Chapter 16

Establishing an Effective GRC Culture throughout the Enterprise

Enterprise senior officers and board members often talk among themselves about the importance of launching some new enterprise-wide cultural approach or strategic direction. That type of new approach, however, will not launch new products in the marketplace or open new facilities. It is also a concept that will be just talk until it is properly communicated to and accepted by all stakeholders in the enterprise. The matter or issue must become part of the enterprise's “culture”; a concept that sounds good but is difficult to execute. Some enterprises, due to their many frequent changes, have never been able to establish a recognized culture, while others have built enduring cultures over the years. As a positive example, 3M Corporation has had a culture of encouraging innovation, going back to its earliest days in the early years of the twentieth century. A former president and chairman of the board, William L. McKnight, believed, “As our business grows, it becomes increasingly necessary to delegate responsibility and to encourage men and women to exercise their initiative.” And “It is essential that we have many people with initiative if we are to continue to grow.”1 In other words, he guided his managers and staff to take risks and signaled that senior management would not be overly critical if some initiatives failed. These kinds of words created a culture to innovate at 3M that has led the company over ...

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