clarify that and train people and do it in the their own language, not just not just their spoken language, but also and kind of the concepts that they understand. I think it can now benefit everybody and

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Integrity Risk International LLC: We spend more time at work than we do anywhere else. So if, if you can make an environment where people feel, you know that like they can communicate freely, you’re going to have a better environment.

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Yeah.

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Jason Mefford: Well, and I know to, you know, because I always try to bring back ways to help people that are listening, actually, you know, have a have a better life live a better life and

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Jason Mefford: You know, I know there’s so maybe we can go go here, a little ways to because we’ve talked a little bit about, you know, corporate

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Jason Mefford: And the culture and kind of what you’re trying to establish and I love some of the things like gamification and other stuff. I haven’t heard of people actually using that

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Jason Mefford: That’s a great, great way to help change human behavior, right. So using some of these things like this to make sure that you’ve got the right culture at your organization.

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Jason Mefford: But, you know, for individuals as well you know people that that that

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Jason Mefford: You know, are wanting to because because one of the one of the people that I that I learned from used to say, you know, ethics is not, it’s not a choice of right or wrong.

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Jason Mefford: It’s a choice between multiple rights and that’s what often makes it difficult, you know the right, the right and wrong, you know, if we go back to like corporate code of conduct. Right.

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Jason Mefford: If the Code of Conduct says, Thou shalt not well you’ve taken ethics and you’ve kind of created compliance around it and you’ve said that behavior.

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Jason Mefford: And not acceptable. Right. Okay, so that’s a right or wrong, based on the code of conduct. But so much of the time in our own personal lives.

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Jason Mefford: And in trying to decide what’s really the best decision for me that’s going to serve me the best, but maybe also serve the greater good.

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Jason Mefford: You know how. How are some easy ways for people to kind of think about that, so they can make

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Jason Mefford: Better decisions right because most of the ethics training people are going through at the end of the year is like

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Jason Mefford: You abide by this code of ethics and you understand, you must do this and that but it that stuff doesn’t actually help people make better daily decisions and it’s all those little daily decisions that really impact the quality of her life. Mm hmm.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: No i well i think so too. And I think, you know, for for a one of the first things you can do as anybody you bring on board.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Within the company is make sure that you you’ve got an understanding of their perceptions and their understanding of ethics and their understanding of culture.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: And make sure that they’re going to fit well with that culture. I don’t. The person may have the best pedigree in the world and they might

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Integrity Risk International LLC: But if they don’t, if they if they don’t really buy into what the company’s about and what your objectives are, and really care about the people.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: And you’re going to have a lot of people who will see that, and they’ll say, yeah, that it says on the wall that we adhere to all these things. And this is what we’re about.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: But you know what I’m seeing in reality is that they hired this guy and his objectives are totally the opposite of what what we claim to be about and

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Integrity Risk International LLC: That’s one thing. And then I think it is imperative that you know they give the title Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, make sure that guy or or that person that guy or girl actually has a

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Has a, you know, has a seat at the table, make sure that they are involved in those conversations, they’re involved in the merger and acquisition process, they’re involved in

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Integrity Risk International LLC: You know the sales and marketing component of it that they that they see what’s going on before it’s too late to actually raise a hand.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: I used to when I worked with attorneys.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: And early on in my career, I talked to a guy one time, he said, Yeah.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Well, I have to draft up the contract for this deal. And here’s what it is. This is the agreement and it was a napkin that had been written between two guys written at a bar.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: And I was like, well, and he said, I was not involved in this conversation. And so now I have to figure out how to work sort through what’s already been put together well.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: If you’re bringing the, the chief compliance officer and at that stage, it’s too late because a lot of decisions have been made already and they have no way to do their due diligence, so to speak, so

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Jason Mefford: Well, that’s why. Usually, you know, like that. I mean there that’s that’s a great example of, I mean how things really get done.

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Jason Mefford: Right, I mean that this person was having a discussion. I mean, they take him out to dinner, they go to a bar, they do whatever you end up making a business transaction, you put it on a napkin right and it’s it’s

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Jason Mefford: That’s why I always tried to or wanted people to be able to have some guidelines, because it’s not always easy.

