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2 Essential Steps for Regulatory Compliance Success

2 min read
Oct 30, 2014

For many reasons, Fall is a great time of the year. Football. Halloween. World Series. This is also the “planning season” as many of us prepare for 2015. Are you ready for a great compliance year?  Here are two best practices that will help you prepare.

I love coaching my son's little league baseball team. Like most coaches, I am driven by the feeling of success, primarily when our team wins. It is also great to see players master a skill, overcome obstacles and grow into leaders.  This weekend, our 10-year-old team has its last tournament of the year in Myrtle Beach, SC. Three coaches, a gaggle of 10-year-old boys, and a whole lot of 5th grade bathroom humor will be jumping in a van and heading to the beach. 

Lessons from the Outfield

Outfield is not always the most cherished position on the field. Playing outfield can be:

  • Lonely…you can feel alone, standing far away from the other players. 
  • Risky…big hits can blow right by you and score multiple runs. 
  • Hard Work…if you are playing correctly, you should be constantly supporting and backing up fellow team members (both the infield and outfield).
  • “Almost” a Big Job…while teammembers may not fully understand the importance of the role, the coaches know that it can be one of the most important and difficult roles on the field.   

If you do your job right, few notice. If you don’t do your job right, everyone notices. 

One of the hardest skills for young outfielders to grasp is the need to assess and anticipate to get a good jump on the ball. When the ball is hit, many young players want to run-in towards home plate BEFORE they know where the ball is headed.

To help break this habit, we run drills with the young boys that play outfield. These drills help the players:

  • Plan: Before the ball is pitched, do you know where you are planning to throw the ball? Have you thought through your initial steps? Do you understand who is up to bat?Is this a lefty or a righty? Before the ball is hit, you should have a plan.
  • Assess: Once the ball is hit, you have to step back and assess the ball flight before running - “Step back and assess.” Once you have determined approximately where the ball is going, start positioning yourself to catch it.

Managing a successful regulatory compliance program has many similarities to playing the outfield. It can be lonely. It can be risky. And in today’s regulatory environment, it requires hard work to support your team.

Two Compliance Best Practices

To quote Yogi Berra, “you can observe a lot by just watching.”  We have the privilege of working with some of the best compliance officers from across the country. Two consistent best practices that we observe:

  1. Set Priorities – Successful compliance officers set clear priorities. How is your financial institution growing/changing? Where are the biggest risks for your institution?  What poses the biggest threats? What are the regulators communicating? Once you understand these perspectives, set your priorities.
  2. Step Back to Assess – Before executing on any game plan, successful compliance officers think through how they leverage the team around them. Compliance is a team sport. It is not a department, or an individual. It's an approach that helps guide your entire institution. Is your compliance culture strong enough to support that teamwork? 

TRUPOINT Viewpoint: It is planning season for compliance. Before the new year, take a few minutes to prioritize your efforts and plan where you are going to spend your precious resources, and assess how you are going to get there with teamwork. With this in mind, we have created a valuable planning eBrief. A few minutes planning may help make sure the ball does not sail over anyone’s head at the financial institution. A good defensive plan will help win the game. 


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