The world seems to be spinning faster and faster. We are living a moment in history where changes recurring, intense and happening at a pace never seen before. Innovation cycles are getting shorter and shorter and technological advances forces us to rethink our relationship with people, machines and the environment.
Within this process, we are also strongly questioning the relationships between companies, employees, clients and other stakeholders, as well as how they are impacted by our products and services. And, just as important as the financial results generated by companies are how these results are achieved and how they impact individuals and society.
In addition to the pace in which everything gets connected, uncertain scenarios and moral and ethical problems also challenges us on how to maintain a fair balance between all stakeholders. Thus, we perceive how rules and regulations play a fundamental role since, without them, the situation would become chaotic. A sustainable company cannot exist in a troubled and unbalanced environment.
Companies are inserted into regulatory sectors, some under stricter regulations, other with less restrictive rules. However, all companies are subject to laws that ensure a healthy environment for businesses, society and sustainability. This transparency ensures greater credibility, more efficient processes, stronger legal certainty and contributes to the company’s image and reputation.
Thus, companies need to have an efficient compliance policy. More than just following rules to avoid sanctions, compliance efforts must be engrained in the company’s corporate culture. Stakeholders need to trust and see that the company complies not only with formal rules but also acts with integrity in terms of moral standards.
Compliance policies address the legal functions that need to be obeyed by companies but, if they are not rooted as a cultural element in the lives of its employees, they will rarely be effective. And when we lead by example, we create a key engagement factor. We need to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, and not because we are under a specific law.
We, leaders, entrepreneurs and corporate representatives, need to exercise, as a moral and political duty, inspiring leadership in society. To inspire is to engage people to act together and to build solutions for social challenges. The first step is to be accountable for your own actions and decisions, taken on behalf of the company, and weigh how they affect society.
In today’s world, where the principles of sustainability and transparency are non-negotiable values, it is essential to have awareness of ethical actions and moral precepts. And, as the philosopher Auguste Comte once said, “morality consists in making sympathetic instincts prevail over selfish impulses”. This is what compliance is all about.
C. Belini | CEO of Cemig and member of the Board of Directors of JBS S.A.