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Jason Mefford: It everything doesn’t fit into the nice little decision tree that we would usually like the things into right and so, but, but, you know, things that people can ask themselves, or do

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Jason Mefford: When they’re by themselves, and they can’t maybe again it’s you know it’s 11 o’clock at night guy probably was. He probably didn’t have your phone number. But wouldn’t

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Jason Mefford: Wake you up at night while he’s actually doing this deal, but things that people can kind of go through in their minds.

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Jason Mefford: In the one that always, you know, really got me that I used to be a Rotarian you know and and participate in Rotary and love the four way test that rotary has as

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Jason Mefford: An example of kind of some some principles or guidelines that we can give to ourselves, similar to this so that

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Jason Mefford: Anytime that we’re trying to make a decision. We kind of run through these couple of things in our minds. Right. And again, it’s been a while, we used to, you know, recite it every, every time, but I always learned and learned it as

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Jason Mefford: Is it is it will it will it right. So is it is it now I’m gonna embarrass myself.

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Jason Mefford: Is it fair to all concerned. Is it the. Oh, is it the truth.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Is that the truth.

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Yes, if

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Jason Mefford: You were to. Okay. Is it fair to all concerned. Will it build goodwill and better friendships and will it be beneficial to all

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Jason Mefford: That’s what it is. Yes it is, it will it will it right

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Integrity Risk International LLC: I love that.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: I love that test here that at because, I mean, right. That’s a perfect example. Oh, yeah. Go on. I didn’t mean to cut you off.

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Jason Mefford: No, no, no. But, but, but for everybody kind of like, as a practical takeaway to right. It’s just like, Okay, yeah, we know we have to

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Jason Mefford: Have to follow our code of conduct at work and you need to understand what it is you need to know what the expectations are.

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Jason Mefford: But you also need to know when things kind of hit you in the face in regular life right yeah you know is, is, is the truth is, is it

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Jason Mefford: Is it fair to all concerned will build goodwill and better friendships, will it be beneficial to all if you go through and ask yourself questions like that, or whatever you come up with

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Jason Mefford: You’re going to hopefully make a better decision than if you didn’t consider it at all, right in the same thing because I love the word integrity, more than I love ethics.

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Jason Mefford: Because ethics is really kind of more philosophical were integrity, to me, is more boots on the ground actually doing stuff.

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Jason Mefford: And it’s like, it doesn’t

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Jason Mefford: It doesn’t mean that you don’t ever make a mistake, but when you recognize it, you fix it and you do what you’re supposed to do.

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Jason Mefford: Right. So if we have, let’s say, you know, to that example you’re talking about before you hire somebody you think they’re going to be a good fit. They come into the organization.

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Jason Mefford: Pretty quickly you find out they’re not a good fit. Okay, you made a mistake. Now, whether you whether you have integrity or not.

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Jason Mefford: Is going to determine on what you do next, right, is do you actually, you know, fix that person’s behavior or get them out of the organization.

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Jason Mefford: Or do you turn a blind eye and say, well, you know, the top salesperson in the in the company. So we, you know, they’re earning this lots of money. So we’re gonna let them be

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Jason Mefford: You know disrespectful to our other employees and yell at them and be emotionally abusive to them because hey, at the end of the day, this person is bringing in $20 million a year ago, our company right

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Jason Mefford: That’s, that’s where the integrity to me really actually hits and if we’re willing to fix or take responsibility and fix things that are our fault.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Yeah. Yeah. And I think the road rotary four way test is a great example of, of, you know, have a great philosophy and then a great kind of, you know,

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Way to kind of gauge everything you do as on behalf of other Rotarians and any type of situation.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: And if a company has something that’s simple, easy to remember. But it also represents what the company stands for. It’s perfect.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: But then you completely shoot yourself in the foot, if you don’t live by those principles at the highest level. And so if it’s hard. It’s hard to bring in someone and say,

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Hey, this is my guy I recommend him. I think he’s going to be great. And he and you find out that they don’t fit.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Well, you’ve got to figure out a way to make that. Right. And if you don’t, everybody who sees what’s going on and you know I hate to admit this but I’ve got three boys that I’m raising and you know they’ve seen the hypocrisy.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Of that

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Integrity Risk International LLC: And consequently, I pay the price for it. So you don’t want that at your company and kids are a lot on it. More honest than employees are they’ll just they’ll they won’t say anything but

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Integrity Risk International LLC: You know, a lot of those quality people who love what you stood for will be gone. And a few years because they they don’t they, they realize it’s not it’s not a legitimate.

