Are Compliance and Agility Mutually Exclusive? Absolutely Not!Published January 14, 2016 by Rob Ellis • 2 min read
To be successful, businesses today must find a balance between compliance, high growth and agility. Organizations that are experiencing high growth know that they will outgrow their processes. Yet for high growth companies, implementing compliance is like adding water to a nascent campfire. Sure you need to be compliant to mitigate risk. But not at the cost of growth and agility. This dichotomy between high growth and compliance creates a difficult choice. Do you elect to continue a high growth strategy or pursue a path towards compliance? Actually, you don’t need to choose. You can do both.
Compliance mitigates the risk of uncertainty about the future. And a compliance strategy can help limit negative outcomes. Often regulators and market pressure create compliance requirements to mitigate risks. Organizations use frameworks to embed controls that help them follow these compliance rules. Unfortunately, the word “compliance” often makes executives at high-growth companies cringe. The fear is that compliance will turn the organization into a bureaucratic system and stunt its growth.
Agility is often seen as being at odds with compliance. Agile companies adapt to the market and view change as a constant. This means taking your best resources and using them to create new, innovative capabilities. Agile organizations view problem solving as a creative process. Working together requires flexibility and the ability to focus on the problem at hand. Following set standards restricts agility and reduces the team’s alacrity. The goal of agility is thus not to mitigate risk but to transform that risk into a strength.
If you’re a high growth company weighing the pros and cons of pursuing a compliance strategy, you should know it’s not an all or nothing proposition. You can find the balance to best fit your current business model. Look at compliance as a point on a maturity curve. This will help you identify the steps to ease you into a new organizational design that strikes the right balance between compliance, high growth and agility.
Ready to learn more about the steps in the compliance process? Our free eBook, The Insider’s Guide to Compliance provides a roadmap for understanding where you fit on the compliance spectrum, how to measure tradeoffs between growth and compliance and practical tips for dealing with auditors as you move through the compliance process.
Get the Insider’s Guide now and learn how to meet today’s compliance challenges and stay agile.