This article first appeared in La Segunda on Febraury 01, 2017
It seems that we are all corruptible. No one is spared. Neither the “historically perfect” multinationals, nor the top executives, nor the most prestigious local corporations, much fewer politicians. We all have a price. First came the La Polar case. Then came the cases of collusion and irregular financing of politics and now, just like some time ago with the “royalty” in the SQM case, we are still not surprised with other politicians who are directly involved with the fishing companies, as has happened recently with the senator and current leader of the UDI, Jacqueline van Rysselberghe.
Perhaps how many companies, politicians, state institutions, and other organizations remain in the field of blindness, incurring bad practices and calling all institutions into question? We don´t know… The only clear thing is that, despite how exposed we are, in Chile, it is still a utopia to establish a culture of good practices, real and effective.
How do we bring about a change? What should we do so that acting correctly is more important than growth, increase in market share, or public recognition?
After so many years certifying companies in compliance issues, I can say that the only way out is to gen erate a change of habit. It is not enough to have a compliance area or to develop and certify crime prevention models.
The real challenge is to create a culture within companies, articulated by an internal compliance unit so that other areas manage practically and concretely the risks inherent to their operations. This is the only way to achieve better results. The time has come to be honest, to establish a culture of doing things right. A Herculean task, of course. But not impossible.