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Jason Mefford: Well yeah cuz so so much of so much of this falls back to the leaders or to us individually. Right. I mean, yeah, I’m a dad, too.

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Jason Mefford: And, you know,

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Jason Mefford: We do our best. Right.

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Jason Mefford: Now we do our best. We’re still flawed. Everybody is that way. Right. We tried it. But if you’re trying to do your best and you you know you have some of these little tools or things that you’re trying to rely on to

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Jason Mefford: Always try to make the best decisions that are in line with your values and you know again whether this is work or even. Personal life

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Jason Mefford: You will make mistakes, but then you just clean them up, you do that you do the best you can to kind of rectify it but like you said.

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Jason Mefford: Everybody’s wanting to talk about culture and organizations right now. And I will tell you, I mean, I’m guessing. This has been your experience to

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Jason Mefford: The, the companies that have the culture problems are because of the leaders who don’t really have integrity.

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Jason Mefford: Now, if you ask them, they would, they would think that they are, but I’ll tell you most, the most unethical people I’ve ever met are the people who think they’re the most ethical

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Jason Mefford: And if you don’t, people don’t believe what you say they believe what you do. And so if you don’t actually walk the talk. And here’s a great example one of the CEOs that I worked for. We’ve done some

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Jason Mefford: We would do.

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Jason Mefford: Executive TNA

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Jason Mefford: Just because from a, from an ethics and compliance and a fraud perspective if executives are cheating on their expense reports, they’re probably cheating other places too.

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Jason Mefford: Right, so we would use that as a gauge for kind of knowing which areas of the company were more risk. And I remember you know we had one

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Jason Mefford: In this one round that we did, we found to executive said that blatantly cheating on their stuff right

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Jason Mefford: One guy was between 50 and 100 grand right that he doctored created false credit card receipts. Okay, very clear, clear that guy was gone, turned him over to the to the local law enforcement right

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Jason Mefford: Another guy, it was maybe 1800 dollars, but it was just stupid stuff like he would take a, you know, this was in the old day when you used to get toll. You know, when you go through the toll booth, you’d get like a little receipt

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Jason Mefford: You know you don’t do that anymore with all the papers.

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Jason Mefford: But it’d be like $1 60 for the toll and he’d add a zero to the end of it with a red pen and put down $16. It was just stupid stuff right

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Jason Mefford: And and i remember. So, you know, you look at that, you think, well, it’s only $1,000 or whatever. Right.

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Jason Mefford: And so I went and, you know, was talking to this person’s boss and they said, oh, you know, we just promoted him and it’s like

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Jason Mefford: You know we just sent out this big, you know, main message to our customers. We can’t get rid of him. He’s always been a good guy. We don’t have to do this, do we

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Jason Mefford: And I’m like, No, we have to do this to be consistent. Right. Oh, I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to do that. So I went back to my CEO.

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Jason Mefford: And said, I just talked to so and so and this is the story that I’m getting from him and and our CEO just looked at me and he said, Don’t worry, I’m on a plane with him this afternoon before we land.

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Jason Mefford: This will be taken care of, right, because to the CEO, he didn’t care. He didn’t care what the amount was he cared about the behavior of the individual.

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Jason Mefford: And again, you know, if you steal $5 from me. If you’re gonna you know if he’s still $5 from me, you probably still 5 million from me, too.

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Jason Mefford: So he was, but he was he was one of the few leaders at that at that level, that always walked the talk. Right. And I really appreciated that. And we need more leaders like that everywhere. And if you don’t have a leader like that then you be that leader.

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Jason Mefford: Right for yourself, because other people are watching like we said our kids are watching us.

