CCOs: Never Stop Learning

Being a well-rounded chief compliance officer with technology and people skills are the new norm

I recently read a LinkedIn blog post by Maurice Gilbert, who shared a recent article by Julie DiMauro, entitled “The State of the Chief Compliance Officer in 2016.” I thought it was a well-written article that touched on some very valid points.

The section of the article that resonated with me the most was the very last, where the best practices for today’s chief compliance officer were discussed. DiMauro listed “Keep learning” as one of those best practices and I couldn’t agree with her more.

I think the days of a compliance professional coming in with only regulatory and legal knowledge are long gone.  I think all compliance professionals need to have at least a basic understanding of technology, and like all good leaders, surround themselves with people that know more than they do.”

One of the most effective CCO’s I’ve ever met built a well-rounded compliance team.  She brought on team members with both technical skills and marketing knowledge and then taught them about compliance.  I thought it was a wise move because as technology becomes more powerful, the need to become knowledgeable and comfortable with it will be even greater.

Ten years ago, a CCO’s best friend was a paper form and an Excel spreadsheet, but those days are long gone.  There is now technology specifically designed for the CCO that gives them the ability to not only move from a reactive state to a proactive state but also really start to understand the causality of things.  If you don’t understand the causality of things, then I don’t think you can change things for the better, because as we all know hope is not a strategy.

I think the one thing that CCO’s have going in their favor is the development of software. The user experience is a primary focus for some compliance software companies – that is to make the software easy to use and intuitive so the compliance officer and their team don’t need a highly technical background or need to rely on other departments such as IT to use the software; if you can shop online or have basic navigation skills within an Internet browser or use social media, you can easily use compliance software (and look like a rock star doing so).

…because what compliance professional doesn’t secretly want to be a rock star?