Introduction & Company Background
Interviewer: Please give your name and title, please.
Kurt: I’m Kurt Drake, and I’m the Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer at Kimberly-Clark.
Interviewer: So we’re talking a lot here about this ethical shift that’s happening and where the executives have been held to a higher standard. What do you think? Any comment on the ethical shift?
Kurt: So the ethical transformation we’re seeing, and certainly I’m seeing it at Kimberly-Clark, is really getting to root causes and really trying to understand how we influence employees. I think we’re much more in a space where ethics matters and really learning how to win employees over. That really gets down to understanding their behaviors and how you understand their behaviors is always data driven. So, fundamentally, that gets to the core of how we get data, how do we use that data, and ultimately how do we predict and be proactive in what we’re trying to accomplish.
Interviewer: Great. So how does this shift change the role of CEOs, CCOs? What’s the new responsibility for them?
Kurt: So with this shift, the new responsibility is really understanding your employees and understanding your business, but then tying that to data. Thinking about how you analyze that data and how do you communicate that data. Ultimately, bringing that to how you change behavior because that’s what we’re trying to do at the end of the day. Obviously the behavior is important as its the right behavior we want our employees performing at.
Interviewer: Great. Can you tell us about your program and your team?
Kurt: Sure. So my team is really made up of three legs. One leg is the business facing piece, which is the most important. I have a business facing and regional team, so I have people scattered across the world that are focused on our businesses. I also have a corporate team, which focuses on strategy and communications to make sure that is consistent. Then I have a whole helpline team who looks at the calls and the questions we get and how we address those. So the whole team works together, but that’s how we divide the team up.
Managing Ethics and Compliance Data
Interviewer: How important is the role of technology in this ethical transformation?
Now having technology that sits over this intel and integrates all these data points into one is critical
Kurt: Okay. Technology has always been there for me. I started as a compliance officer back in 2003, and I always wanted data. Now that data probably wasn’t the most sophisticated data we had, but we made the most of it. So data has always been the core. Now what’s happening is there’s just a lot more moving parts and there’s a lot more intel about our employees and their behaviors. So now having technology that sits over this intel and integrates all these data points into one is critical. I really equate this data transformation to how Amazon understands the buying habits of their consumers. I wanna understand the behaviors and habits of my employees, and having that data will make our program even better.
Interviewer: Great. Tell us how the Convercent Ethics Cloud Platform is helping to reveal and centralize that data?
Kurt: The Convercent Ethics Cloud Platform has been great for us because it’s allowed me to integrate all my data points together. What I also like is what I’m used to which is here’s a solution, we can tweak it, take it, and let me know what you can do with it. Versus now I’m almost white-boarding or dreaming of “Here’s what I would like to have.” And Convercent has been able to give me a solution that hits the mark. So it allows me to pull all the data together in a creative way that meets my needs.
Interviewer: Can you expand on the importance of an effective code or code of conduct?
Kurt: Yeah, an effective code of conduct just brings to life what the company’s all about in a simple way that employees get it. This varies by company so you still need to have the subset of policies, but it’s about getting there and how employees think about it. It goes back to my example of the Amazon buying habits. If I know how my employees think about risk, I can go to that spot ahead of them, and they can go find that data. So it’s really just making it easy and simple and at their fingertips, literally.
Interviewer: Great. Tell me about the team you’ve been working with such as accounting, customer support, and executive staff? What’s your experience been?
Kurt: The Convercent team has just been great. When I say great, that doesn’t mean everything happened exactly as we wanted it. They’ve actually been very creative. I like to throw out a lot of different ideas, and we collaborate on those and come up with the best solution. They also come up with ideas. So it’s a good partnership of getting what makes sense and what’s effective. The other pieces too is they’re very helpful and upfront. I love that piece about them of, “Hey, we promised that. We didn’t deliver that, but here’s the new date,” or “Here’s what we’re gonna do to make that work.” And that’s the part of the team effort, right? And that builds a sense of loyalty on my side too. When we don’t deliver what we tell Convercent, we need to do our part too. I think it’s a great partnership and a win-win at the end of the day.