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Jason Mefford: As parents,

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Jason Mefford: And everybody else is watching you as well so sorry I got off a little bit on my soapbox there, you remember that story. Yeah.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Well, my dad’s favorite saying was, then it goes to this very well as actions speak louder than words. And people are why you can say it all day long. But, you know, and my kids.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: And with my kids I found that’s true if if I and I do some in my defense, I do some things right and they what resonates and what they remember is how I behaved and

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Integrity Risk International LLC: And and they’ve seen me they see me do things I see you know it’s all it always warms my heart when I see them kind of emulating that and the good stuff, the bad stuff kind of makes me feel bad.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: But what I think at a company. I mean, when you got a leader like that and I’ve been in both situations with

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Integrity Risk International LLC: You know, I’ve had one guy who I said I would follow into battle because I knew that he would do the right thing no matter what and

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Integrity Risk International LLC: That was he was actually a Lexis Nexis and he rose up through the ranks. He left not too long ago is had a fantastic career and I mean I think a big part of that was just that, you know, everybody saw what he had built and

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Integrity Risk International LLC: You know, I think that that but those are rare people like that are rare and and if you find one like it. Stick with it, but it

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Integrity Risk International LLC: But it’s because it’s not easy. It’s not easy. And that’s what the Ethics and Compliance person wants to put in places tools and you know do their due diligence and do the right things in order to, you know, create an environment for that. And, you know,

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Integrity Risk International LLC: It’s a lot harder to get rid of the problem when you hire that guy.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Who had it doesn’t fit with the culture. So if there’s ways to do your due diligence upfront and not to make a plug for integrity rest. But they said we have a report called an executive check. That’s a very good one.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: But all for it. Yeah. Cuz, especially the higher level, you get in an organization if you’re hiring an executive

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Jason Mefford: Well worth the money at that point.

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Jason Mefford: To do something like that. Yeah.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Yeah, I can come back to bite you in many ways, certainly internally with your people see but also your reputation as an organization and

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Integrity Risk International LLC: That that is a recommendation and then putting in tools and now with all the data analytics and the things that we have that are available to us not to be measuring a year culture and not to be measuring doing you know audits that are geared toward this

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Integrity Risk International LLC: You know, as a mistake. You need to be diligent about that and then make sure that what you find from those reports and those those programs are than implemented and that you execute on it.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: I was just saying that

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Friend of mine said you cannot change what you don’t measure. And so, you know,

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Yeah. You may think you have the best culture in the world. You may have the greatest slogan on the wall, like I said,

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Integrity Risk International LLC: But if you are not in there and actually looking at the T T’s and C’s of the entire Corporation

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Integrity Risk International LLC: You’re really not. You don’t know. And you may find that in every even though it says that on the wall and you believe in it. The rest of the company doesn’t buy in on it, buy into it. And so you need to

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Be out there asking the people who are on the front lines, how they feel about it and what the perception is and

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Yeah, I think that

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Another one of my grandmother saying an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And so I do you think there’s some things that we can do to do that and but you got to have good leadership in that case to they’ve got to be able to willing to pay.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Upfront to find those things. And unfortunately, in my experience, you always as a sales guy a consultative sales guy in this space. I’m always going after the company that’s gotten in trouble because now they have the budget.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: It’s nice when you find one that’s willing to make the my other spend the money up front for to try and prevent those things from happening.

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Jason Mefford: Well, and that’s you know that your grandmother saying that is, it is. It’s, it’s literally that kind of a difference in magnitude

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Jason Mefford: That you know maybe here to kind of kind of wrap up here is that, you know, again, it’s yeah people that have gotten into bad mistakes.

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Jason Mefford: All of a sudden have have the money to pay for it, but it costs him 10 2030 times the amount at that point to clean it up.

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Jason Mefford: Then if they actually do it preventively. And so again, whether it’s your company or also you know us individually, the more we can do now to change and try to prevent those things from happening by, you know, being people of integrity, keeping our word fixing mistakes as they come up.

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Jason Mefford: That that ounce of prevention is worth a whole lot of pain and suffering as well as potentially money as well so

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Jason Mefford: Well john. Thank you. Thank you for taking time today. Yeah, we could have gone down a couple of other rabbit holes today. So we might have to go on one of those on a future episode as well. But thanks thanks for taking the time with me and coming on and sharing with everybody today.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Thank you, Jason. It was a lot of fun for me and I you know I enjoyed the conversation. I hope other people enjoy it. I just, it’s fun for me to talk about this stuff. So, and I love your podcast. So thanks for letting me be a part of.

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Jason Mefford: Well, thank you.

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Jason Mefford: Alright, see you later.

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Integrity Risk International LLC: Take care. Bye bye